“I lost an item for the same amount as my absentee bid – WHY?”
“Someone on the floor won an item for the same amount I bid and my bid was placed first, why didn’t I get the item?”
“The auctioneer gave my item to a friend of his on the floor for my bid amount”
These are all variations of the same complaint we have received over the years when someone loses an item to another bidder for their top bid amount. Please read the following so you understand why and how this happens.
Absentee bidders deserve to have their bids placed competitively, or at least that is how we operate. We do NOT generally, open bidding on people’s maximum absentee bid. There are exceptions to this rule however: if your bid is less than 80% of the low estimate, we will likely open at your maximum bid. If your bid is within or over the estimate we won’t, unless the next competitive absentee bid is an increment below yours.
Example A: You bid $900 on an item and another person placed a bid of $850 – we will open at your maximum bid of $900.00.
Example B: You bid $900 on an item and the next absentee bid below you is $800, we will open on the $900 bid – but at $850 because that is the next increment If a buyer on the floor, a telephone bidder or someone bidding on Proxibid or Amoskeag Live then bids $900, that bidder that placed the $900 absentee bid would lose the item for $900.
When the customer states that their bid was placed first and should take priority, that is only true as it applies to the other absentee bids. This isn’t because we have a preference as to who buys an item, our preferred buyer of each and every item we sell is the one person willing to pay the most for the item being sold – regardless of the bidding method they are using. It seems almost without exception that when an internet bidder loses an item to a “floor bidder” they either infer or outright say that we did something unethical and disenfranchised them as a bidder. Let me assure everyone that that has NEVER happened. Bids are placed and executed fairly and sometimes this means that your bid ties. So, it is actually the exact opposite of unethical, it is the act of treating the bidder fairly and not making them pay their top bid that causes the tie. This is how we choose to execute our absentee bids which we feel is fair and equitable. Tie bids are nothing new, we have a remedy for the tie which we have been using for our entire 22-year history with bidders who bid via our live catalogs. If you don’t want to lose an item in the case of a tie, you can place a “+” after your bid which authorizes us to bid one extra bid if a tie occurs.
Example C: You bid $900+ on an item and the next absentee bid is $800, we open on your bid at $850, another bidder bidding live bids $900, we then bid $950 on your behalf and this is your maximum bid – in order to lose the item someone must now bid $1000. Customers who bid directly through our catalogs have been using “+” bids since 1997.
Presently our Amoskeag Live system does not allow users to enter a plus bid, they need to be entered by an administrator here at our office. So, if you wish to enter bids with the “+”, you must submit bid sheets to us and we will enter those bids into the system on your behalf. We have our software people researching a solution for this so that in the future you can enter your own “+” bids.
Live online bids accepted at a higher amount
“I clicked to bid $1000 but my bid was accepted at $1100!?”
Again, I wish to remind readers how swiftly the bidding works and how quickly these bids were coming in. However, there is a fair bit of technology involved here and there could be some type of delay somewhere between a customer clicking in California and the bid reaching our system. We had a customer complain that this happened and when we reviewed the bid log, 15 seconds passed between the $1000 bid being entered into the system and the $1100 bid coming in. We then watched video from the sale and the auctioneer called many times for $1100 and the live bid came in late, just in time. We cannot control how long it takes for someone’s bid to get from their system to our system. Someone bidding in a live auction remotely via the internet should not be surprised if something like this happens on occasion. As we have said for years, there is no perfect replacement for sitting in the audience at a live auction, every method of remote bidding presents the chance something could go wrong, these chances are generally very small, but they do exist.
How the heck do you pronounce Amoskeag?
Unless you are a Penacook Indian or speak Algonquin, the pronunciation of Amoskeag might escape you (actually an English bastardization of “Namoskeag”), “Amoskeag”, is pronounced “Am-OH-Skeg”. As-mentioned, it is derived from the Penacook word “Namoskeag,” which roughly translates as “good fishing place” or “place of many fish”. Here, at the North end of the city, the Merrimack River dropped about 50 feet at the Namoskeag Falls (now largely underwater). Native American tribes in the region visited these falls due to the plentiful migration of sturgeon, alewife, and salmon, which were easily fished in the rapids as the fish ascended the falls. It was largely a place of truce, where tribes could fish for these protein-rich species after the long months of winter privation. Significant native settlements were sited near the falls, particularly on the high bluffs overlooking them on the east side of the Merrimack River, along-which our offices are located.
