Bidder’s Guide

Topics include: Contact, Bidding, Reserves, Premium, Sales Tax, Fees, Payment, Pick Up, Shipping, Condition, Issue Resolution, Happy Link, Mailing List.

Contacting Us:

Email: keystoneauctions@gmail.com  (Note: Email address is KeystoneAuctions@gmail.com (add the “S” after Auction). We have NO association with the owner of the KeystoneAuction@gmail.com nor do we see those emails.)   [When emailing through a bidding platform, please include your name.]

Call 717-755-8954 or 717-850-2513.  Visit (by appt): 218 E. Market St., York, PA 17403

Pick Ups are by appointment only at the Auction Houses weekdays, Monday – Friday 9:30 – 4pm but call ahead to schedule. (If you need weekend, the shipper allows pick ups on Saturdays for a small fee.)  Scroll down to the sections Pick Ups and Shipping for more details.

Bidding

We are continuing to hold our auctions online only.  If you bid online through Live Auctioneers, Invaluable/Auction Zip, HiBid, or BidSquare, you will register in their system.

If you are a new bidder, you may need to be approved. Reasons you might not be automatically approved include one or more disputes or “Unpaid Item Strikes” with other auction houses. If that happens, you can give us a call 717-755-8954. 

Once approved, you can leave bids online in advance if you cannot participate on the day of auction (Tip: please note our bidding increments and the opening bid. On rare occasion, if the opening bid is an odd number over $50 and your max bid is a round amount like $200, your bid tops out at $190)  On the day of auction, we open real-time bidding from the online platforms (shows as floor bid). You can counter bid online real-time.

Please review the bidding procedures with the online bidding platform of your choice so you can win. At the end of the auction, the systems will email an invoice and we will send follow up copies until it is paid.

*Please note that we go through 70- 100 lots per hour so the speed of your internet connection and computer can have an affect on the success of your counter bids. ** Also note that if you wish to retract a left bid before the auction starts, reach out to the online platform – it must be done at least 2 hours before the start of the auction. We do not have access to remove online left bids.  When you are bidding online and we are “online only”, if you see a competing “Floor Bid” that is the other platform competing bid.

Issues with Live Auctioneers / Customer Support per Live Auctioneers, “we advise bidders to reach out via chat and/or to send an email to our bidder support team at info@liveauctioneers.com as we do not have bidder support over the phone.”  

    • Occasionally, someone asks about retracting a bid and it must be done before the auction starts. Live Auctioneers says: “In order to retract your bid, simply log onto your LiveAuctioneers account. Navigate to and select the ‘My Bids’ link, located in the upper right quadrant. Once on this page, find the item you wish to retract your bid on and select the gray ‘Retract’ option in the lower right corner of the item. Follow the steps to retract your bid.  Please note that absentee bids can be retracted only up until 2 hours prior to the listed auction start time.

Issues with Invaluables/Auction Zip / Customer Support, write to auctions@invaluable.com.

New online bidder?  we need to approve your bidding request, which we do in the days preceding the auction. If you find that you are not automatically approved before the auction, please call us at 717-755-8954 so we can find and discuss your request. (We may not approve you if you have Open Disputes from prior auctions with us or others, or Unpaid Item Strikes, or if you do not have a credit card on file.) We were recently surprised by a large unpaid order so we are being more cautious and discerning.  If you feel you should be approved after not being approved, give us a call to talk about it.

Example: When approving bidders, we can see other Auction House feedback and take that into consideration when reviewing pending requests. 

Negative 11/30/2021 WARNING, non-paying bidder!!

And we also see good reviews.

Positive 6/7/2018 Good transaction and fast payment ! Thank you !

Reserves

On occasion, some lots may be offered subject to a reserve. The reserve is a confidential minimum price agreed upon by the consignor and Keystone Auctions LLC below which the lot will not be sold. In most cases, the reserve will be set below the estimated range, but in no case will it exceed the estimates listed. A representative of Keystone Auctions LLC will execute such reserves by bidding for the consignor. In any event and whether or not a lot is subject to a reserve, the auctioneer may reject any bid or raise not commensurate with the value of such lot.

