Frequently Asked Questions

General Info:

When is the next auction, and how often do you have them?

You can find all upcoming auction info on the division home page, visit our Firearms Division page and scroll for all announced upcoming auctions. You should consider signing up for email notifications as well to stay up to date with the latest Poulin Auctions info.

We typically host two “Premier Firearm & Militaria” auctions, and six “Online, Absentee, & Phone Bidding” auctions each year. Our Premier sales take place in the Spring and Fall each year, with about three Online, Absentee, & Phone bidding auctions between each premier event.

Can I participate in the auction live?

Yes, though there is no video or audio streaming service provided, you can participate live during the auction on the following internet bidding services:

PoulinLIVE
iCollector
Proxibid
LiveAuctioneers
AuctionZip

Alternatively, you may also watch and/or participate in our Premier auctions live and in-person at our auction house at 199 Skowhegan Rd. in Fairfield, Maine 04937.

Where are you located, and when are you open?

Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday      |   9:00AM-5:00PM EST
Saturday-Sunday  |   CLOSED

We are closed on the following holidays:
Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day

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 on each of those days.

Address:
199 Skowhegan Road, Fairfield, ME 04937

What's the difference between your Premier & Online Auctions?

Our Spring and Fall Premier Firearms & Militaria Auction events feature a massive amount of some of the highest quality firearms & military collectibles in the industry, twice a year. The Premier Auction events are typically four full-day sessions long, with an average of around 600-700 lots per session.

For each of these Premier sales, we produce award-winning-quality printed catalogs, featuring gorgeous imagery, presentations, and descriptions of every item in the auction. We also provide a free 10-page flyer, meticulously curated with the best our auction has to offer, and mailed out months beforehand to members of our mailing list.

We host two full days of preview in our auction gallery, where every lot can be found available on display, and provide complimentary food and beverages to anyone attending the auction in person.

Our Online, Absentee, & Phone bidding auctions take place much more often than our premier events, occurring about every two months, we host around 6 online auctions each year. These events are typically made up of three sessions, averaging around 400-500 lots per session. These auctions can be participated in exclusively via Phone Bid, Absentee Bid, or Internet bid and cannot be attended live. These auctions have no printed catalog, and preview is available only by appointment.

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 info@poulinauctions.com, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page to get started.

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 to order 1-2 months before the dates of the sale, and cost $35 for any combination of two sessions, or $65 for a full set of all four sessions. Just call us at (207) 453-2114 or email info@poulinauctions.com 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.

For our Online, Absentee, & Phone Bidding auctions, we do not have dedicated preview days or open-house hours, however you may call up to 2 weeks before the sale to arrange an appointment, and preview during that time.

What happens if an item doesn't sell?

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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 recieve weekly updates, featuring auction dates, select highlights, catalog announcements, and more, 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, you can place an Absentee or Phone bid in advance, you can bid through our company’s personal online bidding service, PoulinLIVE, or any other third-party internet bidding service that hosts 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 need only to pay your invoice and 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?

Placing an In-House bid 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!

To place a Phone bid, all you have to do is call our office at (207) 453-2114 or email info@poulinauctions.com 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 a phone number to be called 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 recieve 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.

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 recieve an outbid notice via email. On the day of the sale, a Poulin associate will bid up to your specified maximum for each of your lots in your stead.

How do I do: PoulinLIVE & Internet Bidding?

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

Yes, a Poulin’s associate would be more than happy to walk any prospective PoulinLIVE internet bidders through the signup process. Just call (207) 453-2114 or email info@poulinauctions.com with your inquiry, and an associate can assist you in getting registered.

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

No! Attendance, signup, and participation are completely free, however you will be required to include credit card information on your bid registration form to secure your bids. This form of payment will not be charged unless we are given the express permission to do so following the conclusion of a sale for invoice payment purposes.

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

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

IN-HOUSE, PHONE, & ABSENTEE BIDDING
If you placed your bids directly through our company with either an in-house bid, a phone bid, or an absentee bid, you will have a 21% buyers premium on your invoice, however if you pay your invoice via cash, check, wire, or money order, you will qualify for a 2.5% discount on the buyer’s premium, making it only 17.5%, this is the lowest buyer’s premium available in our firearm auctions.

POULINLIVE INTERNET BIDDING
If you placed your bids through our company’s internet bidding service, PoulinLIVE, than you will owe an additional 1% internet bidding service fee, totaling 22% buyer’s premium for credit card payment, or 18.5% for cash, check, wire, or money order payment.

