Your Questions & Comments

This page was developed for you to post your questions and comments.

Prior to posting your questions, you should first:
1. Check out the articles.
2. Use the search box in the upper right to search the hundreds of questions that have already been answered.

Answers to the most common questions can be found in my following articles:
Auctioneer Bidding… Is it Legal?
Auction House Bidding & Selling
Auctioneer/Seller Withdraws an Item with Bids. Is It Legal?

Of course, there are many other articles and I would like to encourage you to read them all.

If you don’t find your question has already been answered, use this page for Questions or to leave relevant Comments.

  • I will either answer you on this page or…
  • I may use it as a topic for a New Article in this blog.

1,121 Responses to Your Questions & Comments

  1. Barb says:

    Does MN have a citizenship requirement for an auctioneers license? I have a Canadian auctioneer with a valid work Visa that would like a MN Auctioneer license. Thank you.

  2. Barb says:

    Unless I am missing something…I read that before I asked the question. I don’t see anything relating to the question I asked. If someone can simply answer the question I would appreciate it. thanks!

    • Auction Law says:

      I might agree that MN laws tend to be somewhat vague and terms such as “natural person” are not specifically defined. It appears to distinguish citizens of the state vs. citizens of other states, so one might question if the individual is a permanent resident of the state… in most cases, such individuals have a Green Card which identifies them as a permanent resident and entitles them to work. A work Visa may not be the same thing as a Green Card and may only allow an alien to work at the assigned tasks for which the visa was issued.

      That said, it would be in the best interest of the individual to first contact the Immigration department to ascertain if they allowed to work as an auctioneer under their visa. Then you may take the next step and go to the county and ask if the individual may get an auctioneer license.

  3. SUSIE WILLIS says:

    i have a certificate from auctioneering school & have an invitation to help in an auction in missouri i live in alabama do i have to have to have missouri licenses to assist in auction


  4. Auction Law says:

    MO is one of those states that have vague laws. You may have to go to a county office and get them to decipher this for you.

    343.100. Nonresidents to be licensed. — No person shall be permitted to sell goods or property* of any kind at auction unless he shall have resided in this state six months next preceding the time of making application for license. Except that any nonresident individual may be granted a license to engage in auctioneering in this state upon application and payment of the appropriate fees set out in this chapter.

    It appears that you have to live in the state six months, but nonresidents can get a license if you submit an application and payment.

    As a nonresident does not live in the state, it appears you can get a license. But if you live in the state, you have to live there six months before you can sell goods at auction.

    I think I’m lost… but I tried.

  5. Rocky yates says:

    Yes my questions are reserved for the state of Oregon only. Can a owner of a auction house bid against buyer also can a auctioneer bid against a buyer im not talking about just reserved items im talking about any and all items at a auction the owner of the auction house and his or her property and his or her auctioneer

    • Auction Law says:

      Oregon seems to have some conflicting laws.
      2015 ORS 72.3280
      (4) If the auctioneer knowingly receives a bid on the seller’s behalf or the seller makes or procures such a bid, and notice has not been given that liberty for such bidding is reserved, the buyer may at the buyer’s option avoid the sale or take the goods at the price of the last good faith bid prior to the completion of the sale.

      2015 ORS 698.640
      (2) The following requirements apply to auction sales, consignment sales, auctioneers, consignees and auction marts as described:

      (b) An auctioneer, auction mart operator or consignee may not use any method of bidding at an auction or selling at a consignment sale that will allow the auctioneer, auction mart operator or consignee to purchase property in an undisclosed manner on the auctioneer’s, auction mart operator’s or consignee’s own behalf.

      (c) An auctioneer, auction mart operator or consignee may not use a method of bidding at an auction or selling at a consignment sale that allows the auctioneer, auction mart operator or consignee to avoid selling property offered for sale at auction or at a consignment sale.

      (d) An auctioneer, auction mart operator or consignee may not employ or use another person to act as a bidder or buyer at the auction or consignment sale on behalf of the auctioneer, auction mart operator or consignee.

      As you will note in 2015 ORS 72.3280 (4) and 2015 ORS 698.640
      (2)(b), these appear to say the same thing. Basically, this implies that the auctioneer or seller may not bid without disclosing such intent to the attendees. Note, the key word is “undisclosed,” which would imply that if such bidding was disclosed, then they would be afforded the right to bid on the property (usually, in a manner to protect a reserved minimum).

      The gray area is found in 2015 ORS 698.640 (2)(c) & (d), which then says that the auctioneer can not bid to avoid selling an item. This seems to imply that they can not bid against a bidder in an effort to protect a reserve, although the previous statements tend to say that they can not do so unless such bidding is disclosed.

      To get an interpretation on how these laws are intended to apply, you should probably contact the State’s Attorney General.

      • Rocky yates says:

        So what you are saying is that the owner of a auction house his or her and the auctioneer his or her are not allowed to bid against buyer at any given time to an auction consignment or auction house and they cannot have a buyer buy items at said auctions is this true from my understanding of the laws yes or no. Thank you for this knowledge

      • Auction Law says:

        Actually, I said their laws are confusing and appear to be contrary. Therefore, I suggested that you ask the AG for an opinion on the law.

  6. Rocky yates says:

    So if contact the state attorney general is this a criminal act or a civil matter i have knowledge as of today that the auction house owner that takes in consignment and also buys from other auctions and the auctioneer have bidders and or bid them selves out bid buyers at this auction

    • Auction Law says:

      Once again, this is a question for the AG. Considering one statute says that one can not bid without disclosing such bidding, one may assume that if the bidders are notified of such, then it would be legal. On the other hand, a different statute appears to say that the auctioneer can not bid. So, which is it? Ask the AG.

