F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions)
Below you will find frequently asked questions and answers, please DO NOT assume anything. If you do not find your answer below please open a support ticket. Click here to open a support ticket
You only need to register ONE time and you will be per-registered for all upcoming auctions. All new registrations are reviewed by a staff member and are approved manually. We do monitor new registrations closely during live auctions (especially at the end of a auction) and review & approve new registrations as soon as possible. We DO NOT require a credit card to register or bid however we do require your FULL legal address including apartment numbers if applicable (so if we have to ship your items we have your correct info) also all bidders must be over 18 years of age, live in Canada and have a valid phone number on file with us.
PAY WHEN YOU PICKUP
If your picking up your items at our location in Midland we accept Cast, Debit, Visa and MC (We do discount your purchase 6% by waiving the Buyers Premium if you pay with Cash or Debit)
SHIPPING OR PREPAYMENT OPTIONS
If you are sending someone to pick up your items for you and wish to prepay you can send us a INTERAC email money transfer or request a PAYPAL invoice be sent (6% Buyers premium applies to the PAYPAL but not with INTERAC). Sorry we do not accept credit card numbers over the phone or email paypal is the only current option if you wish to pay with a credit card. If you require shipping please open a support ticket from the CONTACT page and ask us to send you a shipping quote and let us know how you wish to make payment at that time as well.
ALL LOTS MUST BE PAID FOR IN FULL EITHER IN PERSON OR ONLINE BY 3PM SATURDAY OR A 10.00 FEE WILL BE INVOICED FOR EVERY UNPAID LOT. NO EXCEPTIONS.
EMAILS RECEIVED FROM THIS SITE?
We will send a email notice when a new auction starts and when it is ending along with the occasional newsletter when necessary, emails are also sent out automatically when you bid, when you get outbid, on watched items and when you win. These notification emails are sometimes put into your SPAM/BULK email folders however so please add midlandauctions.ca to your good email filters if you wish to receive these notification emails. We also send out notices for any overdue accounts.
HOW TO PLACE A BID?
REGISTER: First you must register (and wait for us to approve your account to bid). You do not need a credit card to bid here however we do need a valid phone number.
STEPS TO BID:
First step is to go to the main active auction listings http://midlandauctions.ca/ and scroll down till you see your item.
Click on the photo of your item (or the BID NOW green button)
This should open a window in the middle of your screen. (If no window appears see troubleshooting below)
In this window is a BID HERE button… click it
It will then say Enter Your Maximum Bid … enter your maximum bid amount
Click the PLACE BID button and a window will open to tell you if your bid is not the high bid or not.
HOW MAX BID WORKS?
(This is a PROXY BID or ABSENTEE BID)
- We use what is known as a PROXY BID engine. This is much like leaving a ABSENTEE BID at a live auction when you can not make it to the live auction. Proxy bidding allows you to enter your MAX BID (Meaning the MOST you wish to bid on an item). The system will automatically advance your bid against other bidders like a absentee bid would do at a live auction (This is done on your behalf until your max is reached or you have won the lot).For example:All auctions start at 5.00 so if you are the first bidder and you enter a MAX BID of say 30.00 the amount showing would be 5.00 with 1 bid placed (and you would be currently winning that auction). If another bidder places a bid of lets say 20.00 the system will automatically advance your bid for you (absentee bid) to 22.00 (and continue to advance it when more bids are placed until your competitors bid either exceeds your MAX BID or the auction ends with you winning the item. It will bid in increments of 2.00 up to 100.00 and after the auction reaches 100.00 it may switch to 5.00 increments.Q: How could someone beat me by a PENNY!?
