Bidder Guide

Before Sale Day:

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

If you plan to participate in the event through our website, we recommend you create a user account before sale day. You can do so by clicking on the person icon in the upper right-hand corner of the website. For specific instructions, please visit the create account page of our website.

For a live auction with online bidding, if you plan to attend the auction in person and plan to use a check for payment, please visit your financial institution and obtain a bank letter of credit. A bank letter of credit is a document provided by your financial institution that guarantees you have funds available in your account to make purchases via check at the auction. You will receive a discount for bringing one with you.

Sales tax applies to your purchases at our auctions. If you are tax exempt, you will need to supply us with a copy of your tax exemption certificate or complete an exemption form.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions before sale day.

Equipment Inspections:

On many occasions, we offer an inspection time before the sale day. The inspection time is typically a day or two 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.

Sale Day:

Doors Open

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.

Online Registration

If you plan to participate in the auction through our website, you will need to create an account. You can do so by clicking on the person icon in the upper right-hand corner of the website. We recommend you complete this process a minimum of an hour in advance of the sale. 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.

Onsite Registration

For a live auction with online bidding, Tthere is an onsite he registration process is where you obtain a bidder's number for onsite participation. Your bidder's number is used to identify you and the items that you purchase at auction. The registration process is very easy. There will be a counter set-up onsite 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, your method of payment, and general contact information. If you are paying by check, you will be asked for your bank letter of credit. If you are tax exempt, you will be asked for a copy of your tax exemption certificate. 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 have signed the contract, welcome to the auction, you are ready to bid.

Sale Start

Before the start of the sale for a live auction with online bidding, the auctioneer will make opening comments. The auctioneer will review the auction procedure and 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.

Before the start of an online bidding only sale, the first item in the auction will begin closing at the designated begins ending time for the event. If that item receives active bidding within 20 seconds while it is closing, the timer will reset to 20 seconds and keep resetting until there are no active bids on the item. Then the bidding for that item will close and the next consecutive item will enter the ring, and the timer 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 for that item 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.


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.

The Auction

For a live auction with online bidding, the auctioneer starts with lot number one and begins 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 difficulties understanding the auctioneer, seek assistance from one of our staff on site. 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 for 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, at the conclusion of the auction, we will email you an invoice. The invoice will include a link to make payment through our secure payment gateway. Once you pay the invoice, we will email you a paid invoice. 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.

Onsite Payment

If you participate 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 invoice. You will need to present this invoice to remove any of your purchases.

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 to protect your property. After the auction is complete, the 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 of the items at all times. We recommend that you remove your smaller items on sale day, 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 to 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 companies contact information will be on your paid invoice. 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 processes 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, and 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, if any.

Enjoy the auction!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.