Alderfer Auction - Terminology


Abandoned Merchandise
Unpaid items still remaining at our Auction Center 30 calendar days after the auction date will be considered abandoned and will be consigned to a future auction without additional notice to the purchaser.

Absentee Bidding
For those unable to attend the auction, Alderfer’s offers the absentee bid service as a convenience to our patrons.  Alderfer’s will not be held responsible for error or failure to execute the bid(s).  Absentee bids must be in writing and a fifty dollar ($50) minimum bid is required per item.

CLICK HERE for the Absentee Bid Form

Absolute Auction
An auction where the property is sold to the highest qualified bidder with no limiting conditions or amount. The seller may not bid personally or through an agent. Also known as an “auction without reserve.”

An Appraisal is a formal, written reports and charged an hourly fee. Each appraisal report is written in compliance to the government standards of USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). See Valuation below for how it differs from an Appraisal.

As Is
Selling the property without warranties as to the current condition with all existing faults and imperfections. Buyers are solely responsible for examining and judging the property for their own protection. Otherwise known as “as is – where is” and “in its present condition.”

A method of selling property in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. 

Auction with Reserve or Minimum
An auction in which the seller or his agent reserves the right to accept or decline any and all bids. A minimum acceptable price may or may not be disclosed and the seller reserves the right to accept or decline any bid within a specified time.

A prospective buyer’s indication or offer of a price they are willing to pay to purchase property at auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.

Bidder Number
A buyer must register for a bidding number by giving name, address, phone number and identification acceptable to us. Please show your bidding number to the auctioneer after each purchase you make.

Bidder’s Choice or Buyer’s Choice
A method of sale whereby the successful high bidder wins the right to choose an asset or assets from a grouping of similar or like-kind assets. After the high bidder’s selection, the asset is deleted from the group, and the second round of bidding commences, with the high bidder in round two choosing an asset, which is then deleted from the group and so on, until all assets are sold. 

Buyers Premium

A Buyer’s Premium is a percentage of the “hammer price” and will be added to each purchase to reach the final sale price. Buyers premiums may vary according to the commodity and services provided. The final sale price is subject to applicable sales tax. Payment is required day of auction in cash, approved check, or accepted credit card (MasterCard, VISA, Discover, American Express and PayPal).

An individual employed by the auction firm to record what is sold and to whom it is sold and for what price.

The fee charged to the seller by the auctioneer for providing services, usually a percentage of the gross selling price of the personal property established by contract (the listing agreement) prior to the auction.

Conditions of Sale
The legal terms that govern the conduct of an auction, including acceptable methods of payment, terms, buyer’s premiums, possession, reserves and any other limiting factors of an auction. Usually included in published advertisements or announced by the auctioneer prior to the start of the auction, also known as “Terms & Conditions”.

Condition Report
A description of the imperfections of an object, particularly of the characteristics that might affect value. This is essential information for prospective bidders.

An agreement between two or more persons or entities which creates or modifies a legal relationship.

To enter a contract with the auction company to sell assets at public auction or private sale for a fee based on a commission/percentage of the final sale price.

Presale estimate of value established to stimulate presale interest.

Fair Market Value
Price established through the competitive bidding process with a willing buyer and seller, in a well-advertised auction.

Home and Decor Auction / Estate Sales Auction
Auction of property or properties owned by multiple sellers (living or deceased), offered through a common promotional campaign and auctioned in a single event. Takes place on the premises of Alderfer Auction or specified location. 

Hammer Price 
The highest bid accepted/the winning bid for a lot at auction/the price at which the auctioneer’s “hammer” falls. Note that this does not include the buyer's premium.

High Bidder
The highest bidder shall be the buyer. If any dispute arises between two or more bidders, the auctioneer shall decide the highest bidder or the item will immediately put up for sale again. In the event of a tie between an online bidder and the floor bidder, the floor bidder will take precedence. The auctioneer’s decision will be binding and final.

Holding and Handling Fees
Holding and Handling Fees: Customers who do not schedule or inform Alderfer Auction of a pick-up day and time within thirty (30) calendar days, after the auction close date, will be assessed a holding and handling fee of $75.00 per invoice or per vehicle. This fee of $75.00 will be charged to the customer’s credit card on file, after the initial 15 calendar days grace period (i.e. 30 days after the auction closing date). Subsequently, the buyer will be charged a $75.00 fee every 15 calendar days thereafter, until the auction items are picked by the customer or a confirmed third party shipper/carrier. Product will not be released to the buyer until all invoices and holding and handling fees are paid in full.