A: The standard BID INCREMENT is 2.00 (or 5.00 over 100.00) but if you place a PROXY bid (Choose a higher bid yourself of over 2.00) then the next bidder comes and enters a bid at least .01 cent higher then your proxy they become the current winner. This only happens when you or the other person use a proxy bid. Example below.- User1 bids 5.00
– User2 bids 15.00 (Proxy bid over 2.00) but holds the current winning price of 7.00 (2.00 above the previous 5.00 bid)
– User1 bids with a proxy and places a bid of 9.50
** SYSTEM PLACES A ABSENTEE PROXY BID FOR User2 of 11.50 (2.00 over last bid but withing the proxy amount) and shows still winning
– User1 bids a proxy again at 15.50 (.50 cents over the maximum proxy but still more then 2.00 over current bid of 11.50) and takes the winning amount at 15.50
You can actually take over a bid with .01 cent if your lucky. If User1 in the above example bid 15.01 when he would have the winning bid at 15.01 and you would need to place your bid at 17.01 or higher. May seam unfair but a penny is a penny. If the other bidder bids the SAME as your PROXY then you continue to WIN as they placed the bid for that amount first. It’s not a bad idea to bid a few cents over your bid.
WHAT IS SOFTCLOSE?
- If a bid is placed in the last 5 minutes of the auction, the auction is extended 2 minutes past the current close time if another bid is placed it is extended another 2 minutes and keeps doing this till bidding stops and the auction is won by the highest bidder. This keeps the auction fair for everyone and turns the bidding into a live back and forth auction at the end. We may adjust this as time goes on to optimize the best time.
- We do not put reserves on our items & We do NOT allow consignors to bid up the items!
The only exception we EVER make for this is with currency auctions, if lot is for a 50.00 bank note that is currently accepted by the bank we will start the auction at 50.00 (same amount the bank you give you for the item). Why do we not place reserves? Simple, we establish a fair market value for the items, we have enough bidders that items reach fair prices market value prices. Starting lots at 5.00 adds early interest in the items and creates some excitement for the bidders, sometimes they get lucky and score an item for a incredible price but that is what an auction is all about! If you put a BUY IT NOW price or a reserve price then you might as well try to sell it on one of the classified ad sites. Our bidders love our no reserve auctions with no buyers premium options and because of this we have a HUGE following. In many cases if the consignor wants a reserve on a great item we will offer to purchase the item instead from the consignor so that we can feature the item in our auction and they do not take any risk. More then 90% of the time the consignor should have put the item in themselves as they would have made more on the item then we paid them for it … but sometimes people want a sure thing.
DO YOU RELIST UNSOLD ITEMS?
Yes, When items are not picked up by the winning bidder we do relist the item (and yes we BAN the bad bidder). If the lot sold for under 20.00 we give the item back to the consignor. We can also offer it to the runner up bidder and usually ask the consignor what he/she would like to do. Some items such as the BRAND NEW product such as electronics and much of the jewelry is from a wholesaler so we get almost identical items listed. When we RELIST an item we mention in the description that the item is being relisted and why, if you do not see that info then it is simply another lot with the same item.
VALUES AND/OR APPRAISALS?
A value or an appraisal is an opinion and not the cheapest price guarantee. This is especially true with jewelry appraisals. Appraisals issued with the jewelry are for insurance purposes and the actual retail value is usually MUCH lower, wholesale of mass produced jewelry is usually 10 to 20 percent of retail value so it has very large mark up prices in stores. The insurance wants to know what it would cost to DUPLICATE the item in order to replace it exactly and this would involve someone custom making the piece and you can expect to pay a lot more then the retail amount to have this done.
MSRP (Manufactures suggested retail price) is exactly what is says, it’s the price the manufactures suggests that the retail outlets sell the item for. It does not mean someone will not sell it for less and advertise that sale price. Please research your items BEFORE placing a bid, if you can find the item for less somewhere else that just means you have done your homework better then the person currently holding the winning bid.
WANT US TO SELL YOUR STUFF?
- Please visit our consignors page [Click Here]
WHO ARE WE?
- Chris & Caro, We ran an antiques & collectibles mall and small antiques store prior to that both in Midland Ontario. We also sold on ebay as power sellers for over 10 years before opening out own local auction site. Our business is still called the SwapShop but these days it’s more liquidation items and a few collectables as the antiques market is not as strong as it use to be. We will however sell anything we think is sell-able! We have been in the auction business for 15+ years and are really good at picking the Gems! We are a small family business – good people who are friendly and like to chat so come visit us.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS BUSINESS?
