Online Bidding Explained

Thank you for your interest in online auctions with A&M Auctioneers and Appraisers. Online bidding is the future of personal property & real estate auctions; it allows prospective buyers to bid from the comfort of their own home, while still maintaining the competitive nature of a traditional auction. Below are some common questions regarding the Online Auction process. We hope that this will help you familiarize yourself with the system. If you have questions we haven’t answered below, feel free to give us a call! (410) 835-0384.

Types of Online Auctions:

  1. Live Online Auctions/Simulcast Auctions – See Explanation at Bottom!
  2. Online Only Auctions – See Explanation at Bottom!
  3. Online Absentee Bid Auctions – See Explanation at Bottom!

How do I register?

  1. View the www.AMauctions.com website. Click the Online Auctions Tab. Current auctions will be displayed on the screen. You will see a button for the Catalog, Registration and Auction Details.
  2. The Auction Details will contain the terms and conditions of the Auction. You will be required to check a box during registration agreeing to the terms and conditions. If you have any questions or if any of the information is unclear to you, please contact us.
  3. Click “Register” button on the page. It will pull up a Bidder Login Box. If you have registered before please type in your User Name and Password. You will then be taken into the bidding area of the auction. If you are a new user there is a link below that says “Click here if you are a new bidder”.
  4. The first step is to verify a valid email address. Each account must have a valid unique email address.
  5. Please type in the email address and confirm the email address. The click the “Check Email” button.
  6. The system will check that the email address provided is not being used.
  7.  Fill out all of the required information on the form accurately and in in its entirety. You will need to enter a Unique Username that is not being used and Password. Confirm the password. Check your desired account options and click the “Create New Account” button. A welcome screen will show that your account had been created.
  8. Please maintain your Username and Password in a safe place. You will need this to log in later.
  9. Click the “OK” button. This will take you to the credit card screen.
  10. Click the “Add/Edit Payment Options” Button. A box will ask if you want to leave the page. This takes you into the secure area in your account to record your Credit Card information. Click the “Leave Page” button.
  11. This will open up your Payments Methods under your account. Please enter the required information. And click the “Save Payment Information Button”.
  12. A box will appear showing that the payment method has been saved. Click “OK”
  13. Click the “Return to Registration Button”. At this point you will be registering for this specific Auction. Under the Payment Method Verification click the circle for the card you just entered. You can send a message to the auctioneer. I.E. Tell him that you would like to pay cash when you pick the items up. View the Terms and Conditions. Check the box that says “By checking here you acknowledge that you have read and accept the terms and conditions.”
  14. Click “Submit Registration” Button. A box will appear that says that you have been successfully registered. Click “OK”.
  15. You now will be in the bidding area of the website. Good luck!.

We highly recommend that you DO NOT wait until the last minute to register to bid. While you may wait to place your bid at a later time, by registering in advance, you can feel rest assured that you understand the bidding tools.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions as all sales are final and irrevocable. The terms of sale are non-negotiable. Good luck and good bidding!

Registration at the auction (online and/or in person) finalizes each bidder’s agreement to the terms and conditions of sale as stated in the Contract and its Addenda which are incorporated by reference into your bidding. Do not bid until you have read the terms and conditions. In order to bid on the auction items, all Bidders must be signed up as Members of amauctions.com and register to bid on the specific property in question.


Why do you need my credit card information?

Just like with a live auction, we must verify that you have funds available to make a purchase. Your credit card information is kept secure; we do not share this information. We will run an authorization (not a charge) for a predetermined amount stated in the terms. Once the credit card company has approved this authorization, we will then grant your account permission to begin bidding. In the event that you are a winning bidder, we will charge purchased items on the credit card on file in Personal Property Auctions.

How do I bid?

Once you have completed the registration process and have your secure bidder number and password, select the auction you wish to bid on. Click the large button that says “Click Here to Bid Now.” Once the new page has opened you may type in your bid amount to place, and if you would like, a maximum bid amount. Then scroll down to type in your bidder number and password. Click “Submit Bids.”

Please carefully review that the information you have entered for accuracy before submitting bids. Once you submit the bid, the bid cannot be canceled and is binding.

Do I have to pay any fees to participate in an Online Auction?

No, you are not charged any fees to participate. However, to register to bid, you will have to provide credit card information so we can run the listed authorization amount.

Do I need to register for each Online Auction?

No. Once you have registered with us your account will remain active. You would only need to log in with your User Name and Password that was created during the registration process. Each auctions terms will vary so when bidding in an auction you will have to accept the terms and conditions for that particular auction.

How do I know if I am winning a lot?

