Condition of Sale
Buying and Selling at South Atlantic Auctions
If you are buying or selling at South Atlantic Auctions, this guide aims to help you from both a buyer and seller's perspective. From a buyer's perspective, South Atlantic Auctions is one of the most exciting ways to buy fine art, fine jewelry, fine gems, luxury cars, and antiques to name a few. You will find many types of collectables and you may even discover a unique bargain, which adds to the fun. Follow our guide to getting the most out of an auction.

When buying at auction, make sure you allow yourself enough time to thoroughly examine the lot, and for those that are new to the process, it helps to go to auctions regularly, even as an visitor. This activity really helps you to find out what you are interested in before beginning your quest.

Be certain to obtain a catalog, read the description and ask questions. The catalog helps you to acquaint yourself with the goods and their prices. It also lists all the objects, or groups of objects, in the order in which they will be sold. In the auction world, these are known as 'lot' numbers. It is very important to pay attention to the exact wording of each entry. Read the explanations at the beginning of the catalog. The explanations tell you the significance of words such as 'attributed to', 'style of' and 'after'. This terminology also helps you gauge the date and authenticity of a piece and affects its value.

Each item in the catalog will show the price South Atlantic Auctions expects the object to sell for. If there is no estimate in the catalog, it may be pinned up in the saleroom. If not, you can ask the auctioneer. Please note that our estimates should always be taken as only a rough guide. Our estimates are never a guarantee of the final sale price.

The Buyers Role at the Auction
Set yourself a bidding limit. Pay particular attention to the condition of the piece and take into account the potential cost of restoration, which can be considerable, before deciding on your bidding limit. Choose a top price and stick with it.

Work out your timing. Some sales last for several hours. So if the lots which interest you are towards the end of the sale find out how many lots the auctioneer expects to sell per hour to work out roughly when your lot will be sold; but always remember to allow yourself a bit of extra time.

Follow the bidding. When the sale begins, the auctioneer will call out each lot number and will start the bidding at slightly below the lower estimate. As the people signal to him by waving or nodding he will call out their bids in regular sums or increments.

Attract attention to your bid. In a packed saleroom don't be afraid to attract the auctioneer's attention: wave your catalog or bidding card and call out if need be. However, if the bidding is rising rapidly, the auctioneer will usually only take bids from two people at a time. When one drops out he will look around the room for someone else to join in. If you are still within your limit that is your moment.

When it's all over
The auctioneer will indicate that the bidding is finished by banging a small hammer, called a gavel, on the rostrum, and recording the sale and the name or number of the successful bidder.

The Sellers Role at the Auction
Please visit us to get your item valued. Find out if you need to register and make an appointment with a valuer in advance if necessary. At South Atlantic Auctions, valuation is free. It is important to provide as much information as possible. We will ask you for anything you can tell us about the item. The history of an item, known as its 'provenance', can help enormously in its correct identification and valuation. Even details which might seem insignificant to you can help our valuer's, so if you know your table once belonged to Aunt Ethel who lived in Wales who bought it from a local 5th generation duchess, then don't forget to give us this important factoid. At South Atlantic Auctions we refer to our method of selling as The "Auction Method." This means much more than just making a sale. We orchestrate a business transaction and enter into a commitment to meet the needs of our clients-both the seller and the buyer. We take responsibility for the entire auction. We dedicate many long hours to prepare for and facilitate the sale so that when the South Atlantic Auction gavel falls, the outcome is positive for both the buyer and seller.

The Advantages of Selling at South Atlantic Auctions are:

