|Stokes Auction -
How our Auction Works & How to Bid
Auctions can be fun, fast, exciting and intimidating if you are not familiar with the process. Below are tips to help you through an entire auction day at Stokes Auction. Some of this information is listed more briefly under our FAQ's for Attending page.
Second, attend the auction preview to physically view and touch the items. If you are at an early preview, or have enough information off our website, you can begin researching your items. Write down pertinent information (vin, make, models, stamps, designs) and take photos that you can use for your research.
During preview you will notice items have been tagged with a number. This is a number assigned to the consignor so after the auction they are paid for their items.
Research & Estimating value
Vehicles: Sources you can use for research
include vin number searches (AutoCheck or Carfax) to verify miles or past
history about the vehicle.
Merchandise: Research you may wish to pursue will depend on the item. For modern items, it will be fairly easy to find retail values of similar products and then deduct for wear and tear to establish a value that feels right to you. For antiques and collectibles a bit more research may be needed. Look for comparable sales of like items on eBay's completed auctions. You might even be able to "Google" the item and find similar sold or for sale pieces. There are also many antique and collectible books and price guides that can be used. Keep in mind, these are strictly guides and may not be a true reflection on today's market and that merchandise values are also determined by condition and desirability.
Use the values you come up with to plan your auction purchases. Know how much you are willing to bid up to and stick to it. Also, keep in mind fees you will pay on top of your bid price: buyer’s premiums, sales tax and filing fees for vehicles.
The Auction & Bidding
Before the auction begins, secure a place to watch and bid. There is bleacher seating for the vehicle & boat auction and chairs available for bidders in our upper gallery. Many of the auction areas you may find yourself standing and following the auctioneer past the various lots.
When the item you want is coming up for bid, make sure your bid card is in your hand. The auctioneer or ringman may not easily recognize you as a bidder without this.
The first step in the auction process is the item or vehicle is brought into view of the bidders. Information regarding the lot number is given to the clerk verbally or via hand signs by the auctioneer or ringman. The auctioneer may briefly describe the object or in the case of vehicles will give a quick rundown of the year, make and other pertinent information. After that he will ask for a dollar amount. This first amount is typically a high value that may represent retail or high wholesale value. He will quickly drop the asking bid and once someone in the crowd bids, he will increase by increments determined by the value and bid. (i.e. a bid of $1000, may rise by $100 increments; where as a small item bid at $10 may rise at $2.50 increments).
When the auctioneer asks for the amount you are willing to pay, hold up your bid card. The auctioneer or ringman will acknowledge your bid by hand and by looking at you. If another bidder bids higher, they will come back to you and ask you for the next highest amount. Be ready to nod yes and hold your card up if your want to bid again or shake your head no with your card down if you are done. If you are the high bidder when the auctioneer announces "sold" he will come back you to and ask for your bid number. At that time, hold your card so he can view the number. He will call it out so the clerk can record it. All your winning bids will be assigned to your number by the auction clerk. If you are high bidder on a vehicle, boat or titled equipment, stay in your spot as you need to sign the clerking form and will be given a copy. It makes it easier for the ticket runner to find you if you don't move away.
Items that are sold in our upper
gallery and firearms are typically secured by our staff. These items are
tagged with your bid number. Smalls are taken into our bullpen and kept
with your other purchases until you check out. Larger pieces of furniture
will usually remain in the auction gallery. Firearms will not be released
auction day. Those have a separate processing handled by Boerner Firearms
When it is your turn to pay, hand the available clerk your pink copy. During this time the title clerk will prepare the Department of Licensing documents needed to transfer the vehicle into your name. She will ask for your driver’s license and your physical and mailing address if different. If the vehicle is not going into your name, the person whose name it will go into must be present along with their ID. There will be several forms to sign after the clerk fills them out. Do be sure if you have a different mailing address that this is noted so your registration and title will arrive to you.
Once the paperwork is completed, you will move to the cashier who will then collect the total due for your purchase(s). You may pay via cash, good local checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and debit cards. (NOTE: At some off-site auctions, we may not be able to accept bankcards. We use a wireless system and signal strength determines acceptance).
Merchandise, Antiques, Household, Tools, Non-titled equipment: All these items will be paid at the same windows where you obtained your bidders card. Any of the cashiers can help you. Very likely there will be a line that moves quickly. We have between 2-4 cashiers depending on the time of day. At the window the cashier will ask you for your bid number and will ask "what was the last item you purchased?" This is to verify that we have all the auction information entered into the computer prior to printing out your receipt. During the auction our ticket runners are continually taking sheets listing 10 items each to our computer operators. If all your items seem to be entered, the cashier will print your receipt. She may ask you to wait a short time if items are missing. Once the receipt is printed she will have you verify the purchases and collect the amount due. This is payable by cash, good local checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and debit cards.
up your purchases after you have paid
General Merchandise: If you have uncollected items that we have secured in our bull pen, take your receipt to the check-out tables and our staff will bring your purchases to you. We have some boxes and paper for wrapping but sometimes it may be nice to have your own sturdy boxes. Our staff will check off the items purchased as they are brought to you. Our staff will direct you if you have large items to be picked up. These can be removed as long as they do not interfere with the auction.