When viewing the online auction, you will see your name at the top of the form. Hover over your name and a drop down menu will appear. Click on the current bids and you can see the status of your current bids.

What if I get outbid just before the lot closes?

Most of our online only auctions are set to “soft close.” This means that if someone bids in the last 3 minutes before the items closes the bidding will be extended by “X” minutes (Normally 3-5 minutes) so you will be have additional time to place another competing bid, just as you would at an auction in person. Note: You would have to be viewing the auction item as it’s closing to notice this.

What is soft close?

Most of our online auctions are set to “soft close.” This means that you will be given an additional amount or predetermined time to place another competing bid, just as you would at an auction in person. Normally this time frame will be from 1-2 minutes. If a bid is placed within the specified amount of minutes (Normally 1 Minute) before the auction closing time of that item, the closing time of the auction will automatically extend by that specified time to accept bids from when the last bid was placed. This allows all participants to have an equal and fair chance of competitive bidding, just as they would at an auction taking place in person.

“Your Bid” vs. “Your Maximum Bid”

By placing your maximum bid, the system will automatically place bid increments for you, in pre-determined (see auction terms) amounts. This will increase your bid if your original bid is out bid by another bidder. This speeds up the auction process, and assists you with your bidding. If another bidder bids higher than your maximum bid, the system will stop increasing your bids, and you will have to increase your maximum bid amount in order to continue competitive bidding.

Can I cancel an unwanted bid?

No, bids cannot be cancelled once they have been placed. By placing a bid you are entering into a binding contract. There are no refunds or bid cancellations. The registered bidder is personally responsible, legally and financially, for all auction items bid upon, whether representing one’s self or acting as an agent. An online bid accepted at public auction is a legal and binding contract to purchase. Any bidder who fails to consummate a purchase will be banned from bidding at all future seller auction events and may be pursued for civil and/or criminal violations.

How do I know if I won a lot after it has closed?

The auction will be listed as “Past Auction.” When you log in and view the “Current Bids” that should show your winning bids. You will receive an email from Allen & Marshall Auctioneers and Appraisers that will confirm items won.

What is the bid history?

A bid history lists the amount of each bid, and the bidder number who placed the bid. This allows you to view the increments and number of bids placed for each property.

What is a reserve price? How do I know if a lot has a reserve price? Will I know when the reserve price is met?

A reserve price is the minimum the property will sell for. Not all auctions have a reserve bid, but for our online auctions which do have reserve bids, the price is noted on the auction listing. Once the reserve bid has been met- this listing will read “Reserve Met” and the auction will convert to an absolute auction- meaning it is guaranteed to sell.

What if I cannot bid online?

Please contact our office, and we will be happy to assist you through the bidding process. 

I registered for the website, but why can’t I place a bid?

Allen & Marshall Auctioneers and Appraisers must first clear your account and authorize you to bid. This process can take up to one full business day. If you have not heard from a member of our team within this time frame, please give our office a call and we will be happy to look into your account.

Can I inspect the Real Estate/Personal Property prior to bidding?

Yes! We offer Preview times for our Personal Property Auctions and Open Houses for our Real Estate properties. Contact our office to arrange a viewing of the property that interests you.

Are there any documents I can review prior to bidding?

All documents received by the auction company for each property are posted to our online listing when possible. Please carefully review these documents prior to bidding.

Will I be required to demonstrate proof of funds to bid?

Yes. To register to bid you must submit a valid credit card which will be used to authorize a predetermined amount in order to qualify to bid.

What if I have a real estate agent or broker?

Allen & Marshall Auctioneers and Appraisers takes pride in the fact that we work hand in hand with many realtors. We believe that by working with our fellow realtors we can create mutually beneficial real estate solutions.

What is the Buyer’s Premium?

A buyer’s premium is a percentage paid by the buyer to the auction company on top of the winning price. This amount varies per property and is listed in the auction terms for each property. Please carefully note the buyer’s premium before placing your bid.

Do you publish auction results?

We typically list our recently sold auctions online under the “Recent Sales” portion of our website. Prices are generally not disclosed until after the sale has been finalized.

Can I choose my own title company?

Yes you may. We typically can recommend a title attorney who is familiar with our company or the properties we are selling, but you are more than welcome to select one of your choice.


