FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What Age Do I Need To Be In Order To Use The Port City Auction Web Site?

You must be at least 18 years of age in order to register and bid or buy items through the Port City Auction online web site. Anyone of any age can simply view the items on the Port City Auction web site without registering. In store direct purchases can be made by anyone of any age as well as long as they were not auctioned. Live, in person and on-site auction bids must be made by those persons who are 18 years of age or older with a valid ID.


How Do I Register As A New User?

To register as a new user, click on Sign Up at the top of the home page. You will be asked for your name, address, a username and password, and contact information, including your email address.
  • Personal information includes your date of birth to verify that you are at least 18 years of age.
  • You need to enter a working email address, that you can check immediately, because Port City Auction will send you an email with instructions to complete your registration. Port City Auction will also use this email address to notify you when you have won an item, been outbid on an item and to share shipping and payment information with buyers and sellers.
  • You must accept the Terms & Conditions agreement in order to complete your registration.
  • Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your registration and complete the registration process.
Persons registering as a seller, will also need to provide a valid Drivers License or State ID in person at our Norton Shores, MI brick and mortar store. Buyers do not need to fulfill this requirement.


How Do I Buy An Item In Person?

You can buy any item in person by simply visiting and browsing the Port City Outlet Store during normal business hours. Any item that is ALSO available for Buy Now sale on the Port City Auction web site and ALSO available in the Port City Outlet retail store can be purchased on site. Such items are subject to online purchases BEFORE any in-store purchases are made. Keep in mind that the in-store selection of items varies from the online auction items. EXAMPLE: Any item that is listed online as Buy Now and also is available for purchase on the main sales floor in-store at the same Buy Now price is subject to any online purchases BEFORE any IN-STORE PURCHASERS. Meaning, if the item shows as SOLD online at the time of purchasing in-store, then the online sale will PRECEED the in-store sale.
What Payment Methods Does Port City Auction Accept?
Port City Auction accepts Cash, PayPal, MasterCard, VISA, AmericanExpress, and Discover as valid payment methods. All funds must be in U.S. Dollars. There is no addtional fee charged to anyone paying using Debit Card or Credit Card. Checks of any kind (cashier, personal, money order, or travelers checks) are NOT accepted. eCheck payments via PayPal are acceptable, but the item(s) may not be picked up until the PayPal eCheck payment has completely cleared.


BUYING QUESTIONS


How Do I Buy An Item On The Port City Auction Web Site?
You can get started buying an item by using the steps that are shown below:
  1. Find an item that you are interested in. Enter keywords into the search box located at the top of any page, or browse through our list of categories located on the home page.
  2. Learn about the item that you found. Read the auction description VERY carefully. If you have any questions about the item(s), you may find answers by clicking the Ask Seller a question link.
  3. Review the Auction Type. You can either place a bid on an item or purchase it instantly using Buy Me Now. On the auction listing itself, you will find the auction type as well as the current price, photos, details, etc. If the item is listed as a Standard Auction, then you will need to be the highest bidder upon completion of the timer to be declared the winner. If the auction listing is stated as a Buy Me Now, then you may simply offer to pay the listed price to be declared the winner. Remember, all bids are active until the listing ends. If you win or click the Buy Me Now button, you are legally obligated to complete the transaction.
  4. Pay for the item(s). After you have won or bought an item, you must either pay for and pick up the item(s) in person from the location that is stated in the listing (if not, contact the seller) OR select a shipping method (if offered) and pay online for your item.
I won an item but no longer want to buy it. What should I do?
A bid or commitment to buy on the Port City Auction web site is considered a legally binding contract and you are obligated to purchase the item and complete the transaction that you agreed to. If you do not pay for and pick up the item(s) during the time period specified in the auction listing and at the location specified, then your account may be subject to sanctions, late fees, and loss of account privileges as well as the disposal of the item(s) that you originally won.
How Do I Retract Or Cancel My Bid?
A bid placed on the Port City Auction web site is considered a legally binding contract, and thus you are legally obligated to purchase the item. As a general rule, you can NOT retract or cancel a bid that you have placed. As a registered bidder, you must sign-in before placing a bid on any item. Once you place a bid, you legally agree to pay for that item(s) if you are the winning bidder. Sanctions against your account can occur if you do not complete an auction that you have won. Please remember that every bid is legally binding. That means you are legally obligated to complete any purchase that you win, and legal action within a court of law may ensue if you do not pay for and pick up your winning item(s) within the specified period of time. As a bidder, you need to be certain of your bid BEFORE you place it.

