Antiques Division FAQ

General Info:

Can I participate in the auction live?

Our Premier auction events accommodate live in-person participation in our specialized auction facility. The Premier auction also includes online bidding through the services listed below, as well as, telephone and absentee bidding.

They are also hosted live on the numerous internet bidding platforms listed below, and participants can also bid live through phone bidding.


Where are you located, and when are you open?

199 Skowhegan Road, Fairfield, ME 04937

Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday      |   9:00AM-5:00PM EST
Saturday-Sunday  |   CLOSED (With the exception of Premier Auctions)

Most of our multi-day auction events will occur over the course of a weekend, in which case we are open for the time of the auction and preview hours on each of those days.

Can I get additional photos or help answering my questions by a consultant of yours?

Yes, any questions or inquiries you may have about a lot that is left unanswered by its description or available imagery can be requested via phone or email, at which point a member of our consultant staff can review your questions, and/or our photographers can publish the additional images to our online catalog for you to review.

Just call us at (207) 453-2114, email, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page to get started.

What happens if an item doesn't sell?

The vast majority of items we offer through the auctions are sold. We encourage interested parties to bid aggressively during the sale for the opportunity to own the item. Occasionally an item may not sell during the auction, if you would like to make an offer on any item that did not sell during the auction, please contact the sales office for more information.

What are your Terms & Conditions?

Terms and Conditions for our Firearms & Militaria Division can be found here:
Firearms & Militaria Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions for our Fine Art & Antiques Division can be found here:
Fine Art & Antiques Terms & Conditions

How do I get an auction catalog?

The high-quality printed catalogs for our premier auctions are typically available printed 1-2 months before the dates of the sale, and cost $40 for any combination of two sessions, or $75 for a full set of all four sessions. Prices include sales tax and shipping for continental U.S. orders. Contact us at (207) 453-2114 or email to request your set, at which point all we’ll need is a form of payment and shipping address.

What time is my item going to come up in the auction?

We progress through the auction at a rate of around 70-100 lots per hour, typically slower around the beginning of the sale and quicker near the end, and we always begin our auctions at 10:00AM EST. Using this, you can get a general idea of when each lot will go up to the podium.

As an example; if your lot number is 3100, then we know the item is in Session 3 and is the 100th lot of that session, and therefore can assume it will take about an hour to get to that lot, at around 11:00AM EST. It is always better to err on the side of caution and assume the sale will move quicker than expected, as not to miss your bid!

When can I come in and preview the items in your upcoming auction?

For our Premier Auction events, we host open-house preview days, which always take place from 9:00AM – 5:00PM on the two days preceding Session 1 of the auction. During the preview days, anyone is welcome to come in and preview the inventory. On the day of each session of the auction, we open our doors at 8:00AM and allow preview from then until the beginning of the sale at 10:00AM. Previewing is available by appointment in the weeks prior to the auction.

Signup & Bidding:

I'm a new bidder, how do I participate in the auctions?

The first step is knowing when our auctions take place, and what is being offered in each one. You can join our email newsletter HERE to receive notifications and updates. These will feature auction dates, select highlights, catalog announcements, additional information, or simply keep an eye on our website for new content.

Secondly, be sure to take advantage of our open-house previews, complimentary photography request service, and our crew of highly qualified consultant staff to answer any questions you might have about upcoming lots before you place your bids.

Next, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our Terms & Conditions, which contain all the ins-and-outs of the auction process, including our description guarantee, buyer’s premium rates, shipping information, and more.

As for bidding, you have multiple options. You can bid live and in-person at our auction gallery in Fairfield, ME, during our premier auctions. Absentee and Phone bids can be placed in advance, you can bid through our company’s personal online bidding service, PoulinLIVE, or any other third-party internet bidding services that host our auction, either live or in advance. (information and instruction for the individual methods of bidding can be found in the next two questions below)


Finally, following the end of the sale if you should be successful in your bids, you will receive an invoice and instructions on how to pay for your invoice, arrange pick-up, shipment, or delivery of your items (more information found in the “Shipping” section below)

How do I do: In-House, Phone, & Absentee Bidding?

IN-PERSON GALLERY BIDDING – Placing an in-house gallery bid during a premier auction involves being physically present during the sale. Our auctions begin at 10:00AM, and should you wish to participate in person, you can either pre-register over the phone, during one of our two preview days, or the day of the auction at our front office. From there, bidding is as simple as holding up your bid card!