Types of Auctions Explained

  1. Live Online Auctions/Simulcast Auctions
    Explanation: A Live Online Auction is a combination of a Live and Internet Auction. You can bid live and onsite at the Auction or you can bid live from your computer at home or work. An online clerk will relay your bids to the Auctioneer and you will bid against floor bidders who are at the auction and other online bidders. Typically you can bid via computer two ways. You can leave prebids (Like an Absentee Bid. Described below) or you can bid live over the computer. The Auction will be set to live approx. 30 minutes prior to the start of the auction. Once you have logged in and the bidding begins you will be able to follow along as the items are sold. The screen will automatically update to the next lot as the item progresses. Once an item comes up that you are interested in you will be able to follow the bidding in real time. The lot will reflect what the current prebid amount is on the particular item. For example if a pre bid was left on your item and the current starting bid is $50 the Auctioneer will ask for the next bid increment. If he asks for $60 the online clerk will update the asked bid and your screen would show that the requested bid is $60. If you are willing to pay $60 you would click bid. The clerk would relay your bid to the Auctioneer. He will then ask for $70. The online clerk will update the asked bid to notify other online bidders the current asking amount. Your computer will show that you have the high bid until another bidder bids. If a person on the floor bids $70. The online clerk will update the asked bid amount and your computer will show that you are no longer the high bidder. It will ask if you would like to bid again at $80. This process will continue until there is no further competitive bidding. If you clicked $80 and no one else bids than you would win the item for $80 plus taxes & buyer premium.
  2. Online Only Auctions
    Explanation: An online only auction is an auction that is held online only and there is no live in person bidding available. Bidding can be done on most current computers with an internet connection.The Online Only Auction will feature a Start Date/Time & will be open up until the start time of the Auction. Typically the auction will open a few weeks before the Live Start Date & Time. For our example the Auction will open for Bids on Monday June the 2nd at 12 PM EST. The live online auction will start on Wednesday June 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. This will be a cataloged auction with each item having a lot #. You are interested in Lot #10 a Roseville Pottery vase. At anytime between June 2nd and June 16th you could register, log in and place a bid on lot #10. You will have the option of putting in a starting and maximum bid. Other bidders can bid on the same item at any time. If you put a Starting bid of $10 on the item someone can come along and leave a bid of $12.50 and knock you out. If you put a starting bid of $10 and a maximum of $50 the computer would bid for you up to your maximum bid. If competitive bidding occurs the computer would keep bidding for you until it reached $50. At that point you would be out. You can still log back in and re-bid a higher amount. This process of bidding occurs up until the time your lot is scheduled to close. Most auctions will feature a staggered ending and feature a soft closing. For the staggered ending a lot will end every 2-5 minutes depending on the Auction settings. For our example let’s use 2 minutes. Lot #1 would start closing at 3:00 PM on the 16th. Lot #2 will close at 3:02 PM. Lot 3 will close at 3:04 PM and so on. Lot 10 would be scheduled to close at 3:20 PM. If you log in at say 2:50 PM you will notice a link to enter the live auction. Lots will start closing at the prescribed times. To watch your lot you would wait until the closing time. The screen will automatically update. Lots that are closing will drop off the screen and the next 5-6 upcoming lots will scroll across the screen. Once your lot becomes visible the computer will show you if you are in the high bidder position or not. If not you can bid at that time and increase your bid. Your lot will keep progressing to the left of the screen as items close. If someone outbids you in the last 3 minutes before your lot closes the computer will automatically extend the bidding time on that lot only by 3 minutes. This protects you and provides you time to place additional bids. You would have to be online and paying attention to see this. This process will continue as long as there is competitive bidding. If you are the high bidder and the bidding ends for example at $75 and no one else bids you win the item for $75 plus taxes and buyer premium.
  3. Online Absentee Bid Auctions
    Explanation: An online Absentee Bid Auction is an auction that is held live at either our facility or onsite at a home or business. This type of auction will be cataloged and each item will have a lot #. The auction will have a starting date + a stop date and time that bid’s must be received by. Typically bids will be due anywhere from a few hours prior and up to 1 day before the start of the live auction. Through the online bidding platform you can leave bids on lot numbers that you are interested in. For example if Lot #25 is a 1 Carat Diamond ring. You are willing to pay up to $1,000 for it. You would log in and on the bidding screen you could place a starting bid of $25 and a maximum bid of $1,000. If several other people place bids on the same item before the bids are due for example lets say the absentee bidding got to $800. That bid will be downloaded from the internet and uploaded into our Auction Software. When lot #25 is sold the computer will show that we have an $800 Absentee bid. The Auctioneer would open the bidding with that $800 and ask the next bid. If someone bids $850 the Computer shows us that you are willing to bid again and you would be put in for $900. The Auctioneer would ask for the next bid of $950. If no one else bids you would win the bid for $900 on the Lot + Taxes and Buyer premium. If the bidding didn’t stop and the ring ended at $1,200 the computer would have stopped bidding for you at your $1,000 bid due to your maximum bid being exceeded.

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