How to Buy at Auction

Buying at Auction…

If you will be attending our auction for the first time or are a bit rusty, our staff is ready to help you and to answer any questions you may have.

Here is some helpful information and tips:

Q: Can anyone attend the auction?

A: The East L.A. Auction Company is a public auction and everyone is welcome. In rare instances auctions may be held for private dealers, in which case they are advertised accordingly.

Q: What advice would you give to a first-time auction attendee?

A: Don’t be intimidated; you don’t need to be experienced to enjoy an auction. Relax, have fun, observe, and ask questions. We are ready to welcome and help you.

Q: What must I do to attend an auction?

A: Upon arrival at any of The East L.A. Auction Company facility, follow the signs to registration in order to acquire a bidding number. A cash or debit card deposit is required in order to bid. Deposits vary based upon what you wish to bid on in the auction – $500 allows you to bid on all auction items (including vehicles and equipment), or a $200 deposit allows you to bid on all non-vehicle or heavy equipment items. You will need to supply acceptable identification in order to complete your registration. Your deposit is fully refundable, in cash, if you are an unsuccessful bidder. If you are a winning, high bidder, your deposit will be credited towards your purchases. Your bidding number must be shown to the auctioneer each time you bid and when you are the winning bidder.

Q: What kinds of items are sold at auction?

A: Quite simply, if something can be sold, it has probably been sold at auction. The East L.A. Auction Company sells vehicles, utility vehicles, heavy equipment, recreational vehicles, and a wide variety of personal property including fine art, decorative accessories, glass, china, jewelry, coins, stamps, firearms, furnishings, tools, electronics, computer equipment, manufacturing equipment, and much more.

Q: After I have paid for my purchases, when can I remove my items?

A: No items may be removed from their selling position or the auction facility until they have been paid in full, and the items have been released by The East L.A. Auction Staff. It is preferred that all items be paid for and removed on the day of the auction, as it is the buyer’s responsibility to secure their items as soon as the auctioneer says “sold”.

Q: Why does an auction go so fast?

A: The East L.A. Auction Company sells 1,000's of items per auction which means the pace of the auction is fairly quick. Our auctioneers are very clear and concise and bidding assistants help buyers keep track of the bidding.

Q: Why are auctions so popular?

A: The excitement of bidding, the thrill of the hunt, the competition, the rhythmic chant of the auctioneers – all these elements generate a level of enthusiasm that only the auction method can generate. Unlike traditional negotiations, the process is quick, without game-playing, without compulsion.

Q: Are there any fees associated with my auction purchase?

A: Unless indicated otherwise, a Buyer’s Premium of 18% of the “auction price” will be added to the winning bid price of each item purchased. A Buyer’s Premium is a percentage of the high bid that’s added to the bid price to establish the final sale price. There is a 3% discount if paid by cash or debit card (therefore making the net Buyer’s Premium 15%). The total sales price (including Buyer’s Premium) is subject to applicable sales tax.

Before the Auction…

Q: Is there a guarantee or warranty?

A: All of the items presented for sale in the auction are sold “as is – where is”, with no warranties or guarantees. Therefore we encourage all bidders to preview items before the auction to determine quality, condition and proper identification of the items you intend to bid on, allowing you to bid with confidence.

Q: How do I know how much to bid?

A: It is important to attend the preview or to arrive at the auction early enough so you can inspect the items you are interested in. All items are sold “as is – where is,” it is critical that you examine items for condition, size, color, etc. Based on your examination, establish a value in your mind. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and remember at an auction you can buy an item at a cost of only one bid higher than someone else was willing to pay.

Q: Can I preview the items before the auction?

A: Yes. Generally you may preview the items the day before the auction. This information is available by viewing our auction calendar.

During the Auction…

Q: Do I need to be afraid of bidding on an item that I don’t want?

A: You may have heard a story about a person who scratched his ear and bought an expensive piece of fine art. Don’t be frightened by such tales. Auctioneers are professionals and realize when you are bidding and when you aren’t.

Q: How do I bid?

A: In order to bid at an auction, you need to make the auctioneer aware of you. To do this, hold up your bidder card or raise your hand. If the auctioneer does not immediately see you, shout “Yes.” The auctioneer will then take your bid and turn to seek another bid. If another bid is received, the auctioneer will return to you to ask if you want to bid again. Simply continue to say “Yes” to stay in the bidding.

Q: How do I stop bidding?

A: To remove yourself from the bidding process – simply shake your head “No” when the auctioneer makes eye contact with you.

Q: Will I be able to understand the auctioneer?

A: The “chant” of a good auctioneer is easily understood. The chant is merely a series of numbers connected by “filler” words to create a rhythm and make it pleasing to listen to. A basic chant tells the audience the current bid and the next bid being asked. For Example: “I have 5 dollars, will you bid 10?”

After the Auction…

Q: How and when do I pay for the items I purchased?

A: You pay for your items when you are ready to leave. Payment may be made in cash, credit card, or debit card. Vehicles are the exception; they cannot be paid for with a credit card.

Q: What about removal of items from the auction?

A: When you buy an item at the auction you are responsible for it. All items need to be removed the day of the auction, unless arrangements have been made. If you purchase large items and need assistance in moving, we will be more than happy to help you make arrangements. If you need assistance to load large items into your own vehicle, simply ask one of our personnel.

Q: What happens if I don’t want the item after I bid on it?

A: The record of sale kept by the auctioneer and clerk will be taken as absolute and final. If you are the successful winning bidder and the auctioneer indicates that the item has been “sold”, then you are contractually required to pay for each item that you have purchased, in full.

Absentee Bids…

For those who want to bid but are unable to attend the auction, The East L.A. Auction Company offers an Onsite Preview and Absentee Bid Service as a convenience to our patrons. We will not be held responsible for error or failure to execute the bid(s). The bid must be in writing and a $50 minimum bid is required per item.