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.

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1,295 Responses to Your Questions & Comments

  1. Leonard Silva says:

    Is there a set time for the auction house to pay the seller for merchandise sold

    • Auction Law says:

      That should be covered in your contract.

      If such details are not covered in your contract, then it may depend on your state and whether it has such laws regarding the payment time.

  2. Douglas O'Brien says:

    At an auction, the auctioneer allowed one person to inspect a four wheeler to see if it was complete…….. his comment was that he wasn’t bidding on it! But the guy could also see other items and tell his friend what was there… legal or not??
    Also, he himself inspected a big screen tv to see if it was cracked and said he has the right to do so…… also at another storage auction, he thought he saw a weapon and inspected a case which had nothing in it- I thought the weapon had to be visible before selling it separately?!
    [redacted] Anchorage

    • Auction Law says:

      Unless something has recently changed in the last year or two, Alaska does not have a self-storage lien law. In many states that do have such laws, there is nothing that precludes the contents being sold item by item. In addition, many such states also require the lessor to inventory the items prior to advertising. This may be detailed or a general inventory from what is seen from the doorway. The primary reason that a “doorway inventory” is done is due to potential liability concerns should a tenant that reclaims their goods attempts to claim something was taken from their unit.

      As there are no such laws, most auctioneers in Alaska likely use the basis of other state laws in their auction to diminish their liability issues that may arise.

      As far as firearms, this becomes another liability issue as there is nothing in the federal laws that address the situation of guns in a storage lien sale. So, some may remove any firearms found and sell them through a FFL to diminish their liability. Of course, state laws also apply, as applicable. As I understand it, Alaska does not have additional state laws regarding firearm sales, so federal law would apply.

  3. Joshua Santoyo says:

    I live in Prineville oregon and need to know if I can do auctions on my comics without a auctioneer license in prinevill oregon 97754 Thank you

  4. Kristi L Whitaker says:

    I work for an auction company and we are going to do offsite auctions in Oklahoma and I need to know what is required and I can’t find anything showing rules and regulations for vehicle auctions in Oklahoma. We auction Big Equipment and vehicles sometimes come with these sales and I want to learn the laws! Can you help me?

  5. Deidra says:

    My question is this….can an auctioneer all of a sudden put a reserve on an item and then purchase said item for that price? Also can the auctioneer make sales to his employees outside the auction with the auction merchandise….There were several items that were never brought out at auction but when clean up began he stated his employee had bought the item. He also sold 5 cases of wine to said employee which is illegal since he does not posses a liquor license. This was a no reserve storage locker sale. There were a lot of high ticket items at this sale, selling for next to nothing. example: a $2,000 serigraph sold for a mere $5….I also know there were no prior agreements before the auction because I work for the company that had the storage units. Who or what does one do to report this type of behavior so it doesnt continue to happen. Im from a small city and our choices of auctioneers isnt very large thus the concern.

    • Auction Law says:

      First, a few clarifications…
      All auctions are “with reserve” unless specifically advertised as absolute (except Louisiana).
      Since, in most states the tenant has the right to pay the amount owed and reclaim their goods prior to the call of sold, that also deems this to be a reserve auction.

      As far as a $2000 item selling for $5, that is a moot point. It’s an auction and if that was the highest bid, then it is, what it is.

      Concerning the other issues…
      You claim the auctioneer put a reserve on an item and bought it at that amount. Was there anyone else that would have bid more? Did he actually put a reserve on the item or bid the amount and no one raised the bid?

      Can the auctioneer sell the items outside of the auction?
      Typically, the answer would be “no,” unless the contract indicated it was allowed. The auctioneer is usually hired to sell at competitive bid, to the highest bidder. Once the auction is over, the remaining property would be returned to the consignor/owner/lessor/lessee.

      Selling alcohol is typically illegal in most states, without a permit to do so.

      Where to report an auctioneer… that depends on your particular state and whether or not it is a licensing state.

  6. Noah says:

    What do you think of Max Sold’s model where they give auction winners only one day to pick up their items, and if they are not picked up on that day, they are sold to someone else or disposed of? Is that legal?

    • Auction Law says:

      Is it legal? Yes.
      This is based on Contract Law. When you sign up to bid at an auction, you are agreeing to their Terms & Conditions (the “contract”). If you can not meet the Terms & Conditions, then you should not bid.

      • Noah says:

        Thanks. In that case, suppose I had a contract with courier to pick up the items from the auction (I think I did), and they didn’t live up to the contract, would they be liable for breach of contract? They gave me a price and told me several times that they were going to pick the items up. They knew that the items had to be picked up on that day. If so, would they be responsible in the amount that I paid for the items or would they be responsible in the amount that the items were actually worth?

      • Auction Law says:

        Again, it depends on the terms of the carrier’s contract, whether they may have any liability. This is something you might want to discuss with an attorney.

  7. Don Beckham says:

    in a multi tract estate auction can the auctioneer take the bids on all tracts separately ,then ask for bids on the whole estate, then return to bid on separate tracts again to get higher bids,then back to whole estate again. can this be legal?

    • Auction Law says:

      I’ve never seen this done, so I’m not familiar with this tactic. However, until a high bidder has been declared on one or more tracts or as a whole, I can’t say that it would be illegal considering the auctioneer’s duty is to get the highest price possible for the seller.

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