About Graham Auctions Calgary
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Auction Services Overview
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Customer Care
Learn more about Graham Auctions, what we sell every week, and what our customers say.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions asked by our Calgary Auction customers.

    What are public auction sales?

    An auction (or auction house) is the public sale or purchase of products through a mutually agreed bidding system. The auctioneer starts at a price typically lower than the suggested retail/resale value and accepts bids from interested attendees or customers. The item is then sold ‘as is’ to the highest bidder. We are proud to be hosting Calgary Auctions since 1995 — learn more about Graham Auctions.

    How does the auction work?

    We hold a wide variety of public auction sales. We host Online Auctions every week.  The sale opens at the beginning of the week, and grows as we upload more product each day to the sale. There is a soft close on Saturday to close that week's auction (until the next week). We sell a wide range of quality furniture, electronics, tools, household items and clothing — followed by our weekly car auction, which runs hundreds of vehicles through the auction ring. We also host Light Industrial and Heavy Equipment Auctions throughout the year.

    • Our auctions are free to sign up.
    • You can register to bid both online or in-person.
    • You can choose to bid online through your desktop or mobile device.
    • Online bidding is available until auction time the morning of our sale. (Typically 8 AM, unless otherwise specified).
    • Customers who prefer to only participate in our online auctions can pick up any items the following week.
    • The live liquidation auction begins at 9 AM and goes until all items have sold.
    • The online car auction starts at approximately 12:30 PM.

    We’re confident you’ll love the awesome deals and unique buying experience. However, if you still feel unsure, we’d love to answer any questions you may have, or help you register in any of our upcoming auctions. Feel free to give us a call during our business hours and one of our staff members would be happy to help you every step of the way.

    Glossary Of Auction Terminology

    What do you call a person / group who runs Auctions?

    An Auctioneer or Auction company is the group or individual conducting or hosting the auction sale. They announce/enforce the rules of the auction and the lots or item(s) being auctioned off. They also call out or acknowledge bids and announce the auction winner. Alternatively, an auction company can contract auctioneers to conduct various auction sales.

    Absentee Bids / Absentee Bidder

    An absentee bid is a form of bidding for customers that are either not able to attend the auction in person. You can place absentee bids at our main office or you can pre-bid for one of our online auctions through our website.

    What is an Auction sale?

    An absentee bid is a form of bidding for customers that are either not able to attend the auction in person. You can place absentee bids at our main office or you can pre-bid for one of our online auctions through our website.

    What are the rules of an Auction sale?

    During an auction sale, there can be a massive variety of assets, goods and services made available for purchase that otherwise would not be under other circumstances. In some instances, certain items may be sold as a group, yet will still be considered as the same lot. Each lot is subject to a separate contract of sale. The sale of an individual lot during the auction sale is complete once the auctioneer announces the highest bidder/auction winner. This may be accomplished in numerous ways, by calling out the winning bid number after the auction direct from the auctioneer/auction staff, or through the customary action of falling the gavel (see below). Prospective or interested buyers can continue bidding until the completion of the sale is announced by the auctioneer. In the event that a seller has not notified the auction company/auctioneer of their intent to reserve the right to bid, he or she may not be permitted to do so under any circumstances. The auctioneer will not accept such bids from the seller or the representative bidding on their behalf during any auction sale contravening this rule.

    What is an Auction Lot?

    An auction lot is a word for an individual or group of items that are offered for sale via auction. Every lot is given a number in the auction catalogue so that it is easy to find and identify for the customers, auctioneers and auction staff.

    What do you call someone who bids at an auction?

    A bidder is a term for an interested buyer or customer who is actively participating in the auction. You can be a bidder by physically participating in a live auction at the auction venue, or you can be a virtual or online bidder by participating in an online auction.

    What is a bid?

    A bid is how auction attendees set and determine the price of the item being sold or auctioned off. Interested buyers bid in ascending increments until a final price is determined. The starting price and bid increments will be determined by the auctioneer based on bidder interest or activity. Being the highest bidder means you are willing to pay more than the other competing buyers, in which case you win the auction item.

    How do I bid?

    Once you register to participate in one of our public auctions, there are two ways to bid:

    1.) Online Auction - Register in the popup window that appears when entering the auction online. From there, scroll through the auction site until you find an item you’re interested in — click the “Bid” button. You will be taken to a confirmation screen asking you to “Confirm” or “Cancel” your bid. If you have previously attended one of our auctions in Calgary, or are a resident, you should be quickly approved. If you sign up to bid in one of our online auctions with an address outside Alberta — we may attempt direct contact via phone or email before to confirm some details before you are approved to bid. When bidding in one of our Online Auctions on a lot with multiple quantities, you are bidding on all amounts in that lot times the money.

