So you found our website and are interested in purchasing an item. What next?

Before engaging, we ask you to carefully review the published information regarding the auction in which you are interested. If you have any questions about the auction or any of the items in the auction, you should contact the listed sales representative, or contact us.

On many occasions, we offer an inspection time before the auction. The inspection time is typically a day before the sale day and allows you to visit the sale location, inspect the equipment and ask questions of our representatives. If we do not offer an inspection, you may still be able to inspect the equipment by contacting the listed sales representative, or our office.


Items offered at all of our auctions have a lot number sticker affixed to them. The lot numbers begin with number one and work through the location in numerical order. We sell in numerical order at an average pace of seventy-five lots per hour. If you are interested in lot three hundred, it will be approximately four hours before we get to the item.

The lot numbers also specify in the upper left-hand corner how many pieces are in a given lot. If there are multiple pieces in a given lot, the lot will be sold “times the money”. For example lot 12 may have five spoons. If the high bid on the spoons is one dollar, it would be multiplied by five to arrive at five dollars total for the lot.

Okay, I have looked at the equipment and am ready to bid. How can I participate?

You can choose how to participate with our auction events based upon the type of auction being conducted at the location you are interested. We conduct two different types of auctions, online bidding only and live auction with online bidding. Each type offers a different opportunity for you to engage in bidding.

Online Bidding Only

If the auction event is set up as an online bidding only auction, this means bids can only be placed online.


To register for an online bidding account you can click on the person icon in the upper right-hand corner of the website. We recommend you complete this process a minimum of one hour in advance of the auction. Once you have created an account, you are free to participate in the auctions on our website. By creating an online account, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the auction, and the terms of service of our website.

Once you have created your bidder account with your name, email address, password, basic contact information and have confirmed your email address by clicking the link that was emailed from us to you, you can begin placing bids in the auction.

Sale Start

The first item in the auction will begin closing at the designated begins ending time for the sale. If that item receives active bidding within 20 seconds while it is closing, the timer will reset for 20 seconds and keep resetting until there are no active bids on the item. Then the bidding for that item will close, deeming that item sold, and the next consecutive item will enter the ring, and the time will begin counting down from 20 seconds. Again, if there are active bids within those 20 seconds, the timer will reset to 20 seconds and keep resetting until there are no active bids on the item. Then the bidding will close and the next consecutive item will enter the ring. This will continue until all items in the auction have gone through the ring.

Live Auction with Online Bidding

If the auction event is set up as a live auction with online bidding, this means bids can be placed either in person or online, simultaneously.

On sale day, we typically open the doors to the sale location two hours before the start of the auction. You may arrive at any time during this period. We do start the auction promptly at the scheduled start time and encourage you to be early to complete the necessary registration requirements. If you do not do so, you may miss out on the opportunity to purchase some of the first items sold.


If you plan to participate in person, there is an onsite registration process (separate from online registration) where you obtain a bidder’s number for in person participation. Your bidder’s number is used to identify you and the items you purchase at the auction. The registration process if very easy and there is no cost to register for a bidder number. There will be a counter set up with cashiers using computers to register buyers. If you arrive close to the start of the auction, expect a line of people waiting to register. Once you are at the registration counter, you will be asked for your photo identification and general contact information. When the registration process is complete, you will be issued a bidder number. On the back of the bidder number, there is a bidder contract; you will be asked to review and sign the back of your bidder number. After you signed the contract, welcome to the auction, you are ready to bid.

To register for online bidding, it is best to navigate to the full catalog of items, then under the main image or store logo for the auction, click the link stating “participate in this event”. Go ahead and sign up for a free buyer account. This will be registering you with Proxibid, our third party bidding platform used for our live auction with online bidding events. Don’t worry, you still will be conducting business with Grafe Auction, this step allows you to participate if you are not able to attend in person. After creating a bidder account with Proxibid, you will be able to participate online in any of our live auctions with online bidding.

Sale Start

Before the start of the sale, the auctioneer will make opening announcements. The auctioneer will review the terms and conditions of the sale. He or she will also answer questions and make general sale day comments. If you have any questions, this is a good time to ask.

The Auction

The auctioneer will start with lot number one and begin the process of selling. Along with the auctioneer, there will be a clerk who keeps track of the purchases, and assistants who watch the crowd for bids. The auction pace is very fast, be prepared to place your bids. If you are having difficulty understanding the auctioneer, seek assistance from one of our staff onsite. Before long, you will understand the rhythm of the auction chant. Once the auctioneer sells an item, he/she moves on to the next item.