- We opened up the shop in Midland in 2011
Before that time we did mostly ONLINE auction sales (Started in 2001)
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THIS SITE?
- We would like to see an average of 500 lots per week! We are slowly building up to that. Too many lots and not enough bidders is bad and too many bidders and not enough lots is also bad finding a good balance is essential for the bidders and the sellers. Also we are forever expending the software capabilities of the site and growing it.
- As of January 2018 we will no longer have an open preview room. Many reasons for this decision but the key reasons are listed below. If you would like to see any of the items we now ask that you schedule a PREVIEW time and our staff will collect the items you wish to preview and have them ready for you. To schedule a preview time click this link: SCHEDULE PREVIEW CLICK HERE
Reasons for this big change:
– Room to grow, in our current location we are very limited to space. With the preview area it requires three different rooms rotating the preview every week to the next available room. In the space we have the preview set up we could actually store, sort and photograph a substantial amount of product if we use this as warehouse space and not public space.
– Broken Items… We have had items broken during the preview and no one told us they damaged as you can imagine this does not make for a happy auction winner.
– Misplaced items… Well that is the polite way to say it. We don’t have a theft problem but we have had items taken out of bags and placed into other bags or lots. Not sure if this is done on purpose or by accident but it causes problems for obvious reasons. Nothing worse then the winning bidder coming to pick up a winning lot and we can’t find it cause it has already left in someone else lot cause someone previewing the item put it down in another lot.
- You have until SATUDAY at 3pm to pick up your items (Saturday after auction closes). Most online auctions only have 2 days at most with very limited hours! Not us! We give you PLENTY OF TIME. If you can not make it in by SATURDAY you can pay for your items by PAYPAL or by INTERAC EMAIL MONEY TRANSFER. We NO LONGER accept credit cards called in over the phone. Items not paid for by 3pm on Saturday are late and your only chance to avoid late fee’s after this time is to send a paypal or interac payment before Monday for the balance owing. Lots not paid for within 7 days are billed a 10.00 PER LOT late fee and you can loose your items after Wednesday as the consignors can take them back, offer them to the runner up bidder or relist them. If you pay for your items online you avoid the 10.00 per lot fee and we will give you a additional week to pick up your items (Excluding large furniture pieces they must be picked up by Saturday). Storage fees of 2.00 per sq foot per week and handling fees will apply to larger items that are late pickups even if paid online. Small objects we do usually waive any storage and handling fees if picked up within the second week but it the items take up more then a square foot we will have handling fee’s (Coins, Stamps, single lot trinkets, etc.. that do not require packaging or special handling and do not take up much room can be stored for future pickup). At 60 days we will consider your items abandoned and either resell them, donate them or dispose of them and invoice you the costs involved.
PLEASE DO NOT BE LATE PAYING: Consignors do not get paid till you pay for your items, we want happy consignors as they keep bringing us all good stuff, please help us keep them happy and make sure your lots are paid for on time. We really do not want to charge anyone the 10.00 per lot late fee when they are late…. but we ALWAYS do! No Exceptions! so please pay on time. Thanks.
SUNDAY – CLOSED
MONDAY – CLOSED
TUESDAY – 10am to 5pm
WEDNESDAY – 10am to 5pm
THURSDAY – 10am to 5pm
FRIDAY – 10am to 5pm
SATURDAY – 11am to 3pm
- If you pick up the items you save on shipping and handling (you pack it yourself) and if you pay by cash or debit on pickup items you save the buyers premium fee as well.
We do usually have boxes and newspaper but if possible you should bring some with you too as we can easily run out or not have the proper size boxes for your items.
Bring help with you if you buy large furniture or heavy items. We are not always able to assist you in loading your car but we will always open the door for you if needed. Especially on cold wet days… No one wants to be inside all day in wet clothes! We move a LOT of heavy items… it’s hard on the back, knees and muscles! so sometimes we physically can not help either. Please bring help with you if you will require it.