  7. Roy S. Robinson says:

    I recently entered an absentee bid which was accepted two days prior to the auction. The item sold for my bid amount, but was awarded to a floor bidder who was present at the auction and entered a bid the same as mine. This was in the New Hampshire. The auction house encouraged online bidding and I was told I would be notified via text if someone bid higher than me. I was not notified, but if I had been I would have been bidding against myself.

    • Auction Law says:

      I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion of your last statement.

      Concerning your original comment… it’s not unusual for an auctioneer to take a floor bid first over any other bid, absentee or online. After all, they made the additional effort to be there. Then again, if the auctioneer was bidding on behalf of your absentee bid, it may have been that the floor bidder landed on the amount of your maximum and therefore, you were out.

      As far as notifying you if someone bid higher, perhaps they were referring to another absentee bidder out-bidding you prior to the auction. I can’t imagine them stopping a live auction to text you and then wait to see if you would respond to the text. That’s not likely to happen at a live auction.

  8. Sharon Mullin says:

    I was bidding in an online auction on cast iron no one else was bidding one of the board had commented how the iron she couldn’t find online and what a good eye I had and then another person in the board members stated she found the piece on line in another auction site at 200 and still going.well then up the bidding goes of course I lost and when I ask for the site she saw it on no reply is this legal..

    • Auction Law says:

      Sorry, but your scenario is a bit hard to understand what you’re trying to get across.

      Can an item be listed in multiple online venues?
      It’s quite common, as the auctioneer’s job is to find the best audience for the seller’s items. Not only might items be in multiple online venues, but may also be selling at a live auction in front of a live crowd at the same time. This is referred to as “simulcast” and the live crowd is also bidding against the online bids coming in. In the end, the high bidder wins.

  9. Jack says:

    I bid at government auctions such as gsa and do not pay sales tax as it is government property. There is a sister auction at the Nevada test site that is run by a contractor to sell the government owned items and they started to charge sales tax. I have contacted other government auction companies and they tell me that no sales tax should be charged. Who could I get information from other than the department of taxation because they have no idea if it is correct or not.the company handling the auctions is NSTEC and the are acting as a 3rd party to auction equipment, vehicles,scrap etc for the government . I have spent over 200k at this auction over the past few years and paid thousands and thousands of undue taxes

    • Auction Law says:

      The collection of sales tax is regulated by each individual state in accordance with its own state laws. In some cases (and depending on the particular state law), if the government agency is conducting their own auction, they may be exempt from collecting sales tax. However, when the auction is conducted by an auction company (on behalf of the government agency), that company may still be required to collect sales tax. In such cases, the only individuals exempt from paying would be resale dealers that supply the information required by that particular state.

      The NSTEC terms and conditions clearly state:
      Sales Tax – As required by the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 360, 360B, and 372) and the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC 360, 360B, and 372), Nevada State sales tax of 7.6% will be added to all winning bids.

      So, it seems they may understand the state law requirements of Nevada.

      Remember, one should always read the Terms and Conditions before bidding at any auction. The T&C usually explains most everything required.

  10. Dawn says:

    I purchased an item at a Preschool auction. The donator has had inconsistent communication and is not fulfilling the item. I have not heard from her in 4 months. What am I entitled to? I have contacted the Preschool and they’re not sure what they can do to help. I told them I would like my money back. Help! I have my receipt and the gift certificate that shows what I purchased (3D stuffed animals created out of a picture).

    • Auction Law says:

      Even though it was a charitable event, you are still entitled to receive the items purchased. If the donor does not honor their donation, then they have not actually donated anything. Hence, they receive no tax deduction and you should be refunded for your purchase.

  11. Renee Moore says:

    I’d like to know if an organization that wishes to hire an auctioneer and have an auction at an event has to obtain a special license or permission to HOLD AN AUCTION??????????? New Jersey

    • Auction Law says:

      NJ does not have auctioneer licensing requirements. So, it’s not likely that one has to have any special license or permit to hold an auction, unless a municipality might have such requirements to hold an event.

  12. Barb McIntosh says:

    If a house is placed on auction and someone does an inflated bid during the auction and you are unable to present any additional bids since they would be lower, is there any obligation by the auction house to start the bidding over when the inflated bid drops out?
    Does it automatically go to the next highest bid even if you were unable to have the opportunity to bid?

    • Auction Law says:

      I’m a little confused with your terminology and what you mean to imply.

      First, you always have the opportunity to bid… it just has to be a higher bid than the last bid.

      According to the UCC, a withdrawn bid does not automatically resuscitate any previous bid. So, while it may be assumed that they bidding must “start over,” it does not mean the auctioneer must stop the auction and start from the beginning if any of the previous bidders agree to bid at a recent increment and continue from that point. So, in effect, it may have started over, but at a higher bid than it may have originally have started. Since it’s obvious that someone was willing to bid up to a certain amount, why waste time getting there, again? In most cases, someone will agree to a bid somewhere around the vicinity of their recent bid and it continues from that point. After all, why waste time when others are waiting on another item?

      That said, there are also collusion rings that attempt to use this type of bidding to defraud the auction. By bidding high, others give up and turn their attention elsewhere, then they withdraw their bid and their accomplice bids a low amount and with no one else left to bid, they “steal” the item. This is not new to auctioneers and they are always on the lookout for such scams.

  13. Mayra Ramos says:

    How can I go to car auctions in new jersey do I need a auction license

    • Auction Law says:

      There are typically two types of car auctions, wholesale and retail. Wholesale auctions are only for dealers. If you’re not a dealer, you want to look for auctions that are “open to the public.”

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