PHONE BIDDING – To place a Phone bid, all you have to do is call our office at (207) 453-2114 or email once the catalog is published and provide the information necessary to register, including name, contact info, credit card, and billing address. Next, you need to provide the lot numbers for any lots you want to bid on, as well as the phone number that you wish to be contacted on during the sale (it is suggested to provide a back up phone number in the instance we can’t reach you on the primary number). When your lot is about to go up to the podium, you’ll receive a call from a Poulin associate who will facilitate your bids in real time during the auction with you over the phone. You also have the option to place a “Cover Me” absentee bid alongside your phone bid, and in the event we cannot reach you on the phone, an associate will bid up to the amount you specify in your Cover Me bid in your absence. We encourage phone bidders to place their bids up to 24 hours before the day of the sale to be sure a phone line is available, however we will attempt to accommodate any late additional phone bids if possible.

ABSENTEE BIDDING – An absentee bid does not require any live participation whatsoever, all you have to do is call or email your registration info, any lots you wish to bid on, and provide the max bid you are willing to go up to on each lot. This can be done any time leading up to the sale, and should anyone else place an absentee bid through us that is higher than yours, you’ll receive an outbid notice via email (this service finalizes before the day of the event). On the day of the sale, a Poulin associate will bid up to your specified maximum for each of your lots. Placing an absentee bid in our auction is the maximum you will be willing to bid, however you may win the lot for significantly less depending on the level of participation from other bidders.

Absentee bids can also be placed directly through PoulinLIVE or any of the other internet bidding platforms as well.

How do I do: PoulinLIVE & Internet Bidding?

You can register to bid through PoulinLIVE via this link:


The registration process is a quick procedure that will allow you to begin placing your bids immediately after approval. PoulinLIVE is powered through an iCollector engine, allowing for you to utilize your iCollector account in conjunction with PoulinLIVE if you have already created an account with iCollector.

Internet bidding registration through the various internet bidding platforms requires signing up and creating an account through their respective websites, which are listed below for your convenience. Upon approval, you will be able to place your absentee & live bids through these catalogs.


Could someone walk me through registering to bid on "PoulinLIVE"?

Yes, a Poulin’s associate would be more than happy to walk you through the signup process. Just call (207) 453-2114 or email with your inquiry, and an associate can assist you with registration.

Does it cost anything to attend the auctions or register to bid?

No. Although some auction houses charge a fee to register in their auctions or attend the auction preview, we do not. Attendance and signup are completely free, we are interested in making our consignors’ goods available to the maximum number of people. Rather than potentially inhibiting participation by discouraging potential bidders from making the effort to preview or participate.

What is your Buyer's Premium, and what can I do to lower it?

The Buyer’s Premium owed depends on a few factors:

To achieve the lowest buyer’s premium possible, you should bid directly through Poulin’s in-house, phone, or absentee bidding services whenever you participate, and pay cash, check, wire, or money order.

What happens if another bidder places an absentee bid for the same amount as mine?

Each platform, whether it be PoulinLIVE, Proxibid, Invaluable, Liveauctioneers, AuctionZip, iCollector, or absentee bids directly with Poulin’s are independent of each other. The only time that a timestamp is taken into consideration to determine the successful bidder in a tie situation is when the bids are placed on the same individual platform. The information from these platforms does not converge until the moment that an item is being sold. It is enacted by a separate operator for each platform,  just as if that operator was sitting amongst the crowd. The operator’s attempt to bid is taken into consideration in the same manner as any other participant and may attempt to bid at the same time other auction bidders or operators for other platforms bid. The auctioneer will accept the first bid he receives which may be on another party at the same level that you left as an absentee bid.

We encourage participants who are serious about acquiring an item either bid live in-person, through phone bidding, or pay attention to the live online auction to account for the unknowns of the live auction environment.

Why are there lots missing on some of the internet bidding platforms, and not others?

Each 3rd-party internet bidding service that hosts our auctions has their own company policies that restrict certain types of items from sale on those platforms. In order to guarantee that you have access to every item available for sale in each auction, we encourage bidders to participate either directly through our company via In-House, Phone, or Absentee bidding, or on our company’s own internet bidding service, PoulinLIVE, where there are no restricted items.

I had to include a credit card number during registration, do you charge it automatically?

We only charge the credit card used during bid registration in two scenarios; if we are given express permission to do so by you, the bidder, or if payment has not been recieved via other means within 18 business days of the conclusion of the auction, as outlined in our Terms & Conditions.

Registration through third-party internet bidding platforms do not provide us with the credit card number used at signup. If you would like to pay by credit card, you need to contact our office to arrange payment.

What are the bid increments the auctioneer uses?

The following chart is the typical bid increments at each pricepoint of bidding, however this should be used as a general reference and not as a strict guideline, since each auctioneer may deviate from these in certain circumstances.