Buyer’s Premium

This is a fee added to the hammer price to cover administrative and online costs. It is listed in the details of each online auction.

Sales Tax and Fees

(1) A 3% credit card processing fee will be charged on the invoice total online; it will be waived for cash or check payment received within 7 days.  On Invaluable/Auction Zip invoices, this fee is INCLUDED in the Taxes and Fees line on invoice and can . On Live Auctioneers, this fee has its own line and if you are paying by phone, we have to add the 3%; if you pay through Live Auctioneers, they add it.

(2) SALES TAX:

  • Invoices through HiBid, Invaluable, and Auction Zip have the 6% sales tax on PA residents. Tax is not charged or collected for other States.
  • Invoices via Live Auctioneers include Sales Tax for PA Residents and approx 30 other States UNLESS you have your State exemption certificate in your LA profile. NOTE: LA will charge non-PA residents the 6% PA Sales Tax if you indicate you are picking up from us in Pennsylvania because they treat that as a PA Sale. Upload your exemption info today because auction houses cannot remove the sales tax on invoice (Live Auctioneers has to do it) so it will slow down receipt of your items.  Follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your account at https://www.liveauctioneers.com
  2. From Account Settings, click on ‘Tax Exemption’
  3. Under ‘Add New Certificate’, select your state and upload your resale certificate or sales tax permit details
  4. Your approved certificate will be marked as ‘Approved’ under the ‘Tax Exemption’ tab, and will be applied to all applicable invoices issued through LiveAuctioneers. (Providing documentation does not guarantee your tax exemption status on LiveAuctioneers. Their team may request additional information, for example if you cert is expired, to complete the process.)
  • For more info on Live Auctioneers tax policy, they said in October 2020 “As a result of recent and ongoing legislation, most U.S. states now require businesses to collect and remit sales tax on online purchases made from their states. Regardless of where sellers are located, they are required to charge tax on internet orders if your state mandates it. Each state has different requirements and thresholds on what is taxed, and how much.  Sales tax will not apply to purchases made by bidders with valid tax exemption certificates. If you have a valid tax exemption certificate, upload it to your LiveAuctioneers account to ensure your purchases are not subject to tax.”   **To read more about Live Auctioneers sales tax collections: CLICK HERE  **Instead of emailing your form to LA, upload it yourself with these instructions:  UPLOADING INFO
  • Coins: We are aware that coins are generally not sales taxable but the bidding platforms do not recognize coins differently so you may need to request the tax removal if you notice it on invoice.

Payment in General

Payment is due within 7 days of the auction unless special payment arrangements are made. Payment may be made with cash, personal/business check, credit card, money orders, cashier’s checks, and WePay. Live Auctioneer customers also have a choice of using their ACH method for a 1% fee.  Bank wires / wire transfers may be accepted for amounts greater than $250. (Keystone Auctions may require a wire transfer for some transactions / non-US buyer spending more than $500).  * A 3% credit card processing fee will be charged on the invoice total online; it will be waived for cash or check payment received within 7 days.

Keystone Auctions DOES NOT accept PayPal, BidPay, or Western Union wires. *Note* Due to fraudulent transactions Keystone Auctions may require cash, money-order or wire transfers for gold, silver and coins purchases.

Non Payment: If payment is not received timely, Keystone Auction will file a dispute with the online platform. We do this for several reasons, one of which is to recoup a portion of the online platform’s premium that we are charged on each sale. Once your payment is received, the dispute should disappear or we have to remove manually.  Some online platforms allow us to bill your credit card on file, we will call or send an email notifying you if we are going to do this, and then do it.

Purchases paid for with personal or business checks may not be released until payment has cleared. Checks may not be post dated, are deposited the same day, and a service charge of $50 will be charged for all returned checks. We use the York County District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program.

For the benefit of our consignors who we promise to pay 30 days after the auction , Keystone Auctions reserves the right to re-sell items that are not paid within 25 days of the auction, without notice.   Thanks to our buyers who pay promptly!!  There is usually one buyer who pays late or not at all; please do not be that type of buyer. Call us to discuss options, we want to work with you.

Specific payment details will also be printed on your online invoice, please read “the fine print.”

