stokes logo
Complete Auction and Sale Management Services
fadedline

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.

Preview
  You can actually start previewing here on our website by viewing photos of the items you may be interested in.  To find the photos, go to the top of this page, click on the auction calendar link and then scroll down on that page to the auction you are interested in and click on that link.  There will be links to photos on the individual auction pages.

  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
  From the information you obtained during preview you can begin research on the items or vehicles you are most interested in.

Vehicles:  Sources you can use for research include vin number searches (AutoCheck or Carfax) to verify miles or past history about the vehicle.
  If the vehicle is less than 10 years old mileage will be transferred as "actual mileage," "excess of mechanical limits," or "not the actual mileage."  All other vehicles will be listed as "exempt."
  Title "Branding" is determined by the state issuing the title.  Typical brands found on titles are:  "rebuilt," "salvage history," "flood," etc.  Stokes Auction will disclose brands that are listed on titles and known mechanical issues told to us by the seller. 
   Additional research buyers may wish to pursue is determining the market value of the vehicle.  Resources available are completed auctions on eBay, for-sale catalogs & listings, and pricing guides such as the NADA or Kelley Blue Books.  Keep in mind, these are strictly guides and may not be a true reflection on today's market in our area and that vehicle values are also determined by condition, miles and desirability.

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.

Register
  To register at a Stokes Auction you will need an ID. There is no cost to register.  Go to our cashier window and ask for a bid card.  You will need to fill out the lower section with your name, address, ID and sign agreeing to the auction terms listed on the card.  The cashier will then verify your ID and hand you your portion of the bidder’s card.  This will have a number assigned to you for the day. 

The Auction & Bidding
  Know the timeframe the items you are interested in will go up for auction.
Below is a typical timeframe for an auction held at Stokes Auction Acres:
   9:00 a.m.:                         Lower Building:  Tools, shop equipment, riding mowers, firearms
  10:00 a.m.                        Outside, lower lot:  Nursery plants, trees, shrubs, lumber, tractor implements
  11:00 a.m.:                       Lower Building, driven past the auction block:  Vehicles, boats, heavy equipment
  11:00 a.m.:                       Outside between two buildings:  Garden & outdoor type items, yard toys, household
  12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m.:     Upper building / gallery:  Antiques, collectibles, furniture, jewelry, coins
  12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m.:     Lower building:  Household, business equipment, all other

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.

Securing Items
During some of our auctions the items will be handed directly to you.  These will be most all the items in the lower building and outside.  Once the item is sold to your number, you are solely responsible for it.  If you plan to purchase a large amount of items, it may be best to have someone with you to place the items into your vehicle parked in our gated parking area.  Unpaid for items will not be allowed outside the gates.  If you leave items unsecured, you leave them at your own risk.  Large, heavy items will be marked or tagged with your bid number and depending on the location, can remain in place unless otherwise stated.

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 in Gorst , WA .  They however must be paid for in full auction day.

Checking out
Vehicles, boats & titled equipment:  If you were high bidder on a vehicle you will have been given a pink ticket.  When you are finished bidding you may pay for your new vehicle, boat or titled equipment at our title office in the lower building.  There may be a line but we typically have 3- 4 title clerks working at once.  Later in the day you may find the title office locked or closed.  At that point you will need to pay for your vehicle at the office you obtained your bidders card from.  We usually have one window open for title work later in the day. 

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. 

Picking up your purchases after you have paid
Vehicles:  If you have paid for a vehicle and the vehicle auction is still in progress you will need to take your receipts to the crew watching the keyboard on the lot.  They will ask to see your receipt and hand you the key to your new vehicle.  The keyboard may be near the caboose (office) or on the lot by the unsold cars.  If the vehicle auction is over, the title clerks will have the keys and be able to pass them out at the same time you do your paperwork.  You are now welcome to take your car home.  Our gate guards may ask to see your receipt and verify plates.

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.