We get to know your property and use our experience to look at all the items up for bid and assess their value, and set the maximum market value.
Sellers can expect payment within two weeks of the auction.
It is part of our responsibility to ensure that people know about the auction, so we work hard to reach as many of them as possible through advertisements in the newspaper, fliers and posters and our web site postings at This intense marketing campaign will result in increased interest and visibility for your sale and creates competition and urgency-to-buy among informed buyers. Regarding advertisements, all costs are borne by South Atlantic Auctions.
Our process is speedy and we offer a quick turnaround. South Atlantic Auctions are immediate. They happen during scheduled times and are completed during that time. They are quick and efficient.
Buyers come prepared to buy. Auction goers come with money in their wallets, pockets and hands and are prepared to go home with property. It's a seller's delight.
There are no negotiations at South Atlantic Auctions and there is no haggling over price or merchandise. The auction method is quick and efficient. When people bid, they make a commitment to buy the property at that price without discussion or debate.
Competitive Bidding at our auctions is commonplace. Our buyers are motivated to perform. People get caught up in the competitiveness of the bidding and many times this drives the price of items higher. To some it's like a game, and they want to win at all costs. Or hopefully for you, at high costs. South Atlantic Auctions brings in the fair market value, if not more, for any item put across the auction block.
We promise an exciting atmosphere. There's no more exciting atmosphere than at South Atlantic Auctions. Crowds of people competing for property, combined with our auctioneer's lively chant makes for some great entertainment and fun. After one sample of the chant, you will feel good and no doubt- you will feel like spending.
We want your goods to look the best they can so we spend time fixing them, polishing them up and displaying them so they will be appealing to bidders.
We keep a log of items sold and their sale prices.
If your property does not sell on auction day, we will automatically re-list it for you.

We are members of the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) and abide by the following Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice:

MISSION-- To promote, increase and build the trustworthiness of the competitive bidding method of marketing, including: live, Internet and sealed bid auctions, and enhance the professionalism of its practitioners.

VISION-- Competitive bidding will be increasingly utilized as a method to sell all types of goods in all segments of the economy. The NAA will unify and lead the competitive bidding industry to fulfill this vision.

PREAMBLE-- The National Auctioneers Association is the professional organization for practicing auctioneers, their associates, affiliated businesses and other related professionals. Membership in the NAA although voluntary, carries with it a requirement of professional commitment to other professionals, clients, customers and the public at large that extends beyond that of laws and professional regulations. Members of the NAA accept this obligation to conduct themselves and their businesses in a manner that serves the public interest, protects the public trust and furthers the goals of their profession. This Code of Ethics of the National Auctioneers Association and the accompanying Standards of Practice guides the members in the performance of their professional responsibilities and duties. While this Code may establish obligations higher than those mandated by law, in any instance where the Code and the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take precedence.

Comparison Shopping
At South Atlantic Auctions, we recommend that you comparison shop. Try to get more than one valuer's opinion. After careful examination the valuer will probably tell you what he can about your item. This may be where, when and by whom it was made, as well as what it might fetch at auction. It is best if you can get more than one opinion. You can visit other auction homes online, read the classifieds, and go to galleries.

Your Decision to Sell
If you decide to sell, we will determine if you would like to establish a reserve price. A reserve is the minimum price for which the auctioneer may sell your item. A reserve price can act as an important safeguard if the sale turns out to be poorly attended. Many sellers have found that too high a starting price discourages interest in their item, while an attractively low starting price makes them vulnerable to selling at an unsatisfactorily low price. A reserve price helps with this. How does it work? A reserve price is the lowest price at which you are willing to sell your item. If a bidder does not meet that price, you are not obligated to sell your item. You set your reserve price, as well as a starting price, when you list your item with South Atlantic Auctions.

The Reserve Price
The reserve price is not disclosed to bidders, but they will be told that your auction has a reserve price and whether or not the reserve has been met.

The Unreserved Price
The absolute or unreserved amount of sale will sell an item to the highest bidder regardless of the price. Traditionally, more bidders attend an absolute auction and usually bid a higher amount.

Key Questions to Ask Us at South Atlantic Auctions

Find out how soon your item will appear at auction. If the item is of exceptional quality you may be advised to wait for a particular sale which will feature other high quality objects and attract better prices.
Ask about our contract or standard consignment form to provide you services. Get details on what is involved.

Find out how the sale will be marketed. The success of the sale depends a great deal on the marketing effort behind it.

Ask us for references. And when we provide them, check them out!

We work hard for our money and will manage your sale so you can get a good value from the items in which you have invested your hard earned money.

Commission and Costs
South Atlantic Auctions sells on your behalf. For this service you will be charged a commission of 20%.

Unsold Property. Finally, in the unlikely event that your item remains unsold, South Atlantic Auctions does not assess an unsold charge.

