Frequently Asked Questions

General Auction Questions

What is an Absolute Auction?
In an absolute auction the highest bid wins the auction, regardless of price.
What is a proxy bid how does it work?

If you want to bid at an auction but can’t attend, the Hirchak Company will bid on your behalf if you make a proxy bid. A proxy bid is also known as a “left bid.” You decide on what item or items you want and how much you would be willing to pay for each item.

Fill out the proxy bid form (stating the item, description and highest bid you are willing to make, along with name, address, phone, credit card, etc. as indicated) and mail or fax it to us so that we receive it by noon on the day before the auction.

The clerk from the Hirchak Company will bid on your behalf at the auction. We will bid only up to the amount you’ve indicated on your proxy bid form.

Bidding at Hirchak Auctions happens in increments stated by the auctioneer (starting fairly low and working its way up) so you may win an item for less than the full price you stated on your proxy bid form!

Click here for a Left Bid Form to print out & fax to us.

What is a Buyers Premium?
A Buyers Premium is added to the selling price of each item; it is an agreed upon percentage to pay for the costs of the auction. It is different with each auction; however, in most antiques and collectibles auctions the Buyers Premium is 10% over the selling price.
What is a Bank Letter of Guarantee, and when do I need it?

The need for a bank letter of guarantee will be stated in the auction terms. Although we don’t require a letter of guarantee at all of our auctions, you will need a bank letter of guarantee at some of our auctions if you’re paying by check, including the State of Vermont Surplus Auctions.





Bank letters need to be on bank letterhead and signed by a bank officer.

Click here for a PDF sample of a Bank Letter of Guarantee

What is an approved check?
An approved check is an in-state company or personal check with name and address printed on the check. Additionally, the person creating the check must have a photo ID and, if it is a company check, proof of authority to sign the check.
Can I send someone else to pick up my purchased item?

If you are unable to personally removed your purchased item from the auction, you may fill out an AGENT RELEASE FORM, to designate an agent to pick up your item(s) for you. Your agent must have a copy of your paid invoice, along with the Agent Release Form.

Vehicle Auction Questions

What does TMU stand for in your Vehicle Auction Page?

TMU = Total Mileage Unknown

What are the Payment Terms for Vehicle Auctions?

A 25% deposit (minimum $200) is due at the time of purchase. Personal check, cash, certified funds and credit card (with 3% added on acceptance.) Each Vehicle Sale will be Assessed A Buyers Premium which will be added to your high bid price & become part of the Purchase Price. Here are the premiums (As of January 1, 2020):


$0-$149 = $50; $150-$249 = $75; $250-$499 = $75; $500-$749 = $100; $750-$999 = $100; $1,000-$1,249 = $125; $1,250-$1,449 = $125; $1,500-$1,749 = $150; $1,750-$1,999 = $150; $2,000-$2,499 = $160; $2,500-$2,749 = $190; $2,750-$2,999 = $203; $3,000-$3,249 = $217; $3,250-$3,499 = $245; $3,500-$3,749 = $260; $3,750-$3,999 = $280; $4,000-$4,249 = $300; $4,250-$4,499 = $310; $4,500-$4,749 = $330; $4,750-$4,999 = $350; $5,000-$5,249 = $360; $5250-$5499 = $390; $5,500-$5,749 = $400; $5,750-$5,999 = $420; $6,000-$6,249 = $440; $6,250-$6,499 = $450; $6,500-$6,749 = $470; $6,750-$6,999 = $490; $7,000-$7,249 = $510; $7,250-$7,499 = $520; $7,500-$7,749 = $540; $7,750-$7,999 = $560; $8,000-$8,249 = $580; $8,250-$8,499 = $590; $8,500-$8,749 = $610; $8,750-$8,999 = $630; $9,000-$9,249 = $650; $9,250-$9,499 = $660; $9,500-$9,749 = $680; $9,750-$9,999 = $700; $10,000-$12,499 = $875; $12,500-$14,999 = $1,050; $15,000-$17,499 = $1,225; $17,500-$19,999 = $1,400; $20,000-$22,499 = $1,575; $22,500-$24,999 = $1,750; $25,000-$27,499 = $1,925; $27,500-$29,999 = $2,100; $30,000-$32,499 = $2,275; $32,500-$34,999 = $2,450; $35,000-$37,499 = $2,625; $37,500-$39,999 = $2,800; $40,000-$42,499 = $2,975; $42,500-$44,999 = $3,150; $45,000-$47,499 = $3,325; $47,500-$49,999 = $3,500; $50,000+ = $3,500

