Why Choose Amoskeag?
Amoskeag Auction Company is a specialty firearms auction company based in New Hampshire. Our experience, knowledge and location have allowed us to create a highly advantageous environment for marketing collectible firearms at auction. This environment coupled with our high level of integrity and rigorous work ethic have secured our position as one of the oldest, most experienced and successful major fine arms auction houses in the nation.
Knowledge & Experience
Jason Devine started in the firearms auction business over 30 years ago and has had a fervor for fine arms his entire life. Amoskeag has worked diligently to employ like-minded individuals, all with their own specialties and passions. When one has a passion, the knowledge follows closely behind as, through the years, experience and knowledge grow, something which cannot be readily taught nor printed in a book. We draw from our years of experience and our close relationships with other renowned experts in their fields of firearms collecting.
Reputation, Trust & Integrity
Amoskeag Auction Co has worked very hard over the last twenty years to foster – and to maintain – sound relationships with individual consignors, trusted dealers, well-known collectors and many respected authorities in the collecting fraternity. In a business with a very long memory, where trust is built slowly, but fractured in seconds, Amoskeag has always stuck to our roots, grounded in honesty, transparency and true partnership with our consignors. We enjoy an unblemished reputation in the firearms auction business and work very hard to maintain that position, never compromising the ethics and family values that our firm’s foundation is built upon.
Located along the historic Merrimack River, in Manchester’s “Mile of Mills”, we are located on the third floor of an electronically secured building. The twelve foot windows provide ample ambient light for true ease of viewing and inspection of the fine arms being offered. Manchester is very convenient to all major airports, Manchester-Boston Airport here in-town, and is only one short hour north from Boston’s Logan Airport.
We are very fortunate to be located in the “Live Free or Die” State of New Hampshire. “The last bastion of freedom in the Northeast”, the state is very firearms friendly, with no draconian laws affecting the sale of firearms or accessories.
The State of New Hampshire has absolutely no state or local sales tax to affect the “bottom line” of a potential purchaser’s sale price, which would also adversely affect the amount of “end dollars” they are able to spend on the objects of their desire. Additionally, New Hampshire is one of only nine states in the nation with NO capital gains taxes and there is no state income tax to contend with either. Sellers can rest easy knowing their settlement check is all theirs.
Friendly Terms for buyers
AAC remains one of the most buyer-friendly houses in the business. Without the aforementioned sales taxes, and with a buyer’s premium that still remains at 15% for non-credit card purchases, our buyers can spend more out-of-pocket dollars on the guns they want to take home….also leaving more dollars in the consignors pocket, not in the auction houses pocket. There is a discounted buyer’s premium for cash and check purchases, with credit card users paying only a modest 2.5 percent more. Using Amoskeag’ s website bidding service costs you nothing additional, yet we still list with on-line bidding platforms if it is your wish to utilize their services.
Friendly Terms for Sellers
Our commission rates are among the most competitive in the business and are all inclusive with absolutely NO additional or hidden charges to the consignor. Once a contract is signed, your commission rate WILL NOT CHANGE. We can tailor a single rate to your consignment, or work with a sliding commission scale which will encompass very preferential rates for more costly arms while maintaining the standard modest commission rates for the more common items being marketed. Additionally, our consignors are paid a mere TWENTY BUSINESS DAYS after the sale. This is the swiftest payment term in the firearms auction business… putting YOUR money in YOUR pocket faster than houses with 30 and even 45 day payment terms.
We won’t lot up your guns!
