The Manifest Difference
It will be difficult to explain the Manifest difference in just a few paragraphs, but we will do our best. Here are just a few reasons why we feel like we provide the best environment for sellers who are considering an auction.
Cost to Consign – Many consignments will qualify for a very low seller’s commission. All buyers pay a 17% buyer’s premium. That makes our auction house one of the most affordable places to both buy and sell.
Low/No Fees – We are not looking to increase our margin by charging extra fees. That means that we do not charge photography fees, holding insurance fees, catalogs fees, or surprise restoration fees. All fees related to buying and selling are disclosed and clear.
21st Century Technology – One of the biggest differences between us and our competitors is that we designed our company specifically for today’s auction environment. Other auction houses that started in the 1920s, 1960s, or even the 1990s have had to try and adapt to the current internet age. We built Manifest auctions so that we can take advantage of everything the internet has to offer when it comes to promoting and organizing a top rate auction.
LiveAuctioneers/Proxibid – A lot of our competitors rely strictly on their mailing list and mail bidding. That means that if you aren’t on the mailing list then you will never know about the auction. Our auctions are hosted through LiveAuctioneers and Proxibid. In addition to our traditional mailing list, all of the more than one million monthly visitors to LiveAuctioneers and Proxibid who are actively looking to buy antiques and collectibles will have the chance to view your consignment and bid on it.
Promotion – We advertise our auctions on more than 40 websites, in numerous collector periodicals, and directly to tens of thousands of collectors, dealers, and museums. We try our best to make sure every interested bidder knows about our sale and your consignment.
Advances – Some auction houses make it very difficult and costly to get an advance on a consignment. Rates of 12-18% are pretty much an industry standard. Qualifying consignments at our auctions are open to a free advance on the opening bid with no set up cost or interest charge.
Settlements – A lot goes on after an auction. The auction house has to get paid and ship as many as a thousand different items to hundreds of different winning bidders. It is reasonable to allow a few weeks between when the hammer falls and when the settlement check is mailed. We mail consignment settlement checks 30 days after the auction closes. Many of our competitors don’t mail until 60 days later. That is just a month difference, but that can make a world of difference if you are waiting on a big check.
Taxes – This may not seem very important, but it is a big deal when buyers consider what they are willing to bid. None of our bidders have to have to pay sales tax on any coin or currency purchases. It is not unusual for the larger auction houses to have retail locations in many different major U.S. cities and states (CA, FL, IL, NY, TX, etc). If you are an auction house and you have a physical presence in a state, then you are usually required to collect sales tax from winning bidders who live in that state (SC is an exception). Some auctioneers have to collect sales tax from more than 30% of the population of the U.S. You can see why collectors have to lower their bids 5-10% at other venues to compensate for the state tax upcharge.
Not Run with Tradeshows – We have never understood why some auctioneers tout that they are run in conjunction with conventions. All that means is that you are holding the auction when 99% of the interested bidders are trying to either eat dinner with friends they see once a year, conduct high value private sales, or catch a flight back home. Our auctions are stand alone events with no distractions. Buyers come to bid and spend money.