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.  If we can help, we will schedule a time for you to drop the items off at our auction center.  In the case of larger volumes, such as a household or estate, we can arrange a pickup.  Items are sold based on sliding scale commission.  The more money your items make at auction, the lower the commission we charge.

Auction Center Drop Off: Call our office to arrange a specific drop off date and time.  There is no charge to drop items off at our center.  (We are unable to receive consignments on any auction day unless prior arrangements have been made with the auctioneer, so it is important that you make an appointment to bring items in.)   Our staff will determine if the items are saleable, discuss commission rates and auction sale dates, when you drop off your merchandise.  If you are unsure if your items are saleable check the list of “Items We May Turn Away” at the bottom of this page.  We also ask that you email or text pictures to us to save you the hassle of bringing in items that will not sell.

Bontrager Pick Up: Bontrager’s Auction Service will sometimes pick up merchandise to be sold, especially if there is a large quantity, such as an estate or household, or larger items such as machinery or equipment. There is a charge for picking up items.  You can expect a professional team of individuals who are experienced in efficiently sorting, packing, and moving large quantities of items for auction. Once the items have been brought back to our auction center, they will be sold subject to commission.

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

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

Consignment: Consignment means that we sell your items based on commission.  You will then receive a check for the final bid price of your items, minus the commission we charge you.  Most of our auction lots consist of consigned items.  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?

Throughout the year we hold a weekly auction, as well as additional specialty auctions.  We can find an upcoming auction that is right for your merchandise.  Depending on the time of year, there is a wait time of several weeks to get items into the weekly Wednesday Night auction.  We ask that you schedule as far in advance as possible to allow us the most advertising time for your pieces.

How will my auction merchandise be advertised?

There are multiple avenues for advertising auction items.  Newspapers and Pennysaver-type publications are often used.  Our website (,, and are major ways for us to advertise the details and pictures of our auction merchandise.  We also utilize social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where we can easily reach hundreds of people by interest and location.  We send out emails to a growing subscriber list of over 1600 people.  Flyers for upcoming auctions are available at our auction center, where weekly auction attendance averages between 200-250.

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 quality and quantity of merchandise. Large consignments of high-quality, in-demand pieces such as firearms, newer machinery, rare antiques, or coins will be subject to lower commission rates.

Keep in mind that clean-outs are also 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: