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Complete Auction and Sale Management Services

Auction Terminology

Auction block:  The area the auctioneer will sell from.  This is usually a raised platform or podium.  When items are sold they are said to “cross the auction block.”

Auctioneer:  A licensed professional who has been taught to sell by the auction method.

Bid number or bid card:  Registration card with a number on it assigned to the bidder for the day.  This card is used to complete bids at a live auction.

Bidder:  A person registered to bid at the auction.

Buyer’s premium:  A fee charged by the auction company to the bidder.  This may be a percentage of the bid price or a flat fee.

Box lot:  A box full of merchandise.  These are sold by the box.

Bull pen:  Area where the auction staff secures smaller purchases.

Clerk:  Person who is recording the auction sales of what was sold, the consignor and the buyer.   Computer clerk: Enters the sales information into the auction system so it is available for the cashiers.

Clerking sheet:  Used by the auction clerk to record the items sold.

Consignor:  Person or entity that consigns the items to the auctioneer / auction company for auction.  Each consignor is assigned a consignor number that is displayed on their merchandise.

Gallery:  Area used for display of merchandise and conduct the auction.

Lot:  A lot can be either a single item or multiple items.  Each lot is assigned a number by the auction clerk.

Lot Number:  The number assigned to the item at the time of selling unless the auction has been pre-lotted.  Item lot numbers can be seen on your invoice.

Preview:  Space of time to allow prospective bidders to inspect the items to be sold.

Ringman:  Helps the auctioneer secure and find bids.  Will also hold items up for display during the auction.

Smalls:  Items that can be carried single handedly, typically glassware and collectibles.

Ticket runner:  Person responsible for taking the clerking sheets to the computer operator(s) in the office.