Call us at (510) 740-0220 | or toll free (800) 380-9822

Frequently Asked Questions


I have never purchased a lot at auction before, how does this work?

The general steps are 1) preview live or online 2) register to bid 3) bid in person, absentee, phone or online 4) payment 5) picking up or shipping your property.

What are the standard bidding increments?

Bid increments are as follows:
Price   Bid Increment
$0.00 -  $5.00
$50.00 -  $10.00
$200.00  - $25.00
$500.00 -  $50.00
$1,000.00  - $100.00
$2,000.00 -  $250.00
$5,000.00  - $500.00
$10,000.00 -  $1,000.00
$20,000.00  - $2,500.00
$50,000.00 -  $5,000.00
$100,000.00 -  $10,000.00
$200,000.00 -  $25,000.00
$500,000.00  - $50,000.00
$1,000,000.00 -  $100,000.00

I won the bid, but now I'm not sure I like the item. Can I cancel the sale?

We encourage everyone to preview carefully and bid wisely. At the moment the auctioneer says "sold" at the end of the bidding on each lot, the title transfers to the new owner. The sale is final, and there are no returns.

I didn't notice a scratch, crack or flaw. Can anything be done?

The majority of property offered at Michaan's Auctions comes directly from estates and private collections, and may show signs of use and age. All property is offered "as is", and prices are not reduced due to pre-existing flaws. We encourage you to thoroughly inspect the property and request a Condition Report prior to bidding. Condition Reports are subject to our Conditions of Sale. They are supplied free of charge by our specialists and may be requested through the appropriate department.

What is the buyers premium?

The buyer's premium can be found here.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept credit card payment with Visa, Mastercard or Discover, Wire Transfer, Money Order, Bank Check, Personal Check, Business Check, debit cards and cash. At this time we cannot accept credit card payments from International buyers.

How long do I have to pay and pick up?

You have seven days after the auction to pay and pick up your successful lots. For Annex Auctions you have seven business days after the auction to pay and pick up items. Hours for payment and pick ups are Monday - Friday 9:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:30.


Do you provide appraisals for insurance purposes?

Yes, Michaan's Auctions specializes in "fair market value" appraisals, which are used for estate planning and division purposes.

When do I have to make the decision to consign property?

Michaan's accepts property for auction throughout the year for the 25 auctions we hold annually. We advise sellers to consign their property at least two months in advance of the sale to allow for research, cataloguing, photography and publicity. Our specialists will work closely with you to respond to your individual situation.

I have decided to consign property. Do I need an appointment to drop it off?

Yes. Please contact us to arrange a time to drop off your property. You may call us at (510) 740-0220.

What if I have my own insurance?

In order to waive the insurance fee, the consignor must provide Michaan's Auction, at the time of consignment, a "Letter of Subrogation" from the consignor's insurance company. Any damage to the property is then the sole responsibility of the consignor.

What if my property doesn't sell?

In the off chance that your item does not sell you will have the option of lowering the estimates and re-offering the item in a later auction or you can pick up the item. Michaan's Auctions doesn't charge photography fees and as another courtesy to our consignors, we will not charge them insurance or a buy-in fee to take the item back.

How do I get my items appraised?

The first step in the process is to arrange a consultation with one of our specialists. You may bring your property directly to our gallery, where a specialist will meet with you, conduct an evaluation and provide you with a preliminary auction estimate. You can also submit images online by using our free online appraisal service.

What are your commission rates?

Sellers pay a commission that is deducted, along with any agreed upon expenses, from the hammer price. Should you have any specific questions regarding the selling commission, please contact your specialists for more information.

How long after the sale will I be paid?

30 business days after the auction.

If I consign items how soon will they be auctioned off and what sale they might be in?

Once we have discussed your requirements with you and inspected your property, we will give you an estimate of what the item(s) are likely to realize at auction and will advise you of the most appropriate sale.

Can I bring in my property in person?

Yes, please call (510) 740-0220 to schedule an appointment with the appropriate department during business hours Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.


Are tickets or reservations needed to attend an auction?

All Michaan's Auctions are free and open to the public.

When will I get the catalog I ordered?

Catalogs are published and shipped approximately three to five weeks before the date of each auction. Catalogs should arrive within three to ten days provided that the catalog is ready for shipping at the time of your order. Catalogs can be requested via standard mail as well, with annual catalog subscriptions also available upon request. Contact the Customer Service Department at (510) 740-0220 to purchase your subscription.

How can I find out the results of an auction?

Results are posted online shortly after the close of each auction session. A text listing of prices realized is available on the detail page for each auction. You can find lists of past auctions by starting on the Calendar page and clicking the "Previous Auctions" link to navigate to older dates.

Submitting Image

How many items may I submit per request?

You may submit up to three images per request.

What is the required file format for my digital images?

The auction estimate request form only accepts JPEG images. If your image is not currently a JPEG, open it in your photo editing software and save it as a ".jpg" file.

What is the maximum file size allowed for my digital images?

Individual images may not exceed 4 MB (4,000 KB). The total size of all images within a single request may not exceed 10 MB (10,000 KB). If your image is too large, open it in your photo editing software and save it at a lower resolution.


Can I get your auction calendar emailed to me?

Yes, please go to to register your email and you will receive email alerts on upcoming auctions and events 2 weeks before all of our events. Registration is free.

How can I provide feedback or ask another question?

You may submit an email through our <a href="/contact.php">contact page</a> or call toll free at 1-800-380-9822.


Do you provide shipping internationally?

Michaan's Auctions no longer provides shipping services. Buyers assume full responsibility for the packing and shipping of lots won at auction. We have provided a list of shippers our clients have used in the past.