Ready to place your bid?

When you are ready to bid in person at a live auction, raise your bidder number, or make contact with the auctioneer by raising your hand or nodding your head. Oh, and don’t worry, our auctioneers and staff are professionals, if you wave to a friend, sneeze, or make any other movement, they will not take that as a bid contrary to popular belief. Once you have become the high bidder on an item, you are the new owner of that item. Ownership transfers when the auctioneer says, “sold.” It is a good idea to protect your small items; you may collect and hold onto them or have someone take them to your vehicle.


Online Payment

If you purchase items online, whether through an online bidding only auction or a live auction with online bidding, at the conclusion of the auction, we will email you an invoice. The invoice will include a link to make payment through our secure gateway. Once you pay the invoice, we will email you a paid receipt. You will need to present this invoice to remove any of your purchases. You must make payment within 24 hours of the conclusion of the auction. Failure to do so may result in the forfeiture of your purchases and their resale to other customers, and suspension of your bidding account.

If you participated through Proxibid, at the conclusion of the auction we will process your invoice total to the card you have put on file. Once these payments are processed and entered, you will receive a paid in full receipt via email. If for some reason your payment does not process, you will be notified by an email from one of our staff memberrs as well as receive a copy of your unpaid invoice. Feel free to click the link to make payment, or give our office a call within 24 hours after the conclusion of the sale to complete payment.

Onsite Payment

If you participate in person during our live auction, all the items you purchase must be paid for in full on sale day. You may pay by cash, check or credit card. If you make payment by cash or a check accompanied by a letter of credit, you will receive a discount. Once you have paid, you will receive a paid receipt. You will need to present this to remove any of your purchases.

Will you take a check?

Yes, we accept checks as a form of payment. There is an opportunity for a discount if you bring a bank letter of credit to accompany your check. A bank letter of credit is a document provided by your financial institution that guarantees you have the funds available in your account to make purchases via check at the auction.

My business qualifies my purchases for tax exemption, do I need to pay sales tax?

Every auction sale is subject to state and local sales tax unless otherwise noted. If you have a tax exemption certificate from your state, you can submit to

Security of Purchases

Once the auctioneer has said, “sold” and/or the item closes, transfer of ownership occurs and the item becomes the sole responsibility of the buyer, even though the item may not have been paid for yet. Once you have made a purchase, you may begin taking items to your vehicle. We recommend you bring a second person with you on sale day or the first full day of removal to protect your property. After the auction is complete, a third-party removal/rigging company takes over. Even though the removal/rigging company checks receipts and maintains general security, the removal/rigging company is unable to watch every door and all the items at all times. We recommend that you remove your smaller items on sale day or the first full day of removal, and remove your larger items as soon as possible.

Equipment Removal

You will have several days following the auction to remove your equipment. The actual number of days varies based on the type of auction. For example, you will have two or three days for most restaurant auctions; five to seven days for most supermarket and grocery store auctions; and seven or more days for most industrial auctions. Be sure the check the terms and conditions for each auction to determine the exact number of days available to you. The vast majority of our auctions involve the sale of assets from locations that are landlord owned, and subject to lease restrictions. Because of this, all equipment must be removed in the days provided. Very rarely are extra days available.

Removal of your equipment is your sole responsibility. A Grafe approved third party removal/rigging company remains onsite for the duration of the removal period to ensure equipment buyers remove equipment in a safe, workmanlike fashion. The removal/rigging company is not an employee of Grafe. The removal/rigging company’s contact information will be on your paid receipt. You may hire them to assist you with removing your equipment, preparing your equipment for shipment, or other services. If you would like the removal/rigging company to assist you, it is your responsibility to make contact with them.

Shipment of Purchases

If you would like items shipped to you, it is your responsibility to contact a shipping company to schedule trucking. You will also need to hire the removal/rigging company onsite to prepare your item for shipment. If you are unfamiliar with how to contact a shipping company, please contact us. We work with several national freight brokers who are familiar with our process and able to assist you at competitive rates.

What should I expect to pay?

The price you pay for an item depends on a wide variety of variables, including how many people are interested and bidding on the item, the condition of the item, how readily available or rare similar items are, to name a few. We have experienced items selling for pennies on the dollar of new prices to several times new price. In addition to the purchase price, you can expect to pay a buyer’s premium (this is an added percentage to the sale price paid by you; typically fifteen to eighteen percent), applicable local and state sales taxes, removal fees, if any and shipping fees.

Enjoy the auction!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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