What is your commission rate? I don’t see anything on your website…
At Amoskeag Auction we quote commission on a collection-by-collection, case-by-case basis. We can quote a single commission rate for the entire collection, or can quote a sliding scale in-which commission rate is lower for more costly items, and is slightly higher for items of lesser value. The base commission rate for firearms is 20%, but as in all things, as dollar value goes up, commission rate comes down; as with most houses, on particularly valuable and important collections, we charge NO sellers commission (0%).
How do I know my gun won’t sell for twenty bucks?
It’s a part of the auction mystique, that everyone who attends, or winds up bidding in a sale hopes for that elusive “super bargain” where they bid on an arm that they have some special intel about, and get it for only pennies on the dollar. Like the fellow who is walking around the gun show with no firearms knowledge but with hundred dollar bills falling out of his pockets, this is a myth. That fellow was fleeced long ago, and the firearms market is so loaded with astute buyers these days that there are no rare arms selling for pennies on the dollar, because all the other potential buyers missed that item. It just doesn’t happen. Occasionally the more mundane item will slip through, and may bring slightly soft pricing, it can happen. But we here at Amoskeag live by the old axiom “a bargain is OK, thievery is not.” This means simply put, that when an item is offered, even completely without reserve,(as nearly all of our items are) that if there were no bids, or only extremely low bids on an item, our auctioneer is going to open that item at a percentage of the catalog’s low estimate….to protect the interests of the consignor. If there is no advance on that bid, the item will “no-sell”. If there IS an advance on the bid, the item will indeed sell. Is it possible that the item could sell under estimate? Why certainly, but only just…..the auctioneer is not going to wholesale your cherished items for less than 65-70% or so of the low estimate, unlike some houses that habitually clear items out at below half of their low estimates. In so-doing, we STILL have an exceptional sell-through rate. But we are protecting our valued consignor’s interests.
How do you come up with the estimates on the items you sell?
In addition to the many published references that are available commercially, we rely on watching market trends, and actual post-sale pricing from our, and other, auction houses, across the country. Published references are wonderful, informative and very helpful, however a number of them are very low on some firearms pricing, while being completely off-in-left-field on other pricing. Our catalogers closely monitor what goes on nationally on the auction circuit, follow ACTUAL sales both at auction and on-line, and take into account what folks are offering on the tables with “the gun show mark-up”. Real pricing and real actual sales are chiefly where we draw our pre-sale estimates from, and take into account the time of year (some arms are seasonally cyclical, others are not), other large collections that have been recently marketed and a myriad of other factors that will affect pricing on different genres of arms.
Will you folks come get my stuff?
HECK YEAH! Amoskeag Auction Company travels across the entire United States picking up consignments and collections. If the collection is large enough or valuable enough we will make you a special trip. If there are only a few items or modest value involved, we will add you to our pick-up list and stop by on one of our trips to or from additional pick-ups and collect your consignment. WE can generally let you know a few weeks in advance when we will be in your area and schedule the pick-up on our way through.
How much will it cost me for a pick-up?
Amoskeag Auction Co does not charge additional fees for pick-up, just like the many other services we offer as a part of our commission. There are NEVER any hidden or additional charges. We will merely incorporate you into one of our many cross-country runs and make the pick up at a mutually agreeable time. Missed a run? Not to worry, we do a lot of travelling, and chances are we will be through again fairly soon, and will keep you on our radar.
If I consign a modern firearm, and for some reason it doesn’t sell, can I just pick up the item and take it?
Well, yes, after you fill out the appropriate Federal paperwork is the short answer. Even though you own the item, Federal Law dictates that you need to do a background check to take possession of your modern long arm. In the case of a modern handgun, you would need to be a resident of New Hampshire, otherwise the arm will need to be shipped to a dealer in your state, where they will then do the appropriate Federal and or State background checks. Obviously this applies to individuals and not federally licensed dealers or C&R holders who have an actual C&R arm consigned.
I purchased a lot of parts in the silent auction, why do I need to do a background check?
If there is an item, like an action, frame or receiver in the parts lot, BATFE considers that part, to be a modern firearm, and paperwork is required. If you wished only the parts in that lot, merely notify Amoskeag Auction and we can retain said frame or receiver, shipping or delivering the balance of the “non-gun” parts to you directly.