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Everything you wanted to know about auction bingo lingo–part 2

Welcome back to “Everything you ever wanted to know about Auction Bingo Lingo! As promised, here are a few more words that you may see and hear at live auctions.

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Terms & Conditions: Since I mentioned “Terms & Conditions” in “As Is” in the last blog , I figured I better define that. The terms and conditions are a list of the rules of the auction and certain aspects of the purchase/sale agreements. This list may include things such as items are saying that items are sold as-is, stating buyer’s premiums to be charged, the amount of sales taxes that must be charged, what kinds of payment are accepted, and when items need to be removed.

 

Lot: A lot doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of stuff. (See how I did that there? It’s ok…go ahead and laugh. I did.). A lot is simply an item up for auction. Each item, or group of items, is given a lot number. This helps keep the clerking easier and helps the flow the of the auction. If a catalog has been printed, or the auction is on-line, it also allows you to also keep track of which items you are wanting to bid on. Sometimes things are put into a box lot. This just means that a group of things have been put together in one lot, often placed in a box and will usually fetch just one price for the entire box.

 

Choice: Sometimes an auctioneer will announce that she is going to allow the next winning bidder their choice of items/lots on a table. There might be 10 different things on a table and the bidding starts. The winning bidder is allowed to chose what they want from the table, and how many items they want to purchase for that price. Say Bill is the high bidder at $15. Bill chooses the box of jewelry and a fishing reel. Bill pays $15 for EACH item he chose making a total of $30. The auctioneer can either let the rest of the bidders make a choice of items for $15, or start the bidding all over again.

 

Times the money: The auctioneer will announce that this lot is a times the money lot. This means that if there are 4 items in a lot (say 4 chairs), and you are the high bidder at $20, you will be paying 4 TIMES the money ($20 in this case), or $80 total.

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Free Space: Just kidding…there is no such thing as a free space in an auction, just in Bingo. Although you don’t usually have to pay to attend the auction. So that’s free.There’s that.

 

Preview: This is a chance for people to look at the items in person before the auction starts. Take time to look the item over, take notes, and make some decisions about how much you really want to win that item (and you know you do!).

 

Clerk: This is the person who is frantically trying to record who (which number) bought what (which lot) for how much (money). It can get crazy when choice is being auctioned.

 

Buyer’s Premium: This is an additional percentage added to the winning high bid. This is not a tax. See one of our previous blogs for more detailed information on Buyer’s Premiums.

 

Collusion: Sometimes two people will collude (or get together and make an agreement) to not bid against each other in an attempt to keep the bidding low so they can buy it for a cheaper price. It can also go the other way where someone will try to inflate the price by being a “fake” bidder.

 

Ringer: A ringer is a staff member that is bringing the next lot or item up for auction to the front. He or she will hold it up, sometimes giving a comment about it, and helps to identify bidders on the floor. This is not to be confused with a dead ringer…yes, that was a joke. You can laugh.

 

No Reserve: This means that there is no minimum price that the auctioneer must get for an item. Sometimes, however, for items that are known to be worth more or the seller needs to receive a certain amount of money, there will be a reserve price set (only known to the auctioneer), and if the bidding does not reach that set amount, you won’t win the item, even if you were the high bidder. Kind of like calling “Bingo” and then realizing that you still have a spot empty on that diagonal row.

 

Hammer Price: This is the winning bid amount that will be recorded by the clerk once she hears the auctioneer’s “SOLD”. In an auction house, the auctioneer will have a have hammer or gavel that he will use to pound the podium as another attention getter to let people know that lot is done and you’re moving on to the next.

 

Pass: This is when the auctioneer makes a judgement call to pass, or skip over, a lot for any number of reasons, usually the reserve has not been met, or no one seems interested in bidding.

 

Provenance: This is just a big fancy word for being able to provide or prove the history of an item. For example, it’s one thing to say that your grandmother’s hand mirror which was made in France by Colbert and came over on the Mayflower, and another thing to have the documents that back up that history. Those documents can mean the difference between an item being worth several thousand dollars or only worth $10.

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Well, are you ready to play the auction game now? I hope so. If by some chance I missed a word that you would like to know more about or just plain don’t understand, please ask, and I can try to explain it for you. Because, you know, it really is fun to get a “BINGO!” and bring home a prize. Even if you have to pay for it.

