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.

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.

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.

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.

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