Selling at Auction

Smiths has assisted thousands of individuals over the past 40 years in the process of selling their families heirlooms. We understand this can be emotional for a consignor, therefore, we enter into these relationships understanding that the needs of consignors vary. We are able to customize our “ways of business” for just about every situation.

selling at auction

The first step is to contact us either by phone or email. Photographs of your objects are helpful, but if that is not possible we will make arrangements to have an appraiser visit you. Consultations are free.

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We also offer online appraisal services. Please click here to submit your item for appraisal by Smith’s experts.

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In general, we sell estates on consignment. You, the consignor, maintain ownership, and our firm takes a percentage of the sale price. We sell all items through a well advertised public auction. Consignment fees vary depending on the value of an object, and in a case of an entire household, the amount of work involved, i.e; inventorying, packing, handling and trucking. Our consignment fees are very competitive. We also purchase items outright for a percentage of their appraised value.

The promotion of your items is an important part of the auction process. Smith’s has, over the last 40 years, created an exceptional clientele of collectors, decorators, dealers and homeowners through well advertised auctions and good business practices.

We reach tens of thousands of potential buyers through the use of our customized mailing list, advertising in nationally recognized antique publications, internet venues, local and state newpapers.

Estate Sales

What is the typical process of an estate auction?

First we are contacted for the liquidation, either by the consignor, their family or attorney. Then, a representative of William A. Smith’s visits the home to inspect the contents of the estate and to discuss the current value of the items intended for sale. We can then advise the best way bring these items to auction and the many ways we can assist to make the process seamless and amenable to all parties involved. We provide all the services necessary, such as estimates, inventorying, packing and trucking, insurance and more.

To whom, or what, does the money made from an auction go to?

The money raised from the auction goes to consignors of the items in the auction. This may be an individual, a group or a trust.

How are the starting prices for auction pieces determined?

The auctioneer will ask for opening bids, commensurate with what the estimated value of the item being offered. If there are no bids determined acceptable, by the auctioneer, in relation to the value of the item the auctioneer has the right to pass the item.