Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding - Frequently Asked Questions

Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding & Video Streaming - It's Fun and Easy to Participate!


1. What is LIVE online bidding at room auctions? 

Our room auctions are open to the public and participation is free. 

LIVE online bidding allows you to participate in the auction room as though you were present - from your mobile, tablet or desktop. You can watch live video streaming of the Auctioneer and enjoy the “thrill” of the auction. With the simple click of a button, your online bid will be entered in real-time, amongst other room and absentee bidders. You can also place pre-auction Maximum Bids.


Watch LIVE video streaming of the Auctioneer
 

Enjoy the thrill of the auction as you watch LIVE video streaming of the auctioneer in real time – It’s just like being in the auction room while the lot is being auctioned.

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2. What is the difference between the main website and LIVE online bidding?  

The LIVE online bidding platform is a part of our main website.  

Use the LIVE online bidding platform if you want to:  

  • View the upcoming LIVE online auction listing
  • Browse the catalogue
  • Place a pre-auction absentee maximum bid (with competitive bidding notifications)
  • Place LIVE bids while the auction is in progress
  • Watch LIVE video streaming of the Auctioneer while the auction is in progress  

Use the main website if you want to:  

  • View the upcoming auction listing
  • Seek more detailed information about the auction venue, selling your jewellery, learning centre and other company information
  • View the FAQ’s relating to our auctions. Specific FAQ’s relevant to LIVE online bidding are dealt with below  

3. How do I access LIVE online bidding? 

LIVE online bidding catalogues are normally uploaded about 12 days prior to the auction date. LIVE online bidding can be accessed from the main First State Auction website by clicking on the LIVE ONLINE BIDDING image when it appears next to an auction (as indicated below):  


You will have the option to “Return to Main Site” at any stage.

To access LIVE bidding and auction streaming, look for the message “CLICK HERE TO WATCH & BID ON THE LIVE SALE” located on the first page of the auction catalogue. This option will appear about 15 minutes prior to the start time of the auction. Clicking on this message will take you to the LIVE auction video stream and bidding console.


4. LIVE online bidding registration

Before you can register for an auction you need to have an account. Once your account is created you can then register for any auctions that you wish to participate in. The video below explains how to create your account.

Click here to create your account.

Why do I have to register for LIVE online bidding? Once an account is created, all bidders need to register and accept the terms and conditions for LIVE online bidding.

Your existing website login details from the main website will NOT work on the LIVE Online Bidding Platform as it is a separate bidding process and you will need to register your User Information, Delivery Address and credit card details. Once you have created a LIVE Online Bidding Account you will be able to use these new login details to bid live on our website.


How do I register for LIVE online bidding?

Registration is free, fast and easy!

We highly recommend that you don’t wait until the last minute to register to bid, allowing yourself time to feel more comfortable with LIVE online bidding and the Terms and Conditions. Simply click on the “Login” link on the top of the page and enter your details to create your LIVE online bidding account.


Why do I need to register to bid for every auction? 

Even if you have LIVE online bidding account, all bidders will need to register (one click) for every auction to accept the Terms and Conditions for that auction. You will not have to re-enter your personal details – just simply click where indicated to register.


Why do you need my credit card information? 

Before registering you as a bidder for a Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding, we must verify that you have a valid credit card available to make a purchase. Your credit card is secure and fully encrypted through an authorised 3rd party payment gateway. When purchasing online with First State Auctions a small pre-authorisation pending charge (typically between $0.01 and $2.00 depending on your bank) will be charged to your nominated credit card. This is a banking anti-fraud feature, which validates that the card is real, and is active. The pre-authorisation charge will normally be reversed within 1 week. If you are a winning bidder, we will charge purchased items to the credit card provided.
Do I have to pay any fees to participate in an Online Auction? 

No, you are not charged any fees to participate. However, to register to bid, you will have to provide your credit card information, so we can pre-authorise a nominated amount (see point above). 


5. Viewing and Product Information 

Where can I view the items to be auctioned?

