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Bidding & Buy It Now

What is an Auction?

ANSWER: Auctions have been held in this country since the Pilgrims arrived in the 1600’s. Today, they are an increasingly popular event where sellers and buyers meet in a win-win environment. A good auction properly showcases a seller’s items, enhances their value through accurate descriptions and attracts serious buyers who bid aggressively within a defined time period. The highest bid results in the best possible price obtained for the seller for each item being offered at the auction. Television programs like “Antiques Roadshow” and “American PICKERS” have contributed to the enthusiasm for antiques, collecting and attending auctions around the country.

Garage Sale vs. Auction: Why should I sell my things at auction instead of doing my own garage sale?

ANSWER: If you have a few items that are not of great value, a garage sale makes perfect sense. For entire estates, business close-outs or valuable possessions such as antiques, guns, artwork or jewelry, an auction can bring you more money for far less personal labor. Pace & Hong Auctions attracts qualified buyers and collectors by using our exclusive mailing lists, advertising in various media and marketing on the Internet. Our auction facility also ensures that your items will not get wet or damaged during bad weather. Even if you do not have an entire estate to sell, consider consigning your most valuable items to our auction so that you will have the greatest opportunity to get the best price.

Selling my Assets: What is the best way to sell the contents of my home or business?

ANSWER: When it comes time to sell a home or business, Pace & Hong can auction all of the contents or specific items. When you negotiate the sale of your property, selling the contents to the buyer often results in just 'throwing in the furnishings' for the price of the home. A good alternative is decide on an auction beforehand; leave the items at the property during viewings; then have us pick up your assets once the real estate deal is closed. Selling your items to a group of competitive bidders at our established auction location can often get better financial results then selling your items to the single buyer of your residence or business. If you are being forced to sell quickly to raise capital or to pay debts, we can help by discussing a variety of options with you. The idea is to make the best financial decision you can with the assistance of Pace & Hong Auctions.

Purchasing your Entire Estate: Are you willing to buy my entire estate?

ANSWER: If you need a fast turnaround, we will be happy to consider purchasing your estate for cash or to arrange an immediate auction.

Auction Location: Should an auction be at my home/business or at your location?

ANSWER: We use flexible auctioneering techniques that work best for you. Our primary method is to move your items to our facility in Alpena, the largest population center in Northeast Michigan. Buyers are more likely to come to an auction when your items are at a comfortable, familiar location without needing to worry about bad weather as they view your items and bid. This approach allows us to spring into action immediately and conduct year-long auctions at times convenient for both sellers and buyers.

Beyond bad weather, many on-site locations do not have facilities to accommodate large numbers of attendees; this may reduce the number of bidders who come to your auction and also contributes to the wear-and-tear on your home and property. Some buyers may not even take the time to find or drive to your site, especially if it is in a remote location. Of course, should it be necessary to conduct an on-site auction for factors such as vehicles, equipment or the real estate itself, we will use our on-site location experience to arrange tents, tables, sanitary facilities and parking accommodations to suit your specific situation. Pace & Hong Auctions uses a well-organized and stress-free approach to handle all the details that will make your auction experience hassle-free and financially successful.

Moving my items: How do I get my items to the auction location?

ANSWER: We handle everything for you: logging your items into our computerized inventory; photographing each piece of significant value; packing and securely transporting your possessions to our auction house. Our low fees for these services are well worth the expense for a professional team to properly clean, handle and deliver your items so that they can be shown to hundreds of potential bidders.

Attendance: Do I need to come to the auction?

ANSWER: As the seller, you are not required to attend the auction but are welcome to do so. Sellers often find attending their auction is difficult because bidders express frank opinions about items being offered. They do not look at your assets as you might since they do not understand how an item is part of your family or business history. You may have had a real estate agent tell you for the same reason that it is best not to be present when a prospective buyer tours your home so frank conversations can be held without unintentionally offending you. If you are sensitive or reluctant to watch your possessions being sold, be assured that we as your agents will represent your interests in the best manner possible should you choose not to attend.

Reserves: When should I set a reserve (the minimum price you will accept)? Can I change my mind?

ANSWER: You only want to set a reserve price for very expensive items such as high-end vehicles, guns or jewelry. Any reserve must be established before the auction and listed in your contract. We will work with you to help establish a realistic reserve. We may not accept an item for auction if the reserve is in our opinion unrealistic. Our goal is to sell your items for the highest possible price and use your auction time wisely. Should the bidding come very close to your reserve price, we will try to consult with you in person or by phone to determine if you are willing to adjust your price in order to close your a sale. Pace & Hong Auctions charges a handling and marketing fee if you consign an item, set a reserve and it does not sell. We have transported, photographed, advertised, hired staff to move/display and auction the item, so when an item is not sold because of a high reserve a percentage of these costs are passed to the seller with a significantly lower charge than our normal commission.

