Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are some frequent questions we receive. Feel free to call us at 585-343-4529 or email [email protected] if you have additional questions.

How do I sell my items at your auction?

If you are thinking of selling something at auction, the first step is to call our office at 585-343-4529.  Our staff can answer questions and determine how to best serve you. 

It is most helpful to email or text pictures of the items to help us efficiently view your merchandise and advise you of your best options.  You can send 5-12 pictures to [email protected]  Pictures can be groupings of items.  Please refer to the “Items We May Turn Away” document at the bottom of this page to see specific information about what we will not accept.  We are always happy to receive quality items in good, working condition. 

If we can help, we will schedule a time for you to drop the items off at our auction center.  There is no charge to drop items off at one of our centers, but an appointment is required.  You will be asked to provide information about your merchandise and our staff will determine if the items are saleable, discuss commission rates and auction sale dates with you. 

In the case of larger volumes, such as a household or estate, we can arrange a pickup.  We do charge a fee for our truck, trailer, and labor.  You can expect a professional team, experienced in efficiently sorting, packing, and moving large quantities of items for auction.  Your merchandise will be cataloged and photographed for an auction at one of our sites.

Sometimes it makes the most sense to hold an auction on-site, such as for a business or household liquidation.  This is an option our auctioneer can discuss with you to determine what might be best for selling your assets.  

Items are sold based on sliding scale commission.  The more money your items make at auction, the lower the commission we charge. Commissions cover our labor, software, equipment, etc.

Will Bontrager’s buy my items outright or do they sell on consignment?

Consignment: Consignment means that we sell your merchandise, then pay you the final bid price of your items minus the commission we charge.  Our commission rates vary based on the auction and items consigned.  The more your item makes at auction, the lower our commission rate.

Buying your items outright: In some situations, it may be most beneficial for you to sell your items outright to the auction company.  In these cases, Bontrager’s Auction Service can purchase your items immediately.  The auctioneer will make this determination based on a case-by-case basis.

What if I need an entire estate cleaned out?

Anyone who has cleaned out an estate, household, or barn can testify that it can be a time-consuming and overwhelming process!  Our professional auction team does many estate clean-outs throughout the year, efficiently sorting and transporting items. We can handle trucking the saleable items and donating/disposing of non-saleable pieces.  When you call our office, our auctioneer will arrange a convenient time to view the merchandise, and can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of time required time and cost.  Because we provide this service on a first come first serve basis, we recommend that you schedule your clean-out well in advance.  Additionally, it is best to distribute any estate contents or family heirlooms to beneficiaries prior to the auctioneer’s visit.  Trucking and labor fees apply to this service and the auctioneer can discuss them with you at that time.

How soon can my items be sold?

We ask that you schedule as far in advance as possible to allow us the most advertising time for your pieces and to arrange a convenient time for them to be auctioned off.  Once you make contact with us, we will begin the process of placing your items in the most appropriate auction, but time frames do vary. 

How will my auction merchandise be advertised?

There are multiple avenues for advertising auction items.  Our websites (bontragerauction.com and bontragerauction.hibid.com), and GotoAuction.com are major ways for us to advertise the details and pictures of auction merchandise.  Hibid.com enables us to reach online bidders nationwide, by interest.  We also utilize social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, where we can easily reach thousands of people by interest and location.  We send out emails to a growing subscriber list of over 5000 people.  We utilize eye-catching graphic design and videos on social media and the internet.   Additionally, we are able to place advertisements in online and print media.  Flyers, brochures, and signs can be created quickly and professionally to advertise your auction.  

How much will you charge to sell my items?

For items that are sold on consignment, we charge a sliding scale commission for our service, which means that the more your items make at auction, the lower the commission.  Commission rates also vary depending on the quality and quantity of merchandise. Large consignments of high-quality, in-demand pieces such as firearms, newer machinery, etc. will be subject to lower commission rates. Keep in mind that clean-outs are subject to trucking and labor costs, which are usually subtracted from your consignment, rather than being an up-front payment.

When and how will I get paid?

It typically takes 7 – 14 days after the auction to get a check to you for your consignment.

What kind of items CANNOT be sold?

Unfortunately there are many everyday items that simply do not sell or will sell for very little at auction. In some situations, such as an estate clean out, Bontrager’s Auction Service will handle such items but it is not profitable for you, as a seller, to place those items in an auction.  Please download and read the list of items below: ITEMS WE MAY TURN AWAY