Should you desire, you can inspect the goods prior to purchase:

  • Our auction catalogues are available on our website about 12 days prior to the auction with detailed product information, auction details and product images.
  • On the day of the auction, our doors open 2 hours prior to the start of the auction and you are welcome to attend the viewings, inspect the items and speak with our specialist customer service staff, diamond graders and gemmologists.
  • Viewing is also available at our Sydney Head Office by prior appointment.  


Where are the goods from?

Our jewellery and watches are sourced from local and international vendors including: government agencies such as Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), Australian Federal Police (AFP), insolvency trustees, manufacturers looking to liquidate stock, importers, private sellers and companies closing down or going bankrupt.


Are the product descriptions guaranteed?

You can rest assured that all items you purchase from First State Auctions are genuine. First State Auctions is owned and operated by gemmologists and diamond graders, and we pride ourselves on ensuring our descriptions are 100% accurate. All products submitted for auction are checked by at least two qualified gem experts before being catalogued. We ensure all diamonds, gemstones, gold and watches are authentic and graded correctly.


What do the product descriptions “New”, “As New” and “Pre-Owned” mean?

To assist customers in understanding the condition of the items sold, they have been classified based on the following guide:

  • New - The item is new, in excellent condition, and has never been privately owned.
  • As New - The item presents ‘as new’ and is in excellent condition. It could have been displayed in a retail shop or be ‘pre-owned’ and in excellent condition.
  • Pre-Owned – The item has been privately owned. It may have signs of wear (e.g. a scratch) 

 

What should I consider when buying a diamond?

Every diamond is unique. Each reflects the story of its arduous journey from deep inside the earth to a cherished object of adornment. Yet all diamonds share certain features that allow us to compare and evaluate them these features are called the 4C's - colour, cut, clarity & carat.

What do GIA and GSL mean?

GIA is an abbreviation for The Gemological Institute of America. Established in 1931, GIA is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, coloured stones and pearls. A public benefit, nonprofit institute, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards, and education in gems and jewellery.
GSL is an abbreviation for
Gem Studies Laboratory. GSL in Sydney is the Gemmological Association of Australia's endorsed diamond grading laboratory. GSL was started over twenty years ago to meet the demand in Australia for a first-rate diamond laboratory. Today it has become the best known independent diamond certification and gem identification laboratory in Australia.


Why is a diamond certificate important?

When buying a diamond, a diamond certificate is very important. The Certification should be conducted on the loose diamond – it’s the only way to give an accurate grading. This way the setting is not obstructing the measuring of important information that make up the value of the stone. The laboratory should also be independent of any retail or wholesale business. Diamond grading is subjective, some laboratories standards of what is a “D” colour or what is a “VVS1” clarity are much lower than others. First State Auctions recommends GIA (Gemological Institute of America) for internationally graded diamonds and GSL (Gem Studies Laboratory) for Australian graded diamonds. We have regularly found other internationally known laboratories to grade diamonds up to 2 grades of colour and/or 2 grades of clarity higher than GIA or GSL. That means the stone you are buying as a VS1 and E colour with a less reputable laboratory, for example, could be graded by GIA or GSL as SI1 and G colour – this makes a big difference to the value and price you should be paying for your diamond. We come across many professional-looking laboratory certificates, which we believe do not represent the correct grading of the diamond. These are genuine laboratories, but are not endorsed by the Gemmological Association of Australia or internationally renowned. They are not GIA, even though some may sound like GIA to the uninitiated. We will send diamonds graded by these laboratories to the GIA or GSL laboratories to receive a true grading. So, our advice is buy diamonds that have a reputable, recognised and trusted diamond certificate to ensure that you get what you are paying for.


Are the gemstones natural?

At First State Auctions, we only sell natural gemstones and cultured pearls. While some gemstones may have been improved through industry-accepted treatments such as heat treatment, we don't sell laser-drilled or fracture-filled diamonds, or lead glass-filled rubies. It’s about quality, naturally.


Do all the pieces of jewellery come with a certificate?

