Selling at Auction

Our firm has assisted thousands of individuals over the past 40 years in the process of selling their families heirlooms. This process we understand can be emotional for a consignor, therefore, we try to enter this relationship understanding that the needs of consignors vary. We can 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, not possible we could 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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Generally, we work 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. inventoring, packing, handling and trucking. Our consignment fees are very competitive. We also purchase items outright for up to 80% 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, local and state papers along with internet venues.

Estate Sales

What is the typical process of an estate auction?

First we are contacted for the liquidation, either by family members of the deceased, or their attorney. Then, a representative of William A. Smith’s visits the home to inspect items of value and discuss the process with the family. We provide services such as inventorying, packing and trucking, insurance, estimates and more.

Who or what does the money made from an auction go to?

The money raised from the auction either goes to consignors, or an individual. Sometimes a group or a trust the deceased has established may also benefit from the profits.

How are the starting prices for auction pieces determined?

Generally the auctioneer will ask for opening bids. If it gets down to a level lower then the auctioneer deems acceptable he has the right to pass the item.

Is there ever anything that is not auctioned off?

We do not auction off items of no commercial value, or items requiring a special license, such as alcohol.