Pick-up Information: To save you time and allow us to give you the attention you deserve, please call in advance of pick up and schedule an appointment.  Our Preferred Pick up days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10-4pm. Please call ahead so that we do not transfer the item to the shipper. If picking up, we also need that to happen within 2 weeks of the auction.  We will charge a $5/day storage fee for items not picked up timely but call us to let us know your plans as we would rather you have the item that have your forfeit it.

Please bring your own packing material if possible. Call 717-755-8954 if you need special arrangements.  Auction-Specific or variations to these procedures will be printed on your online invoice, please read “the fine print.”

If you are having someone pick up on your behalf, provide us with the name of that person or shipping company and let them know to call us and  make an appointment for pick up.

The Location of our Auction House is 218 E Market Street, York PA 17403. Access is from the driveway beside the building. enter from Market Street or Mason Alley around back but NOTE that there is an overhang that will prevent a large truck from going straight through. There are also 2 telephone poles to dodge. Keystone Auctions LLC reserves the right to hold shipment of product until checks clear (personal or business).  For large item delivery, consider www.uship.com.

Shipping / 3rd Party

Shipping is the responsibility of the buyer and is not included. Our apologies for not being able to offer in-house shipping but our preferred shippers have all the skills, materials, and knowledge needed. We do not have input into the cost of shipping. You are free to make your own arrangements.  (We cannot refund you if you choose not to ship your item but we can hold it a bit longer if you are working to find a shipping solution. Just ask.)

As a courtesy to our customers, Keystone Auctions will AUTOMATICALLY transfer the items purchased to one of the shippers listed below after payment has been received, unless you provide us with alternate instructions AT TIME OF PAYMENT. Due to volume, we send items to them in batches of about 50 orders two to three times a week starting on the Tuesday after the auction (Monday is printing paid invoice day). *Please allow a week or two for them to receive and start preparing the quote. If time is of the essence, please call us at 717-755-8954 or email us (keystoneauctions@gmail.com) so we can expedite the transfer and make a note on the invoice to expedite the quote.

The shipper will EMAIL you shipping quotes using multiple shippers/options. IT IS PREFERRED THAT YOU DO NOT CALL THEM AHEAD OF OUR TRANSFER OF THE ORDER.  Quotes generally will not be provided “sight unseen” because they need the item to assess size, weight, fragility, and destination. Shipping costs are to be paid directly to the third party shipper. Shipper options:

  1. We split the orders between:
  2. Postal Connections, Store 209 (USPS/FedEx/DHL), 211 Pauline Drive, York, Pa 17402, Phone 717-718-1773, Fax 717-718-9010, **NEW Email: postalconnections209@gmail.com (note: old email address pca209@postalconnections.com – discontinued 1/1/2022). Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM EST and Sat 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Their website is http://www.postalconnectionsyork.com/ and
  3. Postal Connections, Store 223 (USPS/Fedex/UPS/DHL), 3151 Cape Horn Rd, Red Lion, PA 17356, Phone 717-246-3570, Email: pca223@postalconnections.com. Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 9 AM – 7 PM EST and Sat 9 AM – 3 PM. Their website is http://www.postalconnections223.com/about/
  4. Postal Connections Store in Mechanicsburg, PA – this is a 2022 addition to our options.
  5. By Request:  The UPS Store #1161, Tel: 717-852-8029.  Their website is https://york-pa-1161.theupsstorelocal.com/  There are 2 other UPS Stores locally as options if you prefer.
  6. Long-haul large furniture / large item shippers options (we have no affiliation with but they have picked up from us more than once): (1) www.USHIP.com, it’s like Uber for items where drivers bid on your job when you enter item description and origin (17403) and your destination zip code.  Their website is https://www.uship.com/ TIP: Review the driver’s reviews / rating to help make your selection. (2) Circle B Shipping DC-NY-CT and Ohio #484-947-6696, (3) For deliveries to California, Billy Mac Delivery in New Hope, PA, email: billymacdelivery@gmail.com, they have no phone contact,  (4) Northwind Transport – East coast to California deliveries #603-491-5199, (5) Country Postman – North East coast deliveries 845-677-1076 or 978-491-9353, (6) Craig Cohen does pick ups here for North East deliveries #215-767-1608, and (7) Mosaic Enterprises (formerly DAKS Global) 250 Line Street , Easton, PA 18042, tel: 267 225 0073, sales@moeship.com. We have some other suggestions available upon request.