All diamonds over 1 carat in size come with a laboratory certificate from highly regarded industry renown organisations like GIA or GSL. All other jewellery with a price guide (auction estimate) of more than AUD 3,000 will have a quality assessment from an independent gemmologist and valuer.


Are there any warranties on watches?

First State Auctions provides its own 3 month limited warranty on “pre-owned” and “as-new” watches purchased at FSA auctions.

For “new” watches, FSA provides its own limited warranty for the period stated in the catalogue description.

The hands and watch movement are the only components covered under the limited warranty.

This is a limited warranty and does not include:

  • Ageing and wear and tear from normal use.
  • Damage resulting from improper handling, negligence, accidents, tampering or incorrect use of the watch.
  • Any external damage to the product.
  • Change of battery.
  • Any loss of stones or gems on the outer portion of the watch or watch face.
  • Moisture damage to a watch not marked water resistant.
  • Any damage that occurs as a result of a water resistant watch being used under conditions which exceed the watch manufacturer’s water resistance guidelines.
  • Water damage caused to a water resistant watch where the crown is not screwed down.


Please note that any modifications or 3rd party repairs will void the warranty.

Warranty on watches shipped to destinations outside Australia:

  • All watches shipped to destinations outside Australia are covered by the above warranty on condition that the watch is returned to First State Auctions Head Office.
  • All return costs to Head Office including shipping charges, customs, duties and other related costs will be for the buyer's expense plus all similar costs associated with the return of the watch from Head Office to the customer.

6. Is there a buyer’s premium? 

First State Auctions, like all other traditional auction houses, charges a buyer’s premium. The fee is charged by us to cover expenses associated with conducting the auction. The buyer’s premium goes directly to the auction house and not to the seller.  

The standard buyer’s premium at First State Auctions is 20% and is one of the lowest in the industry. A buyer’s premium is charged on all items purchased at First State Auctions and this 20% must be added to the Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding hammer price. It forms part of the total invoice amount that is paid by the winning bidder. The buyer’s premium is not negotiable.  

Example: If you bid $1000 and the item is sold to you (hammer price), you will then pay a further 20% buyer’s premium on top of this. So your final invoice amount will be: $1000 + $200 = $1200.


7. General bidding information


What are the price guides or auction estimates?

An “Auction Estimate” is a guide to what an item might sell for at auction, based on what similar items have sold for at previous auctions and current market conditions. Auction estimates relate to auction prices, not retail prices (which are typically considerably higher). In other words, an auction estimate gives an indication of the auction value of an item. These are not inflated prices, but aim to be a realistic guide. Any item can of course sell for less or more than the auction estimate, depending on the interest on the day.  


Do the auctions have reserves?

Some items may have reserves. If there is a reserve, it will always be less than or equal to the price guide (auction estimates). Reserves are confidential between the vendor and First State Auctions.  


Is the GST included in the price?

Yes, it is. A tax invoice is issued with your purchase, and people travelling overseas from Australia may be able to reclaim the GST on the items purchased subject to Australian Customs regulations. GST on the buyer’s premium may not be eligible for a customs refund.      


Where does the auctioneer start the bidding?
The auctioneer will start the bidding according to either a verbal or hand signal offer in the room, on behalf of an absentee bidder, or below the reserve (if applicable). The auctioneer may reject an opening bid if he feels it is not in the best interest of the vendor. Typically the auctioneer will look for a starting bid of at least 50% of the price guide (auction estimate).  


8. How to place a pre-auction absentee maximum bid. 


Pre-auction maximum bids open when the catalogue is online (about 12 days before the auction) and closes just prior to when the lot in question is being auctioned.

To participate and place bids in a Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding you need to create a Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding account or Log in to our Live Bidding platform.


Auction listing

You can select the auction that you wish to bid on from the auction listing. All bid prices are in Australian Dollars (unless otherwise stated) and are GST inclusive.


Catalogue listing of items to be auctioned

All items in an auction will be listed in lot number order.

You can also use the “Advanced Search” option to change the display order or refine the listing. 