Preparing for a South Atlantic Auction
Before attending a South Atlantic Auction, you will need to pack the items you will need before you leave:

A pen and paper
A small flashlight to check details on items you are thinking about bidding on
A Valid State Issued License, or a Passport
A checkbook
A valid Credit Card
A seller's ID if you are buying for a business
Bubble wrap to pack your items after purchase
The phone number of your Moving Service for large items
Snacks and Bottled Water
Wet Wipes
We recommend that you dress comfortably because it may be cold or hot outside, but one is never fully aware of the temperature inside the auction location. For this reason, we recommend cotton as it keeps you cool.

Please eat before you go to an auction. You will more than likely not have access to food while you are at the auction venue. Also be certain to reserve a seat in the front if you are bidding, prior to viewing the auction items. South Atlantic Auctions fill to capacity quite fast.

Ask about shipping. When you buy an item at a South Atlantic Auction, you are responsible for it. All items need to be removed the day of the auction. If you purchase large items and need assistance in moving, you may engage a Moving Service.

Ask about payment. The price buyers pay is the amount at which the South Atlantic Auctions' auctioneer's hammer falls, also known as the hammer price. In addition to the hammer price, there is a buyer's premium. This buyer's premium is 15 % percentage of the final hammer price) and value added taxes, (VAT) where applicable. Buyers are issued an invoice made out to the name and address on your Registration Form. The South Atlantic Auctions issued invoice itemizes the specific costs associated with the sale. In addition, full details of charges and rates can be found in the Conditions of Sale and Important Notices printed in each South Atlantic Auctions catalog. Please read both the Conditions of Sale and Important Notices, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask a consultant. We are happy to explain the information in further detail.

At South Atlantic Auctions, you pay for your items when you are ready to leave. South Atlantic Auctions accepts payment by Certified Check, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express when available. For Certified Checks, submit a Personal Check the day of the auction. On the next business day, the Personal Check must be replaced with a Certified Check.

If the sale price is $10,000 or more, you must fill out the IRS 8300 Form located at The law requires any person engaged in a trade or business who receives more than $10,000 in cash in any one transaction, or two or more related transactions, to report the transaction to the IRS within 15 days of receipt of the cash on Form 8300.

The law also requires that a properly filed Form 8300 contains the correct cash payer's name, address and tax identification number, as well as the amount of cash received and the date and nature of the transaction.

You can proceed to cashiers and pay and collect your item. When you buy an item at a South Atlantic Auction, you are responsible for it, particularly if it is outside our 30 mile driving radius policy. If so, you may need to be prepared to engage a Moving Service.

If you would like your item delivered and are within a 30 mile driving radius, South Atlantic Auctions will be happy to deliver your merchandise for a fee of $300. In unique cases, we will also deliver outside the 30 mile radius for a fee of $500. However, the rates may increase depending upon the distance.

In very special cases, South Atlantic Auctions will ship internationally via storage and/or custom clearance. The terms of the shipment are unique and will be handled on a case-by-case basis, when both parties agree upon shipping terms and once we have received your written dispatch instructions and full payment, including shipping costs.

All bidders have to register. Depending on the auction house, the registration process may be as simple as showing your ID or as complex as providing proof of your ability to purchase high-priced items. If you are attending a South Atlantic Auctions event, there is no money limit to bid, however for property between $5000.00 and $200,000.00, we require a deposit of $3,000 to qualify to bid. This deposit is usually applicable to luxury cars and other similar high priced property.

Reserve Your Seat
Getting seen is a big part of bidding, so select a seat that is near the front and will give the auctioneer a good view of you. Select your seat before going to view the items. You will have to determine the best way to keep your seat reserved while you are away from it previewing items. This is another way in which dressing in layers can pay off.

Preview The Items
Now is the time to look over the items - not when they are brought up for auction. Be sure to inspect everything - look for nicks, touchups, cracks, etc.

Now is also the time to set the maximum price you are willing to pay for an item. If the auction provides a catalog, record this price next to the item number. If there is no catalog, create you own list (in the note pad you brought) that includes the item number, some notes about it, and your maximum bid amount.

When calculating your maximum bid amount, remember that the final price will be higher than your bid amount because it will include a 15% buyers premium and sales tax. Do keep in mind, that for cars the premium is much less, and does vary.

Take Your Seat
When the preview time is up, take your seat, take out your list, hold your bidding card or paddle, and get set for the fun and excitement that an auction can provide.

And last, but definitely not least, know where you're going, how to get there, and give yourself plenty of time for travel. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the viewing is scheduled to beg