Will I be notified of my bid status?
If you are outbid by another bidder, you will receive an email informing you of such. If you are the high bidder at the end of the auction, you should also receive an email with the good news. The email should be sent immediately after either of the above events, but it is hard to predict how long it will take to traverse cyberspace and actually hit your in-box.
Port City Auction has a built in feature to safeguard against snipers. Snipers are bidders that wait until the last few minutes or seconds of an auction, and place bids just above the high bid. The overtime bidding feature of the Port City Auction system works by continuing a particular auction until five (5) minutes after the last bid is placed.
For example:
Auction #2345678 is due to close at 8:00 PM, and Joe Sniper outbids you at 7:59 PM. Even if you were actively watching this, you may not have enough time to submit a new bid. With overtime bidding, however, the auction is extended until 8:04 PM, unless you or someone else bids again. If your bid is recorded at 8:03 PM, the auction will be extended until 8:08 PM.
The reason auctions are exciting is the bidding process. Most bidders wait until the last few hours of an auction to get serious, so pay attention to your interests near the closing time of an auction. Better yet, bid your maximum price right away and let your Proxy watch your interests - this works even into overtime bidding as well.
How Does Automatic Proxy Bidding Work?
When you place a bid on an auction listing, you will enter the maximum dollar amount that you are willing to pay for the item(s). The seller and other bidders do not know the amount of your maximum bid. This is also known as proxy bidding.
The Port City Auction computer will place bids on your behalf using the automatic bid increment system, which is based on the current high bid. The Port City Auction computer will bid only as much as necessary to make sure that you remain the high bidder, or to meet the reserve price, up to your maximum amount.
If another bidder places the same maximum bid or higher, the Port City Auction computer will notify you by email so you can place another bid. Your maximum bid is kept confidential at all times until it is exceeded by another bidder.
Example:
The current bid for an item is $25.00. Gary is the high bidder, and has placed a maximum bid of $27.00 on the item. His maximum bid is kept confidential from the other members.
Lisa views the item and places a maximum bid of $35.00. Lisa now becomes the high bidder.
Gary’s bid is incremented to his maximum of $27.00. Lisa’s bid is now $27.50.
We send Gary an email to notify him that he has been outbid. Assuming that no one else places a bid, and if Gary does not return to the web site and raise his maximum bid, then Lisa will win the item. In order for Gary to become the high bidder, he will need to increase the current bid from $27.50 to just over $35.00. If Gary bids again, and the bid is under the maximum bid of $35.00 from Lisa, then Gary will not be notified of the bid amount, but will instead be notified that he is not the high bidder and that Lisa will automatically increase her bid just enough to be higher than Gary and his new bid (up to $35.00).
Make Every Bid That You Make A Serious One.
Do not bid on multiple similar items if you only want one. You could be the winning bidder in more than one auction, and you will be legally obligated to purchase all of items that you won. If you fail to complete a purchase promptly and on time, sanctions will be imposed on your account, fees may be imposed, and legal action in a court of law may ensue. Your bids affect how other users bid for an item and the final selling price of the item.
How Much Should I Bid?
Deciding on your bid amount is a very important part of the buying process at any auction. One benefit of the auction format is that you can see what other people are willing to pay for an item. Take into consideration what the item is worth to you, how difficult it will be for you to find another one, and how soon that you need it. Then determine the highest price that you are willing to pay. The best strategy is to bid the price that you are willing to pay, and let the automatic bidding system enter bids as needed. Our automatic proxy bidding system means that you can enter your maximum bid once and the system will automatically increase your bid only as much as is needed for you to stay the highest bidder without going over your maximum bid.
What is the Item Watch List?
The Item Watch List notifies you when someone bids on the auctions that you have added to your personal Item Watch List. No one else can view your Item Watch List but you.
What Is A Reserve Price?
A reserve price is a hidden minimum price &mdash essentially, the lowest price that the seller is willing to accept for the item. If the listing ends without any bids that meet the reserve price, then the seller is not required by Port City Auction to sell the item at all.
As a buyer, you are not shown the reserve price. As you bid on an auction-style listing with a reserve price, pay attention to the label next to the current bid price to see if the reserve has been met. Once the reserve has been met, then the reserve not met label will be removed.
What Is Buy Me Now?
Does the listing you are interested in have a Buy Me Now option? If so, you might want to consider whether you are willing to pay the Buy Me Now price in order to guarantee that you get the item without having to wait for an auction to end and be the highest bidder. Whomever agrees to the Buy Me Now price is automatically declared the winner and the listing is removed as soon as the stated quantity is sold.