Everything you wanted to know about Auction Bingo Lingo–part 1

Everything you ever wanted to know about Auction Bingo.  I mean Lingo…

 

I remember one of the first auctions I ever went to. I was an adult. It was cold. It was drizzly. I was pregnant. I was tired of waiting. My husband was buying things that I saw no purpose for at all while waiting for the one thing he (note, he, not me) really came to the auction for. (“But it will look neat hanging up on the wall” he said…”Not in MY house”, I said”…)

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And then there was the lingo…

 

Sometimes it did feel like playing Bingo…Unless you know what B2, N34, free space, horizontal, diagonal, black out, and four corners mean, you can’t play Bingo. At least not well. Same with auctions. You know, the auctioneer calls out a lot and people start pulling out their bid cards. Instead of marking their cards with the item, they start raising their hands, nodding their heads, or yelling “Yep!” as the auctioneer rattles off a bunch of mumbly gobbledygook.  And then, when someone finally wins the item, it’s almost as if they got “Bingo!”. Some of them are so excited you would think they forgot they had to pay for the item later on. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment.
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So anyway, in the next couple of blogs, I’m going to help try make some sense out of some common auction lingo terminology, so that you, too, can play the game. Please note, that like in Bingo, these terms have been drawn and explained in no particular order.

 

Bid:  While this should be obvious, a bid is the amount of money you are willing to pay for an item. You will let the auctioneer know you are bidding by holding up your hand, number, nodding, or some other form of obvious communication. And I mean obvious. Because if the auctioneer doesn’t know you are bidding, how is he going to know to acknowledge your bid?

 

Absentee Bid/Absentee Bidder:  Ok, you know what a bid is, and you know what it means to be absent, right?  It means you’re not there. So an absentee bid is when you give the auction company the maximum amount you are willing to bid (and ultimately pay) for an item. Then someone from their staff bids on your behalf for that item, up to your max bid if necessary. So you’re bidding, but you’re absent. It’s like having a friend bid for you. We have a video here explaining more about absentee bids.

 

Bid Increment: This is the amount that a bid is raised after one bid has been accepted. The auctioneer has set increments in her head that she will jump to as a matter of course. Obviously, she could change her mind and jump the next bid a smaller amount ($5 instead of a $10 jump) depending on the audience and how the bidding on the floor is going.

 

Bid Card/Bid Number: When you check in to the auction (giving them your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address), you will be given a bid card with a number on it. This is your Bingo card, so to speak. Whenever you see something you want to bid on, you’ll raise this card (or some other obvious to the auctioneer signal) that you are bidding. When you win, the auctioneer needs to be able to see your number so the clerk can record that you won that item. Often people will bring along a pen or pencil and write on their bid cards the item they won and how much they paid for it.  This helps them to keep track of how many things they bought, and what their grand total will come close to being.

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Appraisal: When something has been appraised, you are given an estimated value for the item. Keep in mind that the price an item has been appraised at, might not be what it fetches at an auction.  For example, an auctioneer might say that he has seen a specific item go for upwards of $100, but depending on the auction, the item might only sell for $50. On the other hand, it might sell for $150.  It all depends on who wants it, and how badly they want it.

 

Auction Price:  This is the actual price an item sells for at an auction.

 

Chant:  This is when the auctioneer really gets going and lets numbers and words roll off his tongue as a part of the bidding process.  Usually you will hear the current bid price and the next bid increment being asked for (along with a few other words…real or otherwise…).  Don’t worry if you can’t understand all the words. Just listen for the prices and for the all important, “Going once, going twice, GONE (or SOLD!)!”.  Then you know you (or someone else) just won the Bingo game for that round.

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As Is:  Often as part of terms, you need to know that you are buying something “as is”, with no warranties or guarantees. This means simply that you are purchasing the item for the bid price in whatever condition it currently is in.  You can’t come back later and say, “hey, I thought it was in perfect condition. I didn’t notice that crack there,” and expect to get your money back. Kind of like saying “Bingo!” when you hear B7 but thought B11 was called. You aren’t guaranteed a Bingo…

 

Well, at this point, it’s time to take a short break to allow you to go get some food from the concession vendor (they’re the people selling food and drink at the auction). If you’re reading this at home, the vendor is your fridge. Stay tuned to our next blog for a few more terms that you can mark off on your Bingo Auction Lingo Card.