Property: Am I responsible for my property at the auction site?

ANSWER: You are the owner of your items until the auctioneer’s gavel announces SOLD. At that time the ownership of the item transfers to the buyer. Please maintain proper insurance on your items until they are sold. Discuss your coverage with your insurance representative if you have any questions. We have good security and maintain our own company insurance. We have not experienced problems with theft. However, we are only representatives who sell your items at auction, and you must maintain insurance on your property until it is sold.

Multiple Estates: During an auction why are my things mixed in with items belonging to others?

ANSWER: We often combine items from a number of estates to stage an auction that offers a unique and comprehensive variety of items aimed at attracting the largest number of bidders. An item that is not yours might bring a buyer to the auction who might also bid on one of your pieces, a win-win situation. Properly staging and timing your items along with other estates creates an appealing and exciting auction that benefits all sellers.

Committing Items to the Auction: Can I change my mind and pull my items from the auction?

ANSWER: No, once you sign your contract, items are logged in, moved, advertised and must remain available to preserve the integrity of the auction. Pulling items from the auction would negatively affect buyers who might be coming to bid on a specifically advertised item. Removing items would affect how your entire auction is viewed by the buying public.

Advertising: How do people know about my auction?

ANSWER: We advertise in media outlets that focus on collectors, antique buyers and auctions, such as the weekly publication Auction Exchange and Collectors News, web sites such as, and on our own web site, Our mailing list members are also contacted. We also advertise locally in newspapers, on the radio and at our own auctions preceding your event.

Order of the Items Auctioned: How do I know my items are getting the best exposure to bidders?

ANSWER: We select and present items that keep the auction interesting and appeal to a wide variety of buyers. We also advertise certain sale items at specific times. For instance, guns are often sold at 11:00 a.m., an established time when buyers know that these goods are available. Items displayed outdoors are usually sold at the beginning of the auction, allowing buyers to move inside after those sales are completed.

Auctioneer: How do I know the auctioneer is getting the best price for my items?

ANSWER: Our professionally-trained auctioneers work for you, not the bidders. Our goal is to get the most money possible for your items, which benefits you and increases the commission paid to Pace & Hong Auctions. We are agents for the seller and on the same team. Bill Pace and Herman Hong have worked together for over 25 years with integrity and customer care at the top of our list. Partner Bill Pace is also a graduate of the Reppert School of Auctioneering, one of the most respected schools in the country, established in 1921.

Bidding: Who is in charge at the auction if there is a bidding disagreement?

ANSWER: The auctioneer is the final arbitrator of any bidding dispute. The person holding the gavel maintains the right to issue a decision that is binding. Our goal is to ensure that sellers receive the best amount possible for their items while treating buyers with equal respect and even-handedness.

Check-out: When do buyers pay for my items?

ANSWER: Pace & Hong Auctions uses a computerized 'sign-in' system that records information on buyers such as name, address, phone number and driver's license. At check-out, we accept payment in cash, by check and through VISA, DISCOVER and MASTER CHARGE. Anyone paying by check is also required to leave a back-up credit card should there be an unforeseen issue. Buyers MUST pay for their items before leaving the building or on-site location after they have made their final bids. However, you may notice buyers leaving the building and taking purchases to their vehicles during the auction, which is an acceptable form of storage after the buyer wins the item and legally owns it.

Fees: What are they for?

ANSWER: Operating an auction is a personnel-intensive business and requires significant overhead to present your items in the best possible manner. It takes auctioneers, cashiers, clerks, ring people (those who hold up and move the items), an administrative staff and a cleaning crew. Our events are constantly advertised and we often invite qualified buyers to specific auctions. A portion of these costs, itemized in your contract, are deducted from the gross receipts and are sometimes shared to reduce your cost when there are multiple estates at any one auction.

Payment: When do I get paid?

ANSWER: We will provide you with a comprehensive accounting report at the end of your auction process and issue periodic checks and reports along the way through the close of your auction. We pay you as quickly as possible, usually within two weeks of the end of the auction and often earlier.

612 S. Ripley Blvd., Alpena, MI 49707
Office: 989-727-0011Toll Free: 866-305-6799Fax: 877-396-4404

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