Live Auction
A way to bid in real time at auctions conducted at the auction center or on site with a live audience. Absentee bids and phone bids are accepted for Fine Arts and Collectors Auctions.

Live Bidding
Live bidding is the traditional method of bidding at our auction center.  Prior to bidding, all bidders must register to receive a bidder number. To bid in the auction, simply raise your bidder number for the auctioneer to see. Successful bidders will collect and pay for their items as full payment is required on auction day.

Live Online Auctions (Online Only Auction with Multiple Bidding Platforms)
Auction is open for pre-bidding until (date,time), at which time pre-bidding will cease and the auction will go live at the auction center (no live audience, just our auctioneer and auction staff). When the auction goes live, lots will be sold one at a time, in numerical order, by a live auctioneer who will be taking bids from multiple online bidding platforms, absentee and phone bids. During pre-bidding you are able to submit a max (maximum) bid online. The bidding platform or our auction staff will bid on your behalf up to the maximum bid that you have entered.  Once the auction goes live if you wish to increase your bid you will have to wait until that lot opens for bidding and enter any additional bids manually.

No-Sale Fee
A marketing/handling fee paid by the seller of property offered at a reserve auction when the property does not sell. (See “Withdraw/Pass”)

Online Only Auctions 
Online only auctions are not conducted in front of a live audience, but online only via computer, tablet, smart phone. One can bid on the Alderfer Auction website or App. Sometimes auctions are powered by a third-party bidding platform. Items for these auctions are posted for 5-10 days prior to the date of the auction. From the comfort of your home you may view and monitor your bids 24/7.  For your convenience, some Auctions can be viewed at the facilities of Alderfer Auction during advertised preview times.

Online Only Timed Auction
An online only timed auction is an online auction run largely by the computer. Items are posted on and App along with photos and descriptions. The items are posted for 5-10 days prior to the close of the auction. From the comfort of your home you may view and monitor your bids 24/7. Some auctions offer scheduled preview days and times. Schedule at The computer bids on behalf of the bidder against any competition from the lowest possible bid to the maximum bid specified. Bidders are notified by email if they have been outbid. This provides the option for the bidder to increase their bids should they so choose. 

Online Only “Onsite” Auction (Identified as “Estate Sales”)
An  “onsite” Estate Sale is an online only timed auction. It is run the same way as an online-only timed auction except the items are located at a specified advertised home location. An online only timed auction is an online auction run largely by the computer. Items are posted on and App along with photos and descriptions. The items are posted for 5-10 days prior to the close of the auction. From the comfort of your home you may view and monitor your bids 24/7. Preview times and the location for pick up is advertised according to the terms of each of these events.

Specified date, time and location that personal property is available for prospective buyers to view. Previews typically need to be scheduled at

Reserve or Reserve Price
The confidential minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a personal property item to be sold at auction.

Soon after every auction, the selling prices, known as the results, are available online. "Past Results" tab can be found at the bottom of's home page. Shown amounts reflect hammer price without buyer's premium.

Entity that has legal possession (ownership) of any interests, benefits or rights inherent to the personal property.

Telephone Bidding
Phone bids must be completed and submited online at  All phone bids are required to start at $250 or half of the published estimate.  We suggest that phone and absentee bids be submitted 24 hours in advance to allow time for processing.  This online form can be found on at the bottom of the home page.

Terms and Conditions
The rules of the auction and certain aspects of the Purchase & Sale Agreement that are published, read and agreed upon by potential bidders prior to an auction sale.

Timed Auction
A timed auction is an online only sale that typcially closes out 3 lots every 3 minutes. Lots are placed for sale online for a defined period of time, allowing bidders to register and then place maximum bids on items. For a maximum bid, the computer bids on behalf of the bidder against any competition, from the lowest possible bid to the maximum bid specified. Bidders are notified if they have been outbid. This provides the option to increase their bid should they so choose. When the pre-set time is up, the auction ends and the highest bidder on each lot is notified that he has won.

A valuation is generally given verbally and is an estimate of an items fair market value. 

Withdraw / Pass (No Sale)
When an item fails to reach the reserve price or does not have sufficient bidding.