Click on the link "Advanced Search" menu to search by:

  • Keyword
  • Minimum estimate
  • Maximum estimate
  • Lot number
  • Item type
  • Item category   

How to place a pre-auction maximum bid

If you are not available at the time your lot is being auctioned, you can place a maximum bid where you provide us the maximum amount you are willing to pay. You will receive an email notification if you are outbid. Your bid will be executed by the system in increments using the amount required to "knock out" any competition during the sale. This doesn’t mean that you will pay the maximum amount.

Simply enter your bid and click “Place maximum bid!” Before submitting bids carefully review the information entered for accuracy. Once you submit the bid, it cannot be cancelled and is binding.

You can place a maximum bid on the auction listing page or on the product detail page.


What is the starting bid?

The Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding will set a pre-auction “Starting Bid” for each Lot and any bid placed must commence at or above that starting bid. 

Maximum bidding increments  

You can enter the maximum amount that you wish to bid however, the automated system will set fixed bid increments for pre-auction maximum bid and you will be advised if your bid is off increment.

 

 Bid confirmation  

Once you enter a bid and click “Place maximum bid!”, you will be asked to confirm your bid. A 10 second countdown will commence, and you will need to click the “Confirm” button within that time period to confirm your bid. If the countdown reaches zero you will need to place your bid again.


Can I place multiple bids? 

There is a facility for you to place multiple bids. Simply enter your desired bid against each lot number and at the bottom of the screen click the option “Place Multiple Bids”.  


How do I know if I am the highest bidder? 

Pre-auction bidding is competitive, and you will be notified on the respective lot listing if you are the highest bidder or if you have been outbid. You will also be notified by email.


If you have been outbid, you will have the opportunity to increase your bid prior to the Lot being offered for auction at the room auction. 


Can I cancel an unwanted bid? 

Your bid cannot be cancelled once it has been placed. You can however lower your bid. 

If you win an item, as the registered bidder you will be held legally and financially responsible for payment of that item whether you were representing yourself or acting as an agent and your nominated credit card will be charged. There are no refunds.


Will the auctioneer start the bidding at the highest pre-auction competitive bid? 

The auctioneer will not necessarily start the bidding with the highest pre-auction bid. He is not aware of the pre-auction bids. He will call for opening bids in the room. If the pre-auction bid is equal or higher than the bid he calls for, the LIVE Bidding operator will call out the LIVE bid.


How will I know if I am successful? 

You will receive an email notification from First State Auctions confirming that you have won the lot. 


When does pre-auction competitive bidding cease? 

Once the Lot is offered at the room auction, pre-auction bidding will cease and the highest pre-auction bid is carried through into the physical room auction.


9. How to place a LIVE bid in real time during the auction

Once the auction commences, you can place LIVE bids on items in real time as the lot is being auctioned. You will also be able to view live video streaming of the auctioneer as he auctions each lot. 

To access LIVE bidding and auction streaming, look for the message “CLICK HERE TO WATCH & BID ON THE LIVE SALE” located on the first page of the auction catalogue. This option will appear about 15 minutes prior to the start time of the auction. Clicking on this message will take you to the LIVE auction video stream and bidding console.


The same message will appear on the individual lot page. 

Click on this message and you will automatically be re-directed to LIVE bidding where the following display will appear.  

Screen 1 – Jewellery Images 

Image of the lot number that is currently being auctioned.  


Screen 2 – Bidding Box and History

  • This is where you place your LIVE bid.
  • The current auction bid is displayed on the left side.
  • The blue bid box is displayed on the right side.
  • The asking bid in the blue box is automatically displayed based on the increments set by the auctioneer.
  • These increments can change as the lot progresses.
  • To place a bid, simply click on the blue “BID now!” button.
  • Once clicked, the box will change colour from blue to grey.
  • Your bid will be relayed to the auctioneer in the auction room.
  • Your bid will only be valid if it is accepted by the auctioneer.
  • There may be times when other bidders (in the room, absentee, on the phone or online) get their bids in faster than you.
  • There is a delay between the time you click to bid to the time your bid is executed by the operator, so we highly recommend knowing in advance how much you will pay and bidding quickly.
  • If you are the highest bidder, this will be indicated to you.
  • The bidding history trail is displayed in this section as well giving you the opportunity to follow all the auction activity.
  • The auctioneer progresses rapidly so bid quickly and do not wait until the last moment if you do not want to miss out.  



