Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Absentee Bids


It’s always best to attend the auction in person to bid on the items you wish, but if for some reason you can’t attend, there is no reason that you can’t obtain some of the items that you would like to purchase. At Julia’s, absentee bidding is always a convenient, easy and safe means of acquiring things that you want. As you can see, our specialty catalogs illustrate all lots to be sold, and as well give a complete description which includes condition. These descriptions, as per the conditions of our sale in the front of your catalog, are fully guaranteed with a money back refund. So if there are some things here that you think you would like to own but can’t attend the auction, why not take a few minutes and fill out an absentee bid form or call in your bids, it’s as simple as that. After the auction you will receive a notice in the mail from us advising you of what you purchased and how much they went for. Remember, at Julia’s, the way we conduct the absentee bids, it’s entirely possible to buy something for less than what your top bid is since your bids are executed competitively by bookkeeping in an attempt to buy the lot as reasonably as possible, just as though you were in attendance.

1. How to submit absentee bids?

A. Mail Absentee Bid Form. You can bid by mail by simply filling out the form in the back of the catalog and sending along a 20% deposit check or credit card information.

B. FAX Absentee Bid Form. You can fax your bids to us by filling out a fax form indicating what you wish to bid and your top bid together with your VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover number to confirm your bids. Your account is charged only if you are delinquent in making your payment. There are additional fees associated with using credit cards to pay for auction items, please see Conditions of Sale for details.

C. Phone Bids. On the more expensive lots, ($500+ and up) if you feel you would really like to purchase them and not be restrained by the process of a written bid, we can make arrangements to call you at the time the lot is coming up and you may bid over the telephone on the lots as they are being sold. Remember phone bids must be arranged well in advance, just send it along or contact us. Also please remember there are a limited amount of phones available, so if you would like to phone bid, you should make your arrangements early.

D. Website. Our entire catalog, complete with photographs, is uploaded to our website 3-4 weeks prior to the auction where you may peruse it if you wish and you may submit absentee bids by clicking the BID NOW button on any lot and following the instructions.

E. Live-time Bidding via the Internet. We now have arrangements with Invaluable, Bidsquare (Fine Art, Asian & Antiques and Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry auctions only) and Proxibid (Firearms auctions only) for live online auction bidding. As a result of these arrangements, we load all the information contained in our printed catalog to these sites about two weeks prior to the auction. You may view any of these items and submit bids up to 2 weeks prior to the auction by following their registration and absentee bid process. Specific information on how to do this is available on each of their sites. For those of you who wish to live bid over the internet at the exact time that the item is being sold you may do this, this is also an option by registering with these sites. You will be notified that you have been approved to bid. Once the registration is complete you may sit in front of your computer the day of the auction and a special window on your screen will register what the auctioneer is asking for. As the auctioneer receives that bid and now asks for a higher bid a new amount will flash in that window. If you have registered to bid you may bid in the auction by simply clicking the bid button on your screen. Regardless of where you are in this country or where you are in the world it will automatically register on a computer at our auction site where a technician will see your bid and bid on your behalf. This innovation allows you to bid live-time during the auction. Normally we take between 30 and 110 seconds to sell an item. Online bidding allows the bids to be almost instantaneously transferred to you and to us, so subsequently you can bid within the confines of that time. All the online auction services charge James D. Julia a significant fee to load the catalog online. They also charge our customers a premium on top of our normal seller’s commission. There are some people who like to bid this way and some of our clients have found it both interesting and convenient to do so. If you have any questions about this please don’t hesitate to call our office, or contact Invaluable, Bidsquare (Fine Art, Asian & Antiques and Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry auctions only) or Proxibid (Firearms auctions only).

Julia’s may occasionally experience Internet and/or Server service outages during which bidders may not be able to participate in the auction. Internet absentee bidders are advised that their absentee bids may not be executed in the event of technological problems. Julia’s policy is to continue to conduct the auction.