Less than $500 $25 INCREMENT
$500 – $1000 $50 INCREMENT
$1,000 – $2,000 $100 INCREMENT
$2,000 – $5,000 $250 INCREMENT
$5,000 – $10,000 $500 INCREMENT
More than $10,000 Auctioneer’s Discretion


I have items I want to consign, who do I talk to and what do you need to get started?

Our consignments team would be happy to assist you with any questions that you may have about the consignment process. You can contact our team at 1-800-872-4406 or by email at You can also drop by our office at 203 Skowhegan Rd, Fairfield, ME 04937.

Consigning in three easy steps:

#1 – Contact Us: Reach out to us directly at 1-800-872-4406 or email  to reach a member of our sales department to begin the process of consigning to an upcoming sale.

#2 – Send Information regarding the consignment: During the contract-stage of consignment, our sales associates will need some information about the items to be consigned.

#3 – Acquisition: We now need to get the items to our auction facility in Fairfield, Maine, either by having them shipped, meeting one of our associates at a gun show at which we’re attending, dropping the item off at our facility,  or possibly having a member of our staff pick up the item(s).

I saw you advertised a seller's commission of "0% or Better" on some items, do I qualify?

To the best of our knowledge, we are the only auction house that publicly advertise 0% or better seller’s commission on expensive items and valuable collections. This could be a single item or entire collection. If you would like to find out how to qualify for the best possible seller’s commission in the industry, please contact our sales team to discuss the details of the consignment. You can reach the sales team at 1-800-872-4406 or email to determine whether your consignment will qualify.

How will I be paid after the auction, and how long will it take?

We pay our consignors 35 business days after the auction for all consummated sales. We can submit payment either by check or wire.

What are your seller's commissions?

We strive to offer the best and most competitive commission structure in the fine art and antiques auction industry for similar levels of service. We cater our commission to the specifics of the consignment and regularly save our consignors thousands of dollars when compared to other auction firms that offer a similar level of services.

To begin the inquiry concerning our commissions, you will need to contact our sales team and discuss what you are interested in consigning. You can reach them at 1-800-872-4406 or email 

How do I get my items to you? Do you pick up? Is there a charge for pick ups?

Items can be either delivered to our facility (in-person or by carrier) or possibly by pick-up service.

We do offer complimentary pick-up services for large collections. In many cases we can accommodate smaller consignments on a pick-up run where we consolidate numerous consignments on a single trip to avoid any pick-up fees.

What happens if my items don't sell?

We sell the vast majority of the items we offer at auction with one of the highest sell-through rates in the industry. If an item does not sell in the auction, you will be notified after the sale with instructions as to the steps to either reconsign in a future auction, or arrange to have the items returned to you.

How do I know my collection/item will be safely secured while in your possession?

Your items are insured while they are in our possession. Our climate-controlled, secured facility is designed to safely store your consignment in a very organized manner with meticulous tracking software and methods to ensure that your items remain protected. 

Invoicing & Payment:

I just won an item! When can I pay, establish shipping, and/or pickup my stuff?

Winning invoices will be emailed out to the winning bidders following the conclusion of the entire auction event, meaning if you won items in Session 1 of a four-session auction, you won’t receive your invoice until the conclusion of Session 4.

Once you’ve received your emailed invoice, please follow the detailed instructions that are included. If you have any questions, you are free to call us at (207) 453-2114 or email to arrange payment and shipping. If you do not have an email, or just would prefer not to use it, we can physically mail a paper invoice, and arrange payment and shipping over phone as early as the day after the conclusion of the auction.

Do I need to pay sales tax?

There are certain states that require us to collect sales tax. The sales tax is calculated based on the shipping destination of the items. Detailed instructions are sent with invoices to calculate the sales tax for your state, county, and city. Because we do not know where the items will be shipped, we cannot calculate this ahead of time. Invoices are sent with a default Maine sales tax included.

For any questions pertaining to sales tax, you can contact our office at (207) 453-2114 or by email at

A valid resale certificate is required to achieve tax exempt status.

I received my invoice, why is the buyer's premium more than it should be?

Invoices are sent with a default setting for the buyer’s premium paid by credit card and dependent on the method of participation. To achieve a 3.5% discount on the buyer’s premium, payment can be made by either check, cash, wire, or money order. 

Detailed instructions are included with the invoice to calculate the appropriate buyer’s premium based on your participation and preferred payment method.

If you would like an updated invoice with the appropriate buyer’s premium based on your method of payment, you can contact our office at (207) 453-2114 or email us at 

Can you email me a paid invoice/receipt?

Paid invoices are sent at the request of the buyer. If you would like to receive a paid invoice after your payment has been processed, please indicate when you are submitting your payment or contact our office at (207) 453-2114 or email us at

Does the invoice include shipping?