THIRD-PARTY INTERNET BIDDING
If you placed your bids through either iCollector, Invaluable, Liveauctioneers, Proxibid, or AuctionZip, than there is a 3% internet bidding service fee, totalling 25% for credit card payment, or 21.5% buyer’s premium for cash, check, wire, or money order payment.

To achieve the lowest buyer’s premium possible, you should bid directly through Poulin’s whenever you participate, either via phone, through an absentee bid, or live in person, and pay cash or check.

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

If both you and this bidder placed the absentee bid directly through our company, than we would honor whichever bid was placed first, and send an “Outbid Notice” to the underbidder to inform them they are outbid. This system does not however account for internet absentee bids, or live bidding, therefore it is possible that, should you place an absentee bid, another bidder may win the item for the same amount.

This can be due to multiple factors. During the sale, the auctioneer will be accepting bids from multiple sources, including phone bidders, live bidders, and each of the five internet bidding platforms that host our auction, as well as our own. If your max bid is called out by the associate who represents our absentee bids in the auction, and another bid source calls out that same amount live, then the auctioneer has to choose, and the auctioneer’s decision in that moment is final. It could also occur if the bidding starts lower than your absentee max, and you enter the bid an odd number of increments away from your maximum. In that instance, the opposing bidder may bid against you one increment at a time until eventually ending on your max amount, at which point your absentee bid cannot go higher than that maximum.

It is for these reasons we usually encourage either bidding live in-person, on the phone, or online 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 have their own terms and conditions 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 repeat bidders to participate by bidding either directly through our company via In-House, Phone, or Absentee bidding, or on our company’s own internet bidding service, PoulinLIVE, where there aren’t such restrictions on our auction catalogs.

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.

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
$10,000 – &20,000 $1,000 INCREMENT
$20,000 – $50,000 $2,500 INCREMENT
$50,000 – $100,000 $5,000 INCREMENT
More than $100,000 Auctioneer’s Discretion

Consignment:

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

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What determines if my items go in an Online auction or a Premier auction?

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

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

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What is your commission? Are there any additional costs or fees?

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

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What if i have something other than just firearms to consign?

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Who determines if my items are only sold online?

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What happens if my items don't sell?

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

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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.

All invoices for our In-House, Absentee, & Phone bidders are sent out the same afternoon as the conclusion of the auction. For Internet bidders, the automatic invoicing system for each platform will typically send out those invoices the day after the end of the auction.

Once you’ve received your emailed invoice, you are free to call us at (207) 453-2114 or email info@poulinauctions.com 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? What does the tax apply to?

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

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Can you email me a paid invoice/receipt?

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I paid my invoice, why do you need more for shipping?

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What exactly is a Buyer's Premium?

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Can I pay online?

No, at this time we are not offering any online payment functionality for the payment of invoices. To pay your invoice, please call (207) 453-2114, or email info@poulinauctions.com, with all available payment and shipping info.

Can I pay my invoice with multiple payment methods?

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I won an item but wish to cancel the sale, what can I do?

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Why don't you keep my credit card on file from previous auctions?

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Shipping & Pickup:

How much is shipping going to cost?

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

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

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Can my items be shipped together?

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

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

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Can I pickup my item(s) in person? What times are best, and should I call first?

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I'm not available to pick up or ship my winning items, can you hold onto them?

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What information do you need to ship a firearm I won?

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

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Firearm Sale Law

I just bought a gun, what do I have to do to get them shipped to me?

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I dont have an Federal Firearms License, do I need an FFL to buy any firearm?

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Whats the difference between an Antique, Curio, & Modern firearm?

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How do I find out if an item is legal for me to have in my state?

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Do I need to ship ammunition to an FFL as well?

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Do you sell machine guns, silencers, and other Class III items?

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What does "NFA" mean?

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Do I need a license to buy NFA items?

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Can Poulins do my NFA paperwork?

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How long does a "Form 4" take?

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Photos & Descriptions:

Are the items lotted or categorized based on item type, manufacturer, classification, etc?

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Which consultant can answer my inquiry about a lot?

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Can I request a firearm be disassembled and the mechanics checked?

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How do you determine the estimate on the lot?

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I saw an abbreviation in a lot's description that I didn't know, what do they mean?

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Is there a cut-off time or limit to the number of photo requests I can make?

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How do I request more photos?

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Why cant I see my photos on my preferred internet bidding platform?

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Will I be notified when & where can I view my requested photos?

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Can I get better quality/higher resolution photos?

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Still have questions?

Fill our the contact form, call (207) 453-2114, or email info@poulinauctions.com with your question, and a Poulin
associate will get back to you shortly!

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Poulin Antiques & Auctions Inc.

Based on annual sales, we are the second largest specialty firearms auction house in the world!

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  |  info@poulinauctions.com