Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Have questions? Check out our FAQ’s below. If you don’t find an explanation here, please contact us and we’ll be glad to assist you.
What is an auction?
An auction is the procedural steps involved in the sale and purchase of goods and services, in which the selling price is automatically discovered during the course of open competitive bidding. The procedure depends on the type of auction, and it is comprised of steps for inviting, receiving, evaluating and accepting bids.
It is the mechanism employed for discovering the best price for the transaction.
The auction process is significant because, over a period of time, it has evolved as an important concept of open price discovery for the sale of assets and items.
How do I register for an auction?
View our tutorial video here.
What is an online only auction?
An online only auction is a service in which Compass Auctions users or participants bid for products via the Internet. There is no live auctioneer guiding the progress of the auction and generally no live on site attendance during the auction. This form of auction is normally on a timed countdown with items both entering and leaving the auction ring based on that countdown. Online only auctions mirror traditional auctions and usually involve multiple bidder participation.
To see our upcoming auctions visit our auction calendar page:
Auction Calendar – Upcoming Auctions
What is a webcast auction?
With Compass Auctions a Live Onsite with Webcast auction means that the online customer is bidding simultaneously against the onsite customer as the auctioneer sells a piece of equipment. In a Live Webcast Online Only there is generally no onsite attendance bidding, however this differs from an online only auction because the auctioneer is performing and controlling the pace of the auction. Auction webcasts provide our off-site customers with a convenient method of bidding over the internet from their office or anywhere in the world on a PC or mobile device.
To see our upcoming auctions visit our auction calendar page: Auction Calendar – Upcoming Auctions
What is a “bid”?
A bid is to offer an amount in an attempt to buy something, while competing with others at an auction. Bidding can be done online or at a live auction.
What is a bid increment?
The bid increment is the amount that the bid increases during the auction. For example, if the current bid is $40,000 and the bid increment is $5,000, the next acceptable bid amount would be $45,000.
How do I bid in an auction?
LIVE AUCTION: For any live auction, please bring a drivers license or government issued photo ID and register with a Compass staff member and receive your bid card.
BIDDING ONLINE: If bidding online and you’re not already a registered user then you must create an account and that can be done from the auction catalog. Look for the Login/New Bidder link at the top of the auction catalog page.
If you are already a registered user then you must register for each individual auction agreeing to the specific terms and conditions for that auction so that you join the online bidder approval process. This can also be done from the auction catalog – look for the “Register to Bid” button.
Once you are registered to bid, and if the catalog is open for pre-bidding, you can place a bid on the lot(s) you want. You can also set a MAX BID. This allows you to set the maximum amount you are willing to bid for an item helping ensure that your bids are active in the system. The bidding platform will only increase your bid incrementally up to the pre set max bid amount. For example, you have set a max bid of $500. The current bid is $100 with the bid increment set at $10. A competing bid is placed at $110. The system would increase your bid to $120 to keep you in the winning position.
Using the pre-bid and max bid features can give you peace of mind that should you experience difficulty bidding during the auction that the bid is being auto placed for you so that you don’t lose the opportunity to be the winning bidder for an item.
LIVE ONLINE WEBCAST BIDDING: If you choose to not utilize the pre-bid/max bid feature and it is a live webcast auction. You can bid live along with the live attending crowd by watching the live webcast, being registered and signed in and placing your bid live. Keep in mind the auction bidding can move very quickly so don’t hesitate to place your bids right away. There can be delays in each registered users system, internet connectivity and service. To ensure that you are the winning bidder be ready to engage with the auctioneer for your item. The auction can be a fast paced environment and highly engaging.
How do I bid in a webcast auction?
See the How do I bid in an auction section. A video tutorial is coming soon.
What is a buyer’s premium?
A “Buyer’s Premium” is the premium amount that is added to the hammer bid price to determine the final amount for the item.
Auctions frequently utilize a buyer’s premium, which is a percentage or a flat amount added to the hammer price, in order to calculate the final sales price. For example, a car selling at auction for $15,000 with a 10% buyer’s premium would then require the buyer to tender $15,000 + (.10*15000) = $16,500.
This can be determined by several factors (ie. government surplus can have a different premium than non-government surplus) and is outlined in the terms and conditions of each auction.
Items within the same auction may have different premiums and this is indicated in the catalog in the individual item descriptions. The buyers premium is only applied if you are the winning bidder.
Will I be charged sales tax?
Sales tax is charged on a state by state and auction by auction basis. Most states offer tax exemption on manufacturing or resale. Please provide your Federal Tax ID number prior to end of auction to avoid being charged sales tax.
What forms of payment does Compass accept?