Invoices sent after the auction for successful bidders do not include any shipping, handling, or insurance. This is to provide the best possible rate based off the actual dimensions of the package required rather than guesstimating possible dimensions and potentially overcharging a client for the shipment. 

A credit card is required for the shipping, handling, and insurance. It will be charged once the package(s) are ready to ship.

If you elect to utilize your own insurance, or do not wish to utilize our insurance, you can submit an insurance waiver form, which is available if you contact our office at (207) 453-2114 or email us at 

Downloadable insurance waiver form available HERE

Shipping & Pickup:

How much is shipping going to cost?

The shipping is calculated based on the dimensions of the packaging, weight, and destination.

If you elect to use Poulin insurance, there is an additional cost that is outlined in our Terms & Conditions. If you wish to utilize your own insurance or waive Poulin insurance then you must submit an insurance waiver that is available if you contact our office at (207) 453-2114 or email us at 

How long will it take for my item to ship, and will I be notified once it does?

Shipping times vary depending on the volume in queue ahead in the shipping department. Generally after a large auction, it can take up to 2 weeks.

Shipping orders do not enter the queue until the invoices are settled in full, and all necessary paperwork, including FFL, resale certificate (if applicable), and credit card for shipping costs, have been submitted.

Rush orders can be accommodated if you notify our office at (207) 453-2114 or email us at 

Tracking numbers will be emailed when the carrier receives the packages for shipment.

Can you include the shipping expenses on my invoice so I can pay for it all at once?

Invoices sent after the auction for successful bidders do not include any shipping, handling, or insurance. This is to provide the best possible rate based off the actual dimensions of the package required rather than guesstimating possible dimensions and potentially overcharging a client for the shipment. 

A credit card is required for the shipping, handling, and insurance. It will be charged once the package(s) are ready to ship.

If you do not wish to utilize a credit card and prefer to apply overages to your payment, we will refund any remaining balance once the packages have left.

Can my items be shipped together?

When possible, we combine items together to save money for our bidders. However, there are carrier policies that restrict certain items or require special methods to ship. In these cases, or due to legal requirements, certain items may be required to be shipped independently through the same carrier or through another carrier entirely.

My item was damaged or not as described, what do I do?

Item Damaged in Shipment:
#1 – If the package looks damaged, begin by photographing the package before you unbox the item.
#2 – Once unboxed, take images of the damage that the item received.
#3 – Submit the images and any additional information pertaining to the item(s) to

Item Not as Described:
#1 – Contact the office and ask to speak to one of our representatives.
#2 – They will share the information and any images (if applicable) you provide with the consultants.
#3 – When approved for return, we will issue a return label to you for the return shipment.
#4 – Once the item has been received in-house a closer review will take place pertaining to your concerns.
#5 – After the item has been reviewed, if necessary, a refund will be issued.
#6 – There are no partial refunds.

Can I pickup my item(s) in person?

Yes, items can be picked up in person during normal business hours (Mon-Fri, 9-5 EST)

I bought something very large/heavy, do you do "freight" shipments?

Yes, we can ship the item(s) by freight if necessary. In some cases with large orders or large objects it can be more cost efficient than multiple-package orders.

Occasionally an item may be too fragile or large for typical carriers, if required recommendations can be made for a third-party shipping service that can safely transport your purchases.

What are my options as far as international payments and shipping?

We accept credit card for any invoice under $1,000 USD. Any invoice exceeding $1,000 USD will be required to submit payment by wire transfer. A credit card is required for the shipping, handling, and insurance.

Certain international purchases require an exporter, visit our Terms & Conditions for more information.

Still have questions?

Please call us at (207) 453-2114, or email with your question, and a Poulin associate will get back to you shortly!

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Poulin Antiques & Auctions Inc.

For over 30 years we have offered professional high-quality auction services.

Our dedication to fair & honest business dealings with consignors & buyers alike has catapulted our company to the forefront of the antique auction industry. 

199 Skowhegan Rd, Fairfield, Maine 04937
(207) 453-2114  |

© 2024 Poulin Antiques & Auctions Inc.

Join Our Antiques Division Emailing List...

Sign up below to receive our email newsletter; featuring auction info, new videos, highlights, events, & more!

Poulin Antiques & Auctions Inc.

For over 30 years we have offered professional high-quality auction services. Our dedication to fair & honest business dealings with consignors & buyers alike has catapulted our company to the forefront of the firearms auction industry.

199 Skowhegan Rd, Fairfield, Maine 04937
(207) 453-2114  |

© 2024 Poulin Antiques & Auctions Inc.