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Go to the auction page/catalog that you want to participate in. Next, log into your bidder profile. Then click the yellow button that says, “Click here to get authorized for this auction” located near the top of the auction page. Select your credit card on file, agree to the terms and conditions and state whether you are tax exempt or not.

You can log into your account by visiting any of the auction catalog pages and clicking on “Sign In” in the upper right hand corner. Once you complete your auction registration, you will be able to bid once you are signed into your account.

You can search for an item by the lot number or description. Type the information in the search box (right below the orange button) near the middle of the auction catalog page.

You can see what items you are winning or what you have bid on by clicking on the links “Currently Winning” and “What I bid on” in the upper left side of the auction page that you are participating in. There is also a “Watched items” link to keep track of items that you have added to this list.

Enter the amount you wish to pay for an item in the white bid box above the blue next bid required box. Our system will then auto-bid on your behalf up until your max bid.

Cal Auctions takes fraudulent activity very seriously. If you believe that your bidder profile was used without your authorization, we would be happy to help you resolve this matter. However, because your credit card is linked to your account, you will need to contact your local police department, file a report, and send us a copy. Without a police report, we are unable to reverse any unauthorized bids.

If you need to change your email address, please send an email to with the correct email and a staff member will change the email address for you.

Getting Your Items

We do not offer shipping but we have partnered with PakMail La Jolla for shipping services. You are also more than welcome to contact an outside shipper (UPS, FEDEX, etc.) to retrieve and ship your items. You will need to provide the shipper with a signed copy of your paid invoice, a photocopy of your driver’s license, and a photocopy of the credit card used for your purchases (Please black out all digits except the last 4 digits) to present to our team in order for your items to be released.

If you do not pick up purchased items on the designated removal day(s), your bidding privileges will be suspended. We also reserve the right to charge a transport or storage fee for items that are not picked up.

How to Buy

First Time Buyers

Click on the “Sign Up” button in the top right corner. Fill out and submit the online form with your information. 

To bid on auction items, you first need to sign up for a buyer account. Go to the auction you want to participate in and click “Sign Up”

After the auction has closed and the cards have been charged, a paid invoice will be emailed to all winning bidders with instructions to pick up items.

We send paid invoices to the email address on your bidder account. Please check the spam or junk mail folders if you do not see it in your inbox.  Your invoice/order can also be found by going to your account. (Click on your name in the upper right hand corner of the auction page you participated in.) You will see a link in the drop down menu, “View my invoices.”  You will be able to view and/or print any of your orders from this tab.

In order to register for our bidding platform, you must have a phone that can receive text messages.


Some credit card companies/banks may not approve the $1.00 pre-authorization transaction because they believe it is a fraudulent charge. Please call the bank or credit card company and request to approve the pre-authorization transaction. Once your credit card is added you should be able to bid. If you receive a message that says there is an AVS mismatch – check that your credit card address and zip code are the same as the information in your profile. If your credit card has a different mailing address, please check the box on the credit card form that says ‘Billing address is different.’

Go to your profile by logging in and then clicking on your name in the upper right hand corner of the auction page. From the dropdown menu, click on “Edit credit cards”. From there you can add a credit/debit card.

Your credit card cannot be deleted if you have participated in an auction and/or have bid on an item within the past 30 days. Once the 30 days from your last participation has elapsed, you can delete the card.

The buyer’s premium is a 18% premium (fee) that is charged for each lot that you win. For example, if your items total $100, then the buyer’s premium is $18. The total charge would be $118 plus applicable sales tax. The buyer’s premium for each auction is shown in the Terms and Conditions.

When registering for an auction, you will be asked if you are tax exempt.  If yes, you will be able to upload the tax exempt document. 

How to Sell

There are several programs available for sellers. We can either manage the entire process for you, or you can process and manage your own auction using our proprietary software. Most of our online auctions can be processed in as little as one week. Contact us for a no obligation consultation.

Please send a message on our Contact page with your contact information, your projected timeframe, and a short description of what you would like to auction.

Many of our clients appreciate the flexibility of processing their own auction items, managing their own inspection, and removal of items. You will have access to our software to prepare the auction catalog. These self-supervised events have the added benefit of the marketing and sales resources of, while reducing the cost to the client. If you decide on a self-supervised event, you will be able to maintain control of processing inventory, sale, and removal schedule.

A supervised auction means that we handle the whole process for you including evaluation, cataloging items, marketing, sales, transaction and site management. All you have to do is identify items to be liquidated.

Restaurant equipment is a highly popular commodity at public auction. You can sell everything from decor to major equipment, small wares, food and beverage inventory.

Restaurant liquidations are unique in that your assets only need to be available in an online auction for a few days to achieve success. If you choose a full-service approach, our team can process your restaurant auction in as little as a few days. 

Some sellers choose a “client supervised” approach where they prepare their own inventory and photos using our app, then self-manage the removal. This approach can save you money in commissions/fees.

Every auction type has a different fee structure. Depending on whether we process all the auction items or you do it yourself – selling fees can be 10-40%. This takes into account the estimated project value, the amount of work to be done to prepare the inventory, and removal. Contact us and we can give you an estimate at no obligation.

Some auctions include a one day presale inspection or open house, staffed either by us or the seller. The inspection is usually conducted one or two days prior to the event closing.

The auction will begin closing with the first catalog item, and continues 3-10 items per minute until all items have been sold. We utilize a dynamic closing system which automatically extends the closing time on any item which is being actively bid upon. Most auctions end within 2-6 hours.

The removal can be conducted by either our team or the seller. Buyers come prepared to disconnect and remove items that have been purchased. We can coordinate and supervise all aspects of the removal with all parties involved. Most removals require 1 or 2 days to complete.

Once the auction has completely ended, all bidder transactions are automatically processed for payment and sales receipts are e-mailed to all buyers.


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