Sunday, February 08, 2009

I Won Something! What Now?

First things first: different auction houses have different ways on how to go about the process of collecting payments for the goods they have sold. Thus, it is a must that before you even begin to bid for something, you need to carefully read and understood the payment process.

These differences, however, may just be on small details. Generally, auction houses employ similar procedures of collecting payments.

The highest bidder will be asked to sign an auction memorandum or a sales invoice, or a paper signifying that he or she has won the item.

When a person wins an auction lot, he or she is required to pay for it immediately or pay within a period of days indicated on the terms and conditions of the auction company. Some auction houses require the winning bidder to pay for the lot at the end of the day or right after he or she has won the lot. Other auction houses give the highest bidder a few days to complete the payment. Other auction companies can give the highest bidder as long as 28 days to fulfill the payment obligation.

The type of auction goods often dictates how long the payment should be completed. Home furnishing items, motor vehicles, consumer electronics, and apparel among others are often required to be paid for immediately. Since there are papers that need to be furnished to complete the sale of real estate properties, the payment often takes longer than the others.

Payment conditions depend on the amount of the item sold. Many auction companies set price ceilings for certain items to identify which payment method to use. For example, an auction house can require the highest bidder to pay in cash if the item he or she has won is $1500 or below.

Modes of payment accepted depend on the auction company. The widely used payment is cash. The following can also be acknowledged as a way in paying auction goods: wire transfer, credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) cashier's check, credit union cashier's check, and traveler's check among others. It is important to check with your auction company which forms of payments are recognized.

An auction is legally binding. Once you win something, you cannot back out and refuse to pay. Refusal to pay for the item you have won has consequences including penalties and additional fees. Again, read the terms and conditions of the auction before bidding.

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