Balance due in cash, certified funds or credit card (w/ 3%). Saturday Auctions: Balance can be paid Saturday after auction, or by the Tuesday following the auction by 5pm. Vehicle is not released until paid in full. * On non vehicle items, i.e., push mowers, garden tractors, snow blowers, etc., selling under $499, the Buyers Premium is 10% of high bid price. On any purchase there is a $200 minimum deposit. If the sum of the purchase price and the Buyers premium is less than $200, the item is payable with cash in full at the time of purchase.

Please visit our Auto Buyer and Seller forms page for more information. 

Detailed terms of sale, on the cover of every Thomas Hirchak Company Vehicle Catalog:

ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE – This is meant to be a guide. WHILE EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ENSURE ACCURACY IN THIS CATALOG, WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ERRORS, OMISSIONS, DELETIONS OR ADDITIONS. PURCHASERS ARE ADVISED TO INSPECT VEHICLES – mechanical, body, windshield, and interior—to make their own determination of condition. Neither the Auctioneer nor the Consignors shall be responsible for the correct description, authenticity, genuineness of, or defect in any lot, and makes no warranty in connection therewith. No allowance will be made or sale set aside on account of incorrectness, error in cataloging, or any imperfection. It is the buyer’s responsibility to verify any missing information in the catalog. Please refer to an addendum or ask at the front desk. No deductions will be allowed on damaged articles as ALL GOODS ARE BEING SOLD “AS IS” AND WITHOUT RECOURSE.

PAYMENT: Minimum 25% Deposit Required at time of high bid. On any purchase there is a $200 minimum deposit. If the total of the purchase price and the buyer’s premium is less than $100, the item must be paid in full with cash at the time of bid acceptance. ALL PRICES BID REFLECT A 3% CASH DISCOUNT THAT CAN NOT BE EARNED FOR CREDIT CARD ORDERS. Payment in full or balance due on vehicles must be paid in CASH or CERTIFIED FUNDS (personal checks accepted ONLY with bank letter of guarantee) to the Thomas Hirchak Company Office, 298 J. Brown Dr., Williston, Vermont, on or before Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 5PM. Failure to pay balance due or stopping payment on a check will result in the loss of any and all present and future auction privileges at any Thomas Hirchak Company Auction.

REMOVAL: All vehicles purchased at Saturday auctions must be removed from within gated area by Tuesday at 5PM. following the auction and removed from the lower lot by Thursday no later than 5PM. Thomas Hirchak Company reserves the right to tow, at the owner’s expense, without notice, any vehicles not removed by the designated deadline. Thomas Hirchak Company is not responsible for any damage, vandalism, theft, etc. to vehicles left on Thomas Hirchak Company property at any time. ALL SALES SUBJECT TO BUYER’S PREMIUM, WHICH WILL BE ADDED TO HIGH BID TO DETERMINE PURCHASE PRICE. PLEASE REFER TO SCHEDULE ON NEXT PAGE.

TRANSMISSIONS: All vehicles are sold under the Thomas Hirchak Company Light System. Please refer to next page for definition of the light system. Transmission does not apply to red light vehicles.

DEPOSIT FORFEIT: Any purchaser will forfeit their deposit under the following circumstances: failure to pay balance by the specified time; if purchaser decides that he no longer wants the vehicle, for whatever reason.

ORDER OF SALE (10AM): Lane #1: Lots 1001-1499 and DNR Lots 1500. Lane #2: Lots 2001-2999. Lane #3: Lots 3001+.


Please stay out drive lanes while vehicles are moving!

Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

No children allowed in Auction vehicles.