Amoskeag Auction tries very hard to give all consignors, large and small, the same fair shake. Often, houses will take arms of modest or median value and lot them in groups of four and five. We feel this is a disservice to the consignor as, a fellow who wishes a particular gun, may have little or no interest in the other firearms being offered in that lot. A man who has a pre-determined budget for an arm of his desire, may not be able or willing to spend a few thousand more on additional arms in-which he has no interest, and rightfully he should not be forced to. Such lots tend to invite only dealer bids, who are interested in purchasing the lot for re-sale. While we absolutely love our dealers, we know that they are buying for resale and rightfully so, must make a profit on the arms they are acquiring. Therefore they have a wider margin they must work with to acquire arms for their stock; this rarely equates to higher sale prices for the consignor. All of our sales are our most important sales, with the same attention to detail in each lot, the same lavish photography for every lot in the live auction and the same fair shake for every consignor. No arms are designated for more “special sales” while others get relegated to more regional sales, we swing for the fence with every lot offered. There is even a silent auction venue we have for arms which may have problems, either mechanical, or missing parts or with condition issues, but each gets a full accurate catalog description which includes a bore description.
The ASPPL trap
Oddly, there are auction houses that will offer you a sliding commission scale based on the “average sale price per lot” of the arms consigned. Often these houses easily accommodate what some might consider slightly high reserves on the items being consigned. While setting a reserve at an amount that it is reasonably certain a lot will sell, can be a sound practice, setting one a bit too high, and then in turn CHARGING the consignor a fee for that reserve when the item does not sell, is not, we feel, a forthright business practice. These “no-sell” items are then also counted AGAINST your “average sale price per lot” as being sold for zero dollars, a practice which drastically drags down the “average price per lot”; and when this practice is used to calculate your commission rate post-sale, can end up with very sad news for a consignor thinking he was being charged a ten percent commission, but who instead winds up paying fifteen percent commission, or in some cases, even more.
Amoskeag Auction extensively promotes your valued consignments in all major gun collecting papers, both those which reach the general public and “club journals” such as the Winchester Arms Collectors Assoc., The Rampant Colt, the Smith and Wesson Arms Collectors Assoc., The Parker Pages and other specialty collectors association publications. We enjoy tremendous cross-over advertising in many national antique journals which reach collectors of all genres and have many on-line publications which we support with our advertising as well. We travel the country attending major gun shows promoting our services and displaying merchandise in upcoming sales, as well as picking up consignments from individuals who wish to meet us at the shows for a consultation. Items are listed on the website as they come in so individuals can keep an eye out for arms they have been searching for.
Industry’s most detailed descriptions
At AAC, we pride ourselves in our detailed, accurate descriptions, all of which include bore condition, an aspect which we know is very important to most purchasers of collectible and investment grade arms, and indispensable to guns being bought as “users” for the hunter or target shooter. Each cataloger does their very best to provide an accurate description of metal surfaces, including any degree of original finish on the arm, but also any defects noted, whether they be small handling marks, more moderate abrasions, or perhaps light surface oxidation or more prominent defects such as pitting. The wood or synthetic surfaces of stocks as well are given detailed scrutiny and any defects or condition issues, good or bad, are brought to light. We delight in selling arms with special provenance or connection to prominent people or events, detailing such connections and providing narratives of the special folk or happening that brings the arm to that next level of collector interest. While many houses will not stand behind their descriptions, proffering that they are only the “opinion” of the contractor hired to catalog that arm, Amoskeag consistently strives for accuracy, and our full-time in-house catalogers know that our bidders rely on their eyes and expertise to accurately describe that which they cannot view. We are constantly complimented on the items bought by absentee purchasers, and in the very rare case that a discrepancy arises, Amoskeag does everything within our power to rectify that shortcoming to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
Long viewing period
Our sale catalogs ship out two weeks prior to the sale, in the case of single day auctions, and a full three weeks prior to the sale in the case of two-day sales. As soon as these catalogs go out, we are open for preview! This gives potential bidders an inordinately long time to view, consider, plan bidding strategy, and if necessary, even re-view the items on-which they are bidding. Our preview is not relegated merely to day-time business hours, there are opportunities for evening viewing prior to the sale as well, and the sale hall is open a full three hours prior to hammer time for pre-viewers wishing to inspect arms on sale day.