    Eg. Lot 150 Leather Office Chairs x 2 - Current Bid: $25.00

    If bidding online, you would be bidding on two office chairs at $25 each.

    Please note: When confirming your bid, you will enter into a legally binding contract with the auction house. This will cover your successful bid and applicable premiums and taxes to the buyer.

    2.) Live Webcast Auction - If you want to bid in real time at one of our Public Auctions, you can easily do so by registering on our site or by calling our main office. For new buyers, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the bidding process before making a bid. The auctioneer will begin each lot at the lowest viable price for each item and increase in ascending increments (see below) as interested buyers raise their bid numbers to indicate the amount they are willing to pay. This continues until there is only one buyer left, at which point the auctioneer will call out the winning bid number and move onto the next lot. Winning bids are simultaneously being entered into our computer system so that when you are ready to checkout, everything will be prepared for you. We've also prepared this handy guide to help you learn how to bid in an Online Auction.

    Sealed Bid

    Occasionally, the auction house will allow will offer bids for tender by Sealed Bid. Bidders will submit their offers secretly, and the highest offer determines the winner.

    Bid Increments

    A bid increment is the dollar amount that the auctioneer increases bidding based on buyer interest. This can be rounded up or down anytime at the auctioneer's discretion. An example of bid increments might be starting or increasing the increment by $5 for items under $100, or $25 for items valued at $500. As the bid price increases in a bidding war, the increments would increase as well.

    Buyers Premium

    Miscellaneous auction items are subject to a buyer’s premium, which is an additional 10% added to the highest bid. This determines your final purchase price.

    Winning bids in the Car Auction are subject to buyer’s premium based on the following amounts (Vehicles Only):

    Car Auction Sale Price

    Buyers Fee

    $0 - $999
    $1000 - $1999
    $2000 - $2999
    $3000 - $3999
    $4000 - $4999

    For Calgary Auction Customers

    How do I pick up my purchases?

    Calgary Curbside Pickup

    What forms of payment does Graham Auctions accept?

    Graham Auctions accepts cash, Certified Cheque, Bank Draft, Money Order, Visa, Mastercard and Interac Debit, Electronic Wire Transfer and E-Transfer. We also offer Curbside Pick up in Calgary.. We also offer Curbside Pick up in Calgary.. We also offer Curbside Pick up in Calgary..

    Does Graham Auctions offer shipping?

    We can accommodate most shipping requests if arrangements are made by phone or via info@grahamauctions.com. You will be charged for the costs of shipping plus a small handling fee.

    When can I bring in consignment items to sell in the auction?

    • We accept consignments for our weekly Public Auction on Monday-Tuesday the week of the sale.
    • If you are looking to sell your vehicle in the car auction, you can do so up until 10 AM on the day of the sale.
    • For consignments in our Light Industrial & Heavy Equipment Auction — We have a separate secure storage yard that allows us to take consignment items at any time, contact our Equipment Manager at ben@grahamauctions.com.

    How do I see what’s available in the Upcoming Auctions?

    We’ve made it easy for you to find whatever it is you are looking for — You can search, view and bid on available items as it’s updated throughout the week in our online auction catalogueWe also post updated Product Listings every week, highlighting the featured products / lots for every one of our auction sales.

    Pre-Owned / Open Box / Salvage Items

    In some cases, our products arrive with a previously open box. We test and inspect as many items as we can as our warehouse staff sets up the auction. We do our best to be fully transparent about any damage or wear on an item in the product description of our online auction catalogue.

    All products are sold as-is. It is the responsibility of the buyer to contact the auction staff to inquire/inspect each item or as well as thoroughly read the description before bidding.

    Returns / Exchanges

    We’re passionate about customer service and do our best to help as much as we can. If there is a mistake on our behalf making product declarations on a damaged or defective item, we will do everything we can to make the situation right.

    Do my auction purchases come with a warranty?

    Unfortunately, we do not offer warranties with our products. This is out of our control. However, we try to counteract this with a very generous refund and exchange policy.

    How long can a vehicle stay in your secure storage yard?

    Buying a vehicle
    If you purchase a vehicle in the car auction, you must pay within two banking days and pick it up within two weeks.

    Selling a vehicle
    When you book your vehicle into the auction, it can stay in our secure storage lot for as long as it takes to sell. This is assuming you are willing to accept offers reflecting Fair Market Value (see above).

    We've prepared this resource to help you buy or sell your car in an auction.

    What types of products does Graham Auctions sell?

    There are too many to list here. We’ve had everything you can imagine come through our Calgary Public Auction, some of the main categories include:
    online auction catalogue

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