Cash, Wire Transfer, Cash, Personal Check with Valid State Identification, Company Check with Bank Letter of Credit, Cashier’s Check, Certified Bank Check.
Credit cards accepted with 3% fee: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover.
Transactions over $5,000.00 require cash, bank wire, certified funds or approved check.
Please note that Compass retains the right to charge the credit card used for registration 48 hours after invoice has been sent, if other arrangements have not been communicated to Compass.
What is a bid deposit? Is it required?
A Deposit is typically secured and held to approve bidding on certain items or types of auctions. A bid deposit is usually required to bid on real estate and sometimes personal property with Compass Auctions. Depending on the type of auction the deposit may be a temporary hold or a fully charged transaction.
A deposit hold is typically removed a few days following the auction but check with your financial institution for the exact date that the hold will be removed.
A deposit is required to be charged typically when bidding on real estate or other potentially large expense items. You can generally register and bid on multiple properties with just one deposit, as long as they’re all in the same auction event. If a property will be auctioned in another event, you will need to authorize a separate deposit. Each auction may be for different sellers and may have a different set of terms, conditions and requirements.
What is a reserve price?
The Reserve Price is the lowest price that the seller is willing to accept. Compass Auctions does not disclose reserve price information.
Can I inspect the item before inspection day?
Compass Auctions posts inspection dates and times in the Terms & Conditions (T&C) for each auction. Typically there is a public inspection day prior to the auction but please refer to the T&C for specific information. If you cannot attend the public inspection date, please contact our offices to see if arrangements can be made.
What is my responsibility or due diligence when buying at auction?
In general, Compass Auctions does not provide any warranty or guarantee to any item as to general function or working condition. Conducting due diligence involves thoroughly investigating an item or property before you bid on it. This includes physically inspecting the items on inspection day. And, in the case of real property, researching the estimated value, estimating repair costs, reviewing title reports, inspecting the property (if possible) and researching the surrounding neighborhood. We endeavor to provide as much information as possible on items which may include a description, photos, videos, reports etc. However, all items are Sold As Is Where Is With All Sales Final.
Will I be required to provide proof of funds (POF)?
A POF is a document that demonstrates that a bidder has the funds available to purchase a property. From time to time, a bidder will be required to provide POF for certain items. An example would be for real estate sold at auction.
Does Compass ship items?
Please read the terms and conditions for each auction there may be limitations on what shipping is available.
For many of the auctions, small to medium items can be shipped via UPS or USPS. The cost of all packaging, shipping, and insurance is at the buyers expense and will charged to the credit card on file prior to releasing the items.
Larger items may be palletized or made ready for shipping but it is the responsibility of the bidder to coordinate with a transport company to get the items removed. The customer will also need to provide a Bill of Lading (BOL) in order for the transport company to remove the item(s) from our facility.
ITEMS WILL NOT BE RELEASED TO TRANSPORT COMPANIES WITHOUT A BOL.
There is a $75 per pallet fee for preparing larger items/purchases for transport.
In regards to shipping firearms, we typically handle all shipping. The fee schedule for firearms is $25 + postage for long guns and $15 + postage for handguns.
Items are required to be removed by the date indicated in the auction event.
Again, please read the terms and conditions carefully as these options may not be available for every auction location.
Firearms – FAQ’s
Federal Firearm License – Rules Laws and Regulations
Compass is a federal firearm licensed dealer and follows are laws and regulations concerning firearms.
As a buyer you should know and be aware of the rules and regulations for your own state in regards to what is permissible. Compass is not responsible for purchases that a buyer makes in error and buyer is still responsible for payment regardless of their ability to own the item and/or pass a background check.
Do I have to have an FFL to bid on firearms at auction?
In State Buyers – No, you only need to be able to pass a TICS background check.
Out of state of Tennessee buyers will require the firearm be shipped to an FFL authorized dealer.
What is TICS?
TICS stands for Tennessee Instant Check System. Which has the same requirements as the federal background check system NICS (National Instant Check System)
Can I bid on firearms if I am an out of state participant?
To bid on firearms if you are not a resident of Tennessee, you can bid on firearms without and FFL, however you will need to be either hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL) or contact a licensed firearms dealer in your locality to set up a transfer. A background check will be required through the FFL dealer in your state.
I have a concealed carry permit, do I require a background check to pick up my firearm?
Tennessee’s Handgun Carry Permit does not meet the requirements of the federal Brady Bill because it lacks a requirement for an annual re-check of the permit holder’s criminal history and it does not require a check through the National Instant Check System (NICS). Therefore, purchasers holding a valid Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit still have to have an extensive check performed when purchasing a firearm. The carry permit can be used as a primary source of identification for purchasing a firearm as long as it contains the purchaser’s photograph, date of birth, and current address.