2. How much do I bid?

Bid whatever you wish, there are general estimates of what the items might bring at the end of each description. These estimates are in no way an indication of what the items will definitely bring. If you will check our past catalogs, you will find some items bring less than low estimates, some items bring far more than the high estimate. So it’s totally dependent upon how badly people want the items. There are generally two categories of absentee bidders.

A. The collector type, who seriously wishes to purchase a given lot or lots. To that buyer we encourage you to bid as high as you feel comfortable bidding. If you seriously want the lot you should not hesitate to consider going above the high estimate to ensure that you get it.

B. The next type of absentee bidder is the person who is a dealer buyer for stock or a collector willing to buy items only if they are at a real bargain. This type of bidder will often bid on a large number of things knowing full well that not everything brings a strong price, there are bound to be some things that will fall well below our estimate and that bidder knows that if they leave a large number of bids that they have a chance of picking up a few things at a very reasonable price. Some bidders will leave 3, 4, 5, or 6 pages of bids with us, based with that theory in mind. And usually they are successful with a few items. And the items they are successful with tend to be very good buys.

3. What is a “Plus 1” bid?

Some bidders not wishing to lose a lot for the same price or just slightly above what their top bid was elect to use our “Plus 1” policy. What this does is empower our staff to go one more bid for you in the event someone in the audience has bid the exact same amount of your top bid or just slightly above it. The bookkeeper will then bid one more bid which sometimes is all it takes to get the lot.

4. If I call will you tell me what the top absentee bid is on the lot that I want?

Absolutely not. At Julia’s we never ever divulge how much an absentee bid is or who has left bids. Under no circumstances do we ever divulge that information. We can advise you and assist you with your bids. For instance, if you only have $3,000 to spend but are interested in three separate lots all in the general value range of $3,000 and don’t know which one you should pursue, you may call our office and if two of the lots you are interested in seem to have a great deal of interest in them and the third lot has no interest whatsoever, we will gladly advise you of that. Remember, under no circumstances would we ever divulge who has bid or how much any of our absentee bids are.

5. If I really want a lot very badly, can I just leave an order to buy it regardless of what it goes for?

Absolutely not. We cannot honor bids which do not have a set top amount. If you want a lot very badly, then we suggest you bid well above the estimate and pick a figure that you would feel comfortable owning it at should it go that high.

6. Do I really have a chance of getting something at auction with absentee bids?

Absolutely. At our specialty auctions from anywhere to 25% to 45% of all merchandise is purchased by absentee bidders. And some items are acquired for well less than their top absentee bid.

7. How do I find out if I was successful?

After the auction is over with, our staff will send out bills to all the successful bidders on the next business day. Please do not attempt to call the auction facilities the day of the auction. Our lines are frequently busy with phone bidders and we cannot tie up the lines and the office staff when not on the phone with absentee bidders. They are extremely busy cashing out customers and very rarely have time to check the records for bids at that time. If you must call, we would advise you to call the afternoon of the first business day following the auction.

8. Late bids?

We frequently process thousands of bids for an auction. Please make sure your absentee bid form is received by Julia’s no later than 4PM the date before the auction. If you are an international bidder, or first time bidder, please allow two additional days to establish your account with Julia’s

If you are sending or faxing bids we encourage you to phone our office before the auction to confirm that we received your bids. A short while ago, we sent a group of eight letters out to people in various parts of the country and for some reason, the entire packet of eight letters took 14 to 16 days to get to their destination. Please be sure to call and confirm that we’ve received your bids if they’ve been sent out seven to ten days prior to the auction.

9. How much does it cost?

Absentee bids are a service provided to our customers totally free of charge, there is no cost to you.

As you can see Absentee Bidding is simple, convenient and safe. Don’t be one of those -people who always say after an auction, “well if I’d known it was going to go for that I would have bid on it!” Check through the catalog now and send your bids right away. If you have any -questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’ll be happy to help you place your bid.

~Jim Julia