What exactly is an online auction?
An online auction is very similar to an estate sale, where a liquidation company comes in to try to sell as much of a home's contents as possible. Rather than hosting an in-person event, the auction format allows buyers to browse the estate contents online. The advantage to this format for sellers is that 90% or more of the items will sell. Because bidding starts at $1, buyers can get some great deals, and the homeowners get a cleaned-out house at the end. It's a win-win.
What is a buyer’s premium?
A buyer's premium is a percentage of the sales total that is retained by the auction house. For example, if you win an item that costs $1, the total charged will be $1.15. This goes to cover things like advertising, credit card processing fees, site hosting and other administrative costs. Most auctions with Bird's Nest will have a 15% premium. This fee is made front and center prior to bidding to ensure buyers are aware to factor that cost into their bidding. You can get some amazing deals at auction, or hard-to-find collector items that make the fee worthwhile.
Do I really have to come at a specific time and day to get my items?
Yes. It's important to make sure you have availability to pick up your items during the specified time and day, or that you have the ability to make arrangements with a friend or family member to pick up items on your behalf. It's quite a bit of work to empty a house, and juggling special requests puts a monkey wrench in the process for everyone else.
Most sellers time the liquidation of the home contents to be within a few days of a closing date, and managing extra pick ups is not possible.
In some cases, you can request a transfer of your items (to be picked up in Londonderry, NH). There is a $15 fee (charged to the credit card on file with Auction Ninja), and this request must be made prior to the pick up day. We offer a maximum of three transfer request slots. Once those slots are reserved, we cannot accept more transfer requests.
What happens if I don’t pick up my items?
In most cases the item will be disposed of or donated unless you've made arrangements ahead of time to have the item shipped (and the item is a size that can be shipped). There are no refunds for items not picked up. Repeated no-shows will result in the deactivation of the users Auction Ninja bidding privileges.
If you've deemed it not worthwhile to make the trip for small or low-value items, please email email@example.com to let us know. There is no penalty if we are made aware of this prior to the pick up day.
What if I don’t like the item when I pick it up?
We do our absolute best to state any flaws and photograph them as well. We also try to use a tape measure whenever possible to provide some scale for the item being purchased. Still, the most common thing we hear at pick up is "this is much bigger (or smaller) than I thought!"
If an item was described incorrectly, bidders may be eligible for a refund. However, it should be assumed that items will have some wear and tear. You can call, text or email prior to bidding if there are ever any questions about an item.
Do you offer shipping?
I do offer shipping on smaller items. You can find information on shipping here. Please note that the shipping must be arranged ahead of time - I am unable to accept shipping requests the day of pick up.
Why was I immediately outbid on an item?
Auction Ninja has a feature called a "max bid." It allows users to enter a dollar amount that they are willing to spend on an item. For example, let's say you are bidding on a dining room table, and you're willing to pay up to $100. By inputting $100 as the bid amount, Auction Ninja will bid on your behalf up to that $100. As other people place bids, they will get an outbid notice immediately until someone bids over $100.
It can be a nice set-it-and-forget-it feature, and it can also be pesky if you're the person getting instantly outbid.
One thing to keep in mind: In the event you place a bid that matches the max bid amount placed by another bidder- effectively a tie bid - the person who placed the max bid is considered the current high bidder.
What’s with the timer resetting at the end of the auction?
You'll notice that each item in the auction has a timer, ticking away the minutes and seconds until the item closes. There's a quirky thing that happens in the last five minutes - if there are any bids placed during this period, the time resets for an additional five minutes. This will occur indefinitely until there are no bids.
This is very much one of those love/hate features of Auction Ninja. One the one hand, you have time to place a competing bid (and consider whether you want to place a bid). On the other hand, it can feel like a never-ending loop if there are competing bids.
Most people are familiar with eBay's platform, which does not have a timer reset - once the time runs out, it's over. While this is certainly a simple and straight-forward method, it does leave open the possibility of unfair advantages by those that use bid sniping programs. As if often the case, there's pros and cons to both methods.
I’m having trouble registering on Auction Ninja to bid.
Most registration issues on Auction Ninja stem from missed check boxes. If you don't choose a pick up method and tick the box with the auction terms, the registration page will just reload and not let you continue. Here's a video on the two items that must be ticked in order to proceed.