Screen 3 – Video of the Auctioneer 

Here you can watch live streaming video of the auctioneer as he auctions every lot. 


Screen 4 – Lot Description 

A brief description of the main features of the lot. 


Can I cancel an unwanted bid? 

Your bid cannot be cancelled once it has been placed.  

If you win an item, as the registered bidder you will be held legally and financially responsible for payment of that item whether you were representing yourself or acting as an agent and your nominated credit card will be charged. There are no refunds. How will I know if I am successful? 

If you are successful, a green message will appear in the bidding history that the lot was sold to your bidder number. You will also receive an email notification from First State Auctions confirming that you have won the lot. 


10. Payment for Winning LIVE online Bids 

If you are the successful bidder, at the end of the Auction your credit card will be charged in full for the auction hammer price plus the buyer’s premium being 20% of the hammer price.  


How do I calculate what I have to pay?

If you are the successful bidder, the amount you will have to pay is calculated based on the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium of 20%. The standard buyer’s premium at First State Auctions is 20% and is one of the lowest in the industry. A buyer’s premium is charged on all items purchased at First State Auctions and this 20% must be added to the Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding hammer price. It forms part of the total invoice amount that is paid by the winning bidder. The buyer’s premium is not negotiable.  

Example: If you bid $1000 and the item is sold to you (hammer price), you will then pay a further 20% buyer’s premium on top of this. So your final invoice amount will be: $1000 + $200 = $1200.  


Is there a surcharge for credit card payments?

There is no surcharge on credit card payments. If your credit card is from overseas, we do not charge any extra ‘overseas’ fees – however you may need to check with your credit card company directly to see if they have any.    


11. Delivery/Collection of Winning LIVE Online Items 

Items won via Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding will be shipped to your nominated delivery address from First State Auctions Head Office.

Please allow 10 working days from the close of the auction for delivery of your item (subject to credit card security verification).

To prevent credit card fraud, a security verification procedure is in place for first time credit card purchases.

Goods are shipped using secure couriers with tracking of packages. 

  • All shipments are fully insured.
  • All delivery to customers in Australia is complimentary.
  • All delivery methods require signature on delivery by the consignee.
  • We can arrange for international delivery. For all purchases requiring shipping from Australia the purchaser shall be fully responsible for all customs clearance charges, duties, taxes and other charges in their respective countries. Australian GST will be removed from the purchase price. For all purchases requiring shipping from Australia with the invoice value being less than AUD 1,500, the purchase will incur an AUD 50 shipping and insurance fee.


Goods can also be collected from our
Sydney Head Office by appointment and prior request. 


12. After the auction 

Can I buy after the auction?

If an item has not sold then it may be possible to purchase the item after the auction. Our goal is to sell these items, so will assist where we can. Please note that offers will only be accepted for amounts higher than the passed in values.  


Can I change my mind on an item already purchased?

No. At First State Auctions, like other auctions, all bids are final.  


How do I find out about the next auction?

You can register online now and we’ll let you know when we are holding an auction. Upcoming auctions are also displayed on our website.  


Are the auction catalogues online?

Yes. You can view our photo catalogues online approximately 12 days prior to the auction date.  


If I need to, who can I contact after the auction?

If you have any enquiries after the auction, please contact us.    


13. General information

Other Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding Features


Advanced Search 

You can search by:

  • Keyword
  • Minimum estimate
  • Maximum estimate
  • Lot number
  • Item type
  • Item category 

Auctions

View the listing of all upcoming Live Room Auctions with Online Bidding auctions.  

My Items

View your personalised listing of:

  • All items
  • Items won
  • Items not won
  • Items you are bidding on
  • Your watchlist  

Profile

View and change your User Profile, Delivery Address and credit card information.  


Auction Info

Click on the Auction Info link to:

  • View the auction details
  • Shipping info
  • Terms and conditions