The Complete Glossary of Auction
AARE Letters following an auctioneer’s name,
meaning “Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate.”
Absentee Bid A bid on a lot left in advance of the auction with
someone—often the auctionee—by a bidder who’s unable to attend.
Absentee Bidder A person who may not attend the sale but submits,
in advance, a written or oral bid that’s the top price he/she will
pay for a given property.
Absentee Bid/Proxy Bid A bid on an item that a bidder leaves
without being physically present.
Absolute Auction An auction that has no “reserve price” set by the
seller. The winning bid only has to meet or beat the minimum price
set by the seller or the auction house.
Accounting An auctioneer's financial report to the seller detailing
all sales made, money received and money disbursed.
Agent Someone authorized by a person to act for him or her. An
auctioneer is an agent of a seller.
Appraisal An estimate of an item's value
Apprentice A few states require those who would become licensed
auctioneers to serve an apprenticeship for a specified period under
the direction of a licensed auctioneer.
“A Rock" A bidder who won't yield to competition.
"As Is" Selling assets without any warranty as to their condition
and merchantability for a particular use.
Auction The sale of property by means of exchanges between an
auctioneer and bidders whereby the auctioneer declares a sale to the
highest, or most favorable bidder, to form a contract for sale
between that bidder and the seller.
Auction Block The podium or raised platform where the auctioneer
stands while conducting the auction. "Placing an item on the auction
block" means to sell something at auction.
Auction Fever The rush of excitement that seizes some bidders and
spurs them to bid higher on a lot.
Auction House The business entity setting up an auction from
accepting items for auction, making them ready for public sale,
accepting payments and delivering sold items to successful bidders.
Auction Subject to Confirmation This is a variation on an "auction
with reserve." The auctioneer brings the top bid on a lot to the
seller who then accepts or rejects it.
Auction with Reserve The seller reserves the right to accept or
reject any and all bids, or to withdraw the lot at any time prior to
the announcement of the completion of the sale. See also "reserve
Auction without Reserve The lot will be sold to the highest bidder
regardless of price and with no contingencies. No one may bid on
behalf of the seller and the auctioneer may not refuse to accept any
bid. Commonly called an "absolute auction."
The person engaged by the seller to conduct the auction.
The person whom the seller engages to direct, conduct, or be
responsible for a sale by auction. This person may or may not
actually "call" the auction.
Backup Bidder The second highest bidder who bid the increment
immediately below the amount of the winning bidder's bid.
Ballroom Auction An auction conducted in a hotel ballroom.
Bank Letter of Credit An auctioneer may require an unknown person
to pro-vide a letter from a bank certifying creditworthiness to a
stated level before registering that person to bid in an auction.
Bid The amount a bidder signals the auctioneer the bidder would pay
to buy the lot being auctioned.
Bidder The person who places a bid.
Bid Assistant An auction worker who assists the auctioneer by
providing prospective bidders with information about the lots and
also spots bidders and relays bids to the auctioneer. Commonly
referred to as a "ring man," "bid spotter" or "ground man."
Bid Caller The person who conducts the bidding process, usually the
auctioneer. However, an auctioneer may engage another to call bids
and this person does not have primary responsibility for the
Bid Card A card, which exhibits the bidder's assigned number to be
used for bidding in the auction, given to a bidder by the
auctioneer. The auctioneer will call the number of the successful
bidder for each lot and the "clerk" will note that bidder and the
amount of the winning bid on the clerking sheet.
Bid History A historical list of all the bids made on a particular
auction during or after the auction.
Bid Increments The standardized amount an item increases in price
after each new bid. The auction service sets the increment, which
rises according to the present high bid value of an item.
Bidder (Paddle) Number: The number issued to each person who
registers at an auction.
Bid off the Wall This is a fraudulent bid made by the auctioneer in
such a manner as to trick other bidders into believing it is a
legitimate bid. Also referred to as bid off of the ceiling, gate,
fence post, etc. to indicate the bid was fictional.
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