*Attention: Please be aware of shipping rules related to the type of item your are buying. International shipping: OUR SHIPPER SAID THAT THE GOV’T INSTITUTED CHANGES FOR SHIPMENTS TO RUSSIA, CHINA AND VENEZUELA AND A FORM EEI WILL BE REQUIRED – THIS MAY DELAY SHIPPING.   Also, Our shipper informed us that effective July 1, 2021, there is a new EU and UK rule that will impose VAT on everything shipped there from outside that area. Other countries have restrictions on the import of liquid flammables/perfume (such as Canada), potential weapons (ex. Australia has a variety of restrictions on knives, swords, etc.) and duties. It is your responsibility to know if the item can be shipped to you. Some countries have additional taxes or customs duties due at port of entry to be paid by the buyer. Our shipper recommends Fedex for international shipping because they track the items from end-to-end, whereas the USPS hands off the items to other countries’ local postal service and tracking is lost when it leaves the USA. If that country does not accept it for any reason, it may be returned to the auction house, sometimes several months later, or lost for good.   *For coins and jewelry, it is also recommended that you consider using Fedex for shipping.

We have 200-300 customers to manage after each sale and appreciate your patience as we work through all the messages and inquiries that we receive. If you can’t reach us in person, an email may be the next fastest contact method. KeystoneAuctions@gmail.com

Unshipped/Uncollected Items

The third party shipper returns unshipped items to us after trying to reach the customer via phone and email for at least 30+ days from date of auction, because they have limited storage space. (Check your email spam folder) Verify your phone number and email address on your invoice to ensure it is up to date. Call us 717-755-8954 if you have not heard from the shipper – they are likely trying to reach you but maybe your voice mail is full or the email is going to spam.

Once returned to Keystone, we may make an attempt to reach you and if there is no communication, Keystone Auction reserves the right to re-sell those items to compensate for consignor payouts and/or storage and handling fees. We generally hold items another month and sometimes longer, so please call us if you have not heard from the shipper within 30 days from your payment and are ready to arrange shipping.

Condition Request / Other

Bidders are responsible for noting the condition, inspecting the items (in person or via photos, zoom in on photo details) or requesting condition report. All purchases are “AS IS” and all sales are final because you have the opportunity to request condition reports ahead of time. We attempt to respond to all Condition Requests before the the auction begins, and we apologize if we are unable to get to yours. Please do not assume a lack of response means that the condition is anything other than as written in the item description or visible in the pictures. Note that all weights and measurements are approximate.  

Bidding and Absentee Bids – There may be a strategy to leaving a absentee “max” bid. The online platforms start your bidding at the “Start”/”Opening” bid for each item. The bidding increases when there are competing bidders according to the Bid Increments.  It is rare but we had this scenario as an example: the opening bid was $70, a customer left a max bid of $200, but due to competing bids, their highest bid could only go to $190, and $200 was the next bid by the competing bidder.

Issues In the rare event that there is a conflict in the sale of an item or a double sale, the auctioneer decides the winner. If an item is clearly mislabeled or misattributed, we will work to make it right. We want you to be happy. It might not be fast, but we will try to work things out, so call and/or email if there is an issue, and email photos to explain your claim.  We do not refund shipping; we are selling items “as is” and give ample opportunity in advance to ask for details or more photos. Also, refunds thru Live Auctioneer and Invaluable do not include a refund of the credit card processing fee.

Happy? Thank you for bidding with us! We hope you enjoy your purchases! If you are happy with us, we very much would appreciate a positive Google review LINK and if we can improve or help, please give us a call so we can discuss and try to find a solution.

Mailing List

After each auction, we add our Winner’s email addresses to our Email list to send Auction Notifications. Each email offers an “Unsubscribe” if you choose. 

If you do not already receive our Auction Notice emails and would like to, please fill in this form to sign up: