Railroad Auction

The addition of LiveAuctioneers – What it means to you



Click here for the “in house” Absentee Bidding form


We are now posting our auction catalog on the LiveAuctioneers web site. This will impact our traditional absentee bidding execution. Auction attendees will also notice a change to floor procedures. The fees for LiveAuctioneers bidding is also different from our traditional “in house” absentee bidding. Please review this page carefully to understand how the changes may impact you. The addition of Live online bidding is also new.


Having problems finding specific items that you look for in the catalog - LiveAuctioneers "search" is awkward. If you search on the word "Boston" you will get all Boston results from all auction houses. There is an auction house "filter" but using "Brookline" in all searches is faster. Assuming you are looking for a specific item type (lantern, key) or name (Maine, Frisco, Boston). Use the following line in the LiveAuctioneer's search test box:

    "Brookline lantern"

    "Brookline Chicago"

    "Brookline annual pass"

Please remember that these are real auctions and unlike eBay or mail bid sales where an item ends at a specific time. Live auctions are like baseball games. There is no clock. Each item is sold in a specific order with no time constraints. An item is sold when there are no more bids. If two bidders want to go "to the moon" that's OK. If an item gets no bids, we move along. You can extrapolate an approximate time for the time an item will sell by timing some of the early lots to get a lots/hour average time.


Both Consignors and Bidders have asked for live online.


For Consignors:

1.   More exposure for the catalog: views, absentee bids, etc.

2.   Bidders can now bid from home “Live”


For Bidders:

1.   You can bid from home without attending

2.    We will keep our traditional “in house” absentee bid execution


LiveAuctioneers offers a few options for Bidders:


Absentee bidding – pre auction. This is similar to the absentee bidding we have been doing for years where you either email, phone or mail us a bid sheet and we enter your bids into a file and we then sort all of the bids and execute your bid(s) as if you were on the floor. For attendees, this is the job that Scott does – bidding from a long list for different people. With Live Auctioneers absentee bidding, Live auctioneers will hold your absentee bids and they will inform our Internet Clerk on a computer when there are absentee bids coming from LiveOnline absentee bidders.


Live online bidding – Bidders will use a computer and bid live during the auction. Our new Internet Clerk will execute those bids. Please note that there can be competition from in house and LiveOnline absentee bids.


We are offering the LiveOnline service as an option. We will still execute traditional “in house” absentee bids. There is also a fee associated with LiveAuctioneer bidding, both Absentee and Live. You will be charged an additional fee for this service.


Why offer this? We have had absentee bidders leave PAGES of bids and they always tell me that they fear they will get everything on their list or nothing on their list. Now those guys have an option of how to spend their money. Other collectors have said, “I want two of the following items.”  I can’t execute absentee bids from my chair and guarantee that I won't double or just miss on a "get me just one" request.


The quality of the catalog is the same effort that is put into honest grading and good descriptions with “collector” language used. The photo count remains 1-10 per item. 


Ron and I are ironing out the absentee bidder shipping policies. We have made every effort to ship "at cost". Currently we may charge you twice: once for the items and a 2nd charge for shipping. We may change this to one charge.


Please remember that there is a chance you might leave “in house” absentee bids and then decide to use LiveAuctioneers for either Absentee or Live bidding. Be careful! We will not prevent you from bidding against yourself.


In order to synchronize in house absentees, Live Online Absentees, Live bids and floor bidding we will now enforce bid increments. All bids (absentee, live, floor) must use the increment system:


Bid level


25 - 50


50 - 250


250 - 500


500 - 1000


1000 - 5000


5000 +



In-house absentee bidders - ties go to the earliest bidder. Please remember that ALL absentee bidders can "lose a tie".  If your absentee bid is $50 and  we open the lot on your behalf at 25 and somebody else bids 30 and we then bid 35 for you and another bidder bids 40, we will bid 45 for you. When another bidder bids 50..... they have matched your bid but your limit is 50 so we will not bid again for you. You just lost a tie. This happens 2-4 times per auction and no matter how times I explain this, people have less than flattering things to say about it. Please remember in the above example, we tried to purchase the item for you at $25. If you want me to announce a 50 bid once and only once, I can do that too for in-house absentee bidders.


