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Dave & Lisa Banister Owners (Registered Wisc. Auction Co. #375-053)
Col. Roger Anderson Auctioneer (Wisc. Auctioneer License #1962)


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What is a Buyer’s Fee?

A Buyer’s Fee is a charge that is levied on the buyers at an auction, by auction companies, “in addition to” the standard charges or fees that are contracted with the seller. A company that charges a buyer’s fee is working for that amount, PLUS whatever commissions the seller agrees to pay. That “seller’s fee” is typically the same percentage that any other company will charge but without adding a buyer’s fee.

How does it affect you, the seller?

If you have a $100 item at your auction, think about this:

Bidders will acknowledge and often times, pay the worth of that item, $100. With a buyer’s fee in place, those bids will drop, typically by at least 10%. So, let’s say you contract for a 20% commission. If that $100 item is bid up to $90 (value of the item minus 10%), your end result for that item is $90-20% = $72.

Take that same item, the same bidders and your 20% contract “without” a buyer’s fee. High bid is $100 (actual value of the item). $100 – 20% = $80 to you, not $72 as above.

Two considerations:

Where did the $8 go? In the auctioneers pocket!


Although $8 doesn’t seem like a critical amount for that one item, remember, a typical auction will have 300 – 500 items! Not all items will sell for $100, some will be less and others may be significantly higher, especially if there is equipment or vehicles in your sale.

On a $15,000 vehicle, 10% is $1,500! Again, the high bid is reduced by 10% or more, leaving it at $13,500. That amount, minus the 20% commission leaves $10,800 in your pocket… on a $15,000 vehicle!! Without the buyer’s fee, you get a $15,000 bid, less the 20% commission of $3,000 which puts $12,000 in your pocket! That’s a $1,200 difference on one item! The number of items is a little more critical now isn’t it?

With these numbers and considering 300-500 items in an average sale, how much will you lose when there is a buyer’s fee charged at your auction? Who gains?

Don’t take our word for this; ask someone who attends auctions on a regular basis if their bids are affected by a buyer’s fee! For your sake, please take the time to ask!

We DO NOT charge a buyer’s fee and never intend to! Call us for your next auction and tell anyone you know who is thinking about having an auction to read this before they decide on who will handle their auction!



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Last modified: Wednesday, August 06, 2014