You can leave bids with us and have them executed for you as if you were present in the auction room. You authorize us to bid up to a maximum amount on your behalf, and we attempt to win your lot for the lowest price possible.

How to Bid

If you already know how absentee bidding works and you just want to get started, there are a few ways to do so:

1. Download our easy-to-use absentee bid form (CLICK HERE TO DO SO), fill it out, and fax it to us. (Fax Number: 877-815-6954.)

2. Give us a call at (410) 472-2016 or email us. If you call us, we'll ask for the lot numbers you'd like to bid on and your maximum bids. If you send us an e-mail, make sure to include both of those important details along with your name, address, and telephone number. If you've never dealt with us before, we may ask for a credit card number (that will not be charged unless at your specific direction) to secure your bids.

3. REMINDER: You can also leave absentee bids directly through our website. You'll see links to do so as you browse our online catalog. For more info on bidding directly through our website, click here.

A Few Notes about Absentee Bidding

Crocker Farm is a real, live, traditional auction, not an eBay-style or "absentee" auction. The action for each lot happens in real time, usually within a minute or two, at our auction gallery in Sparks, MD. The bids you make now are the maximum amounts that you authorize us to bid on your behalf when the live auction actually occurs (in the case of our next auction, October 26, 2019 at 10am) and your pieces are sold.

In this way, your bids are not revealed until auction day. We do not execute your bids against any other absentee bids that might have been left on a particular item until we enter them in our bid book and give it to our auctioneer the morning of the sale. Sometimes people call us a few days before an auction and ask us what "the bid is at" for a particular item. That is not how our auction works--like all live auctions we have ever participated in, absentee or "left" bids are not executed or divulged until they hit the auction floor.

In other words, your absentee bid is a completely confidential arrangement between you and us. We do not divulge absentee bid amounts, or even the number of times an item has been bid on, before the auction. Even when the auction occurs, other than being executed by the auctioneer, your bids, and your identity, are always kept completely confidential.

Order of Sale

Everything is sold according to lot number; so lot 1 is sold at about 10 am, lot 2 is sold after that, and so on. We generally average about 80 lots an hour, with the auction running slower at the beginning and picking up speed as we go along.

When Your Lots Are Sold

Let's say you bid on lot 100. Sometime around 11:30 am or so on the morning of the auction, we will put your item up for sale. The auctioneer will bid on your behalf against any other bids--absentee, phone, internet, and live floor bids. He will bid for you competitively. This means you could theoretically bid, say, $2000 on an item and win it for $500. We do not "run" your bids or start the bidding at your bid. As people who have attended hundreds of auctions ourselves over the decades, we have seen auctioneers handle absentee bids a variety of different ways. We handle your bids in the same way we always believed auctioneers should handle ours. In other words, we are very concerned with executing your bids in an honest and scrupulous manner.

A Common Question

1. I bid $500 and the lot brought $500. Why didn't I win it?

One situation that comes up at least a few times each auction but can be confusing to some bidders is described as follows: Let's say you bid $500 on an item. The auctioneer starts the bidding and because of other bids left before the auction, you start bidding at $225. A floor bidder bids $250 and the two of you keep bidding: $275 to you, $300 to the floor bidder, and so on until your bid comes in at $475. The floor bidder bids $500.

At this point, because $500 was your absolute maximum bid, the auctioneer can no longer bid for you. If no one else bids, the lot is hammered down for $500, and another bidder won the lot for the amount you bid. Conversely, the same thing can happen to a floor bidder against your absentee bid. If the auctioneer happened to take your absentee bid at, say, $300, you would have won (provided $500 was also the floor bidder's maximum). There is simply no way to control exactly where an absentee bid starts bidding, and what its final bid will be, in a live auction environment.

After the Auction

If you are a successful absentee or phone bidder, you should receive an invoice from us the week after the auction; we generally send invoices on the Monday after each sale.

We offer full-service packing and shipping to deliver your items to you.

Other Ways to Bid

Click here to return to our bidding page for info on all of our other bidding methods.

Terms and Conditions

Please familiarize yourself with our terms and conditions before bidding.

How-To's on All of Our Bidding Methods

©2019 Crocker Farm, Inc. | | (410) 472-2016