The following chart explains the “Buyer’s Premium” fees associated with all bidding methods:



Cash, Check,

Money Order

Credit Card,


LiveAuctioneers Absentee, Live



Floor, “in house” absentee




You may ask why we don't discount LiveAuction for Cash/Check? The LiveAuctioneer invoicing system is not flexible. We tried this and some clever people asked for a "check" rate and then called back with a credit card 3 days later. This happened more than once and we lost money trying to provide this service. 


The Minimum Absentee Bid is $25.00.


Our “in house” absentee bidding procedures stay the same: we ask for contact information early so that at the last minute we aren’t scribbling phone numbers on scraps of paper.


Items won by absentee bid can either be shipped or picked up at the Auction Hall in Brookline, New Hampshire. If items are shipped the buyer is responsible for shipping and insurance costs. We will try to use your preferred carrier (USPS, UPS, FedEx).  Please be aware that some items are not shippable due to size or weight.  They either need to be picked up at Brookline Auction Gallery, or they require other arrangements.  These items are clearly noted in the catalog, but if you are interested in something huge or heavy, please check to ensure it’s not described as non-shippable.


Successful “in house” absentee bidders will be called when the Saturday auction is finished. This may take a day or two to process. Live Online bidders will be invoiced via the Internet.


Mailed absentee bills can be paid by Visa, MasterCard, Money Order, Bank Check or PayPal. PayPal works best for us. Typically the phone call notifications start Sunday right after the auction.


You can submit Absentee bid(s) by: (a) mailing the Absentee Bidding form, (b) dropping off the Absentee Form in person, (c) email,  (d) phone


The drop-dead times for bidding is:


        In House Absentee:


Mailing – must be received by Noon, Friday, day prior to auction

Drop off in person – 6:00 pm EST , Friday, day prior to auction

Email – 6:00 pm EST, Friday, day prior to auction

Phone – 6:00 pm EST, Friday, day prior to auction


Live Auctioneers:


Registration by 9:00 am EST day of auction

Absentee Bids by 10:00 am EST day of sale

Live bidding – as we progress through the catalog – it’s Live


We will not disclose anyone’s identity or their bids.


If you have made a traditional “in house” bid and want to check your status by phone, you can. We will tell you the current opening bid. You can deduce if you are the high bidder based on that amount. If you are no longer the high bidder we will accept an increment that you specify on the phone. We will not tell you the high bid amount. We reserve the right to reject any and all bids that you have made. Because we accept absentee bids in two locations it may take a few hours to figure out from a single master sheet exactly what the opening bid is on any specific item. For LiveAuctioneers you can see absentee bid “counts” but not amounts. This is all we know until the item opens on the floor in the auction. 


Please remember that your status as an absentee bidder is no guarantee of winning an item. All lots will have competitive floor bidding.


If you choose to use email bidding, please remember to register your name, contact information and the email address you will be using IN ADVANCE. We will not accept email bids from anyone who has not registered. This is a security mechanism and ensures that we know what email address each absentee bidder is using. We expect many last minute email bids and we want to properly handle your bids. 


We will have limited live phone bidding. The minimum bid for opening phone bidding is $500.00 and we appreciate openings higher than that. Most important is that you register early and notify us what specific lot(s) you are interested in. You will be required to start at $500.00. This is done to prevent phone-hogging for just informational purposes. You must provide a phone number because we will call you when your lot(s) are coming up. We will then inform you of the floor and live bidding status. You may have limited time to place bids because floor bidding often occurs faster than you can be informed of “current” price over the phone. The first bidders to register on specific lots will be the ones who have the best chance of live phone bidding. Again, register early if this is something that you require. Ask Scott if you have questions about this.


The frustration of absentee bidding is not lost on us.  However, we need time to process bids submitted by different methods and to keep all of the lots and bids straight. Please remember that we take bids in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire and the master list has to be coordinated every night.

Feel free to contact Scott Czaja at: sczaja@hotmail.com

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Copyright  2015 Scott Czaja