Auctions: Picking the Right Auctioneer

Go beyond commissions and really compare the services.



How will the auctioneer promote your Assets. These are several progressive tools auctioneers have to bring bidders to the auction. Auctioneers can spend from $500-$30,000 advertising an auction. It’s important to know this when considering an auctioneer.

  • Web Site: It should utilize the most advanced technologies and be optimized
  • Web Site: Is it outdated and cheap, are there broken links, can it be found in searches
  • Web knowledge: Does the Auction firm have a technology budget to stay current
  • Auction Web Optimization (URL specific to your auction)
  • Photos: Pictures should be clear and abundant to represent the assets
  • Mailing List - Email: How many bonafide subscribers do they have
  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Descriptions - Written for the search engine crawlers
  • Is the website mobile enhanced for I-Phones and Androids

The list gets longer but in Choosing an Auction Company the Website and Marketing Machine will quickly eliminate many auction firms that are relying on antiquated ways to sell you property.


What are the credentials of the Auctioneer. This is important to determine the emphasis the Auctioneer puts on Learning to keep current with the current Best Practices in the Auction Business to delivering high level customer service guided by minimum standards of excellence. Check for industry membership and always seek to to do business with NAA (National Auctioneer Association) Members.  Look for the NAA Logo. Members of the NAA abide by a strict Code of Ethics. The National Auctioneers Association exists to provide critical resources to auction professionals that will enhance their skills and successes.

Who would go to a doctor who has no credentials, insurance or association membership?

Insurance and Compliance

Auction Firms and their Auctioneers should have sufficient insurance policies and limits of liability should an unfortunate accident occur. A professional Auction Company should have readily available for view a Certificate of Insurance outlining the insurance type, insurance carriers and policy dates. Check to see if the Auctioneer and Appraiser is insured for Professional Acts of Errors or Omissions, Liability, and  for your Property in the Auctioneer's Care Custody and Control. Do they have coverage for Independent Contractors and Employees.

Check for the industry memberships and Education Credentials of the Auction firms. Members of the National Auctioneers Association, NAA. Members of the NAA abide by a strict Code of Ethics which ensures professionalism and protects both you and the buyer. The National Auctioneers Association exists to provide critical resources to auction professionals that will enhance their skills and successes.

Compliance: Many states require auctioneers meet professional licensing requirements. Municipalities may also require auctioneers have permits or licenses.

Reserves - Protection

Ask the Auctioneer about the procedure to protect your assets. A Reserve is the minimum price which a auctioneer may sell your item for. Reserves are one of the most important parts of your consignment, perhaps more important than the commission you are paying. Reserves are usually based on a percentage of the low estimate. A typical reserve is 60%-80% of the low estimate.

  • Reserves are in both the auctioneers and sellers interest. They protect items from selling for very little. In my experience estates with reserves realize more than 10% more than estates without.
  • Reserves protect consumers from auctioneers providing false or inflated estimates. This is a practice where an auctioneer inflates their estimates to make their gallery sound more enticing.
  • Reserves also protect both the Auctioneer and Seller from Collusion. This is when multiple bidders decide not to bid against each other to obtain your item for less. This happens every day.
  • It is reasonable to expect reserves on $250 items and above. In some cases 50% reserves on lesser items in a cataloged auction. Reserves on box lots, and lower valued items should not be considered. They also should not be considered in a uncatalogued auction format.

Be Prepared! Questions From Auctioneer

The auctioneer will have some questions for you as well. How soon must your property be sold? Why are you selling now? Have you tried selling before through other methods? While you're trying to choose an auctioneer, the auctioneer will be determining if they can meet your needs and get the best price for your property.

Once you've made your choice in an auctioneer and determined the services you want, you'll cement the partnership by signing a contract. The contract will spell out your responsibilities, the responsibilities of the auctioneer, commissions, expenses you'll pay and when you'll receive the proceeds from the sale. Read the contract carefully and make sure you know the details of the contract before you sign. If you're unsure before you sign, ask questions.

We are scheduling auctions, liquidation, collectible, jewelry, art, estate, real estate auctions now. Call Cathy Roesch in St. Louis at 314-690-1978. In Illinois call 618-233-1000.

Corporate Headquarters
Midwest Region - St Louis MO

Palatium Auctions® and Liquidations
Cathy Roesch, Auctioneer, CAGA Appraiser Business Card
Paul Roesch, Auctioneer, Realtor, Appraiser,
CAI, CES, ATS, BAS, AARE, GPPA, CAGA, USPAP compliant  Business Card
314-690-1978 office
618-406-2065 cell


 Palatium Auctions® and Liquidations - St Louis MO 314-690-1978