NON PAYING BIDDERS
- A consignor has the choice to take back or relist the items if not paid for within the allotted time
Non paying bidder gets suspended from bidding and can no longer place any bids on the site until the account is in good standing
You will be billed 10.00 per lot for late payments even if the consignor takes back the item
You will be billed for the commissions lost 4.00 or 25% whatever is higher even if the consignor takes back the item
You will be billed 2.00 per sq foot per week for storage and any handling fee’s for storing, packing or moving your items even if the consignor takes back the item
A security deposit or credit card may be required with permission to automatically bill for all winning auctions on accounts that are frequently late. Remember credit cards require a 6% buyers premium paid
CAN I BID ON MY OWN ITEMS? NO!
- ABSOLUTELY NOT! You can also NOT get a friend, family or employ someone to do this either. That is a SHILL BID and if caught (and we will catch you) you will loose your items and any sales from those items. You will also not be welcome to consign with us again. If you wish to sell your items with a reserve price sell it yourself on many of the local classified ad sites or papers. If you wish to sell it with us then it is to be offered at no reserve, no shill bidding or tampering.
Auction lots close starting at 8pm EST on SUNDAYS, First lot closes at 8pm and one closes every 30 seconds after that. Softclose listings get bumped 2 minutes so at times more then one auction is closing at the same time due to the softclose. Many bidders log in and make bids during the close of the auction, the server is very busy at that time and pages will load a little slower. We suggest getting your bids in early and using a proxy bid but please feel free to log in at the end of the auction to keep an eye on your items and to sneak in any last minute bids. It does get exciting at the end with everyone bidding.
PRICES ON LISTINGS
If a value is mentioned on a listing please do not assume this is the best price you can find this item for anywhere in the world! Yes, Some people seam to think that. With new products if a price is mentioned it is usually the going rate taken from either another auctions site, a popular online retailer, a MSRP or a estimated value. Used items may indicate the item was originally purchased for a value, this does not mean it currently holds that value. Some things go up in price and some go down. If it says the price is 100.00 and you find it online for 60.00 then we suggest you stop bidding at 58.00 (or keep bidding we don’t mind!) just do your homework before bidding as once that bid is placed we WILL NOT retract it cause you found it cheaper somewhere else.
KNOWN TECHNICAL ISSUES
Smart phones do not always work for the bidding window.
INTERNET EXPLORER OUT OF DATE??
Check here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/upgrade-your-browse (you will want unternet explorer 8 or better) or better yet download firefox (it works better) http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
LOGIN DOES NOT WORK?
Some browsers and devices are stalling out when you login. If you use the TOP RIGHT login (Where the menu is) uses a technology called AJAX that is not 100% compatible with everyone’s devices. If it just shows the loading icon spinning endlessly simply click the LOGIN link in the TOP menu (Under the logo) this link does not use AJAX. Here is a shortcut, click this and bookmark it. [Click Here]
AUCTION NOT SHOWING UP?
Your JAVA is not working in your web browser, try a different browser or go to https://www.java.com/en/ and download java and reinstall it. Java is pre-installed on all web browsers however if you change your security settings or at times java will become unstable or out of date and stop working you will need to update it. Java controls 90% of our website and without it you can not bid or even watch the auction. You can still see pages like this and the preview but that is about it.
The only item we do not charge tax on is PURE BULLION (.999 or .9999) precious metals. These items are tax exempt. Everything else has 13% HST. Our system does not allow us to enter tax exemption status card numbers but our HST number is on every invoice and if you have a status card with a exemption from tax you can use our invoice to claim the HST back. Sorry but we have no way to process this at this time.
Here are some troubleshooting tips…
If it says you must register to bid and you have already been approved?
- Chance are you have not logged in or got logged out.
If the window does not open or show probably
- it’s free and will have java turned on for you by default (works with both mac and pc as well). Another alternative is google’s Chrome browser
If you are using a cell phone (especially one with a small screen) it may not be 100% compatible with the site. The bid window is too large for some devices. Tablets and personal computers work great!
If the POP UP bidder window is not fully visible your screen resolution is large or you have the disability option for enhanced or large text running.
- To fix this hold down your CTRL button and click the MINUS (-) sign a few times. This will force the screen to shrink to fit on your page.
Further issues see below under (KNOWN TECHNICAL ISSUES)