SPECIAL CONDITIONS: Vehicles with salvage or rebuilt titles may not be able to be registered in Massachusetts or New York State. Vehicles 2004 or older with only a Bill of Sale may not be able to be registered in New York or some other states. It is the buyer’s responsibility to check with the auction office prior to the auction to verify if there is a title or last valid registration for these vehicles, or the DMV of their state for requirements. No sale will be set aside due to buyer not doing his/her due diligence.

·    Vermont DMV only requires titles on vehicles 2006 and newer. It is the buyer’s responsibility to check with the auction office to see if there is a title for these vehicles. No sale will be set aside due to buyer not doing his or her due diligence.

·    Damaged or Rotten Frames must be declared by seller. Does not include Red Light Vehicles. If not, buyer can void sale within 72 hours. Buyer has 72 hrs from the time of payment in full to report any frame defects that will not pass Vermont inspection & return the vehicle with written confirmation of the defect by a certified mechanic. Returns and refunds given within 72 hr time frame for undisclosed documented frame damage.

·    Discharged or removed air bags must be declared by seller.

KEY TERMS: Lot # – for identification and order of sale; VIN – Serial Number; Miles – Mileage or Kilometers (designated as K) to best knowledge; TMU – indicates true mileage unknown; T/A- Title Attached; Title Delay – Title, Bill of Sale and/or last Valid Registration not available day of Auction. Auction will provide to buyer within 10 business days: Branded title: Salvage or rebuilt. NCT-New Car Trade, Title Taped – Not accepted by some DMV offices. Check your local DMV

TRANSMISSION TYPE CODES: A=Automatic; M=Manual; C=Continuously Variable (Auto &Manual); # = Number of Gears; 0=This indicates an error in the VIN decode system as some VINs are not coded for transmission, please disregard.

POSSESSION OF A BIDDER’S NUMBER ACKNOWLEDGES AGREEMENT WITH THE TERMS OF SALE AS POSTED, SIGNED, AND ON THE CATALOG. The name on the bidder registration will be the name on the title and the bill of sale issued on auction day. NO CHANGES. Please register accordingly.

Some of the items in today’s sale have reserve bids. The auctioneer and/or the consignor reserve the right to advance the bid until the reserve is met. It is our intention to sell the items IF the high bids are confirmed by the seller(s). If the vehicle is bank owned, and said bid is approved the bidder is obligated to purchase the vehicle. Buyer will be issued a “Title” or “Title w/Affidavit of Repossession” or certificate to obtain Title (US Marshal Service) or appropriate paperwork to register Motor Vehicle in Vermont. Buyer must present certificate(s), Bill of Sale, or title(s), etc., to Motor Vehicle Department to register vehicles. Announcements from auction block take precedence over previous information.


What is the Thomas Hirchak Company Definition of Light System?

Color of “light” is indicated in the catalog at the vehicle auctions.

Green Light: GREEN LIGHT: Sold with right to test drive engine and drive train within one hour of payment in full. Buyer must notify auction office within that one hour of any defect in engine or drive train. Subject to all visible defects. Seller represents the frame of the vehicle to pass Vermont State inspection. Buyer has 72 hours from payment in full to determine any frame defects that will cause vehicle to not pass Vermont state inspection. Sellers not disclosing frame damage are required to reimburse purchaser within 24 hours of kickback and will be assessed a $200 fine. Buyer must notify auction office within that one hour (or 72 hours for frame damage*) of any of the applicable defects. After payment in full and lapse of that time period, transaction is “AS IS.”

Yellow Light:Caution. Vehicle is SOLD subject to SPECIAL DISCLOSURE, Please read your catalog, may have mechanical defects. Subject to all visible defects.
Disclosure can include Title Delay, bill of sale, or last valid registration not available on auction day. Seller must produce title or appropriate paperwork within 10 business days. Vermont DMV only require titles on vehicles 2006 and newer, if transferring out of state, we may not have a title to provide. Buyer’s responsibility to check with the auction office to see if there is a title for these vehicles. No sale will be set aside due to buyer not doing his or her due diligence. Any seller not having proper paperwork must sell under yellow light. Buyer cautioned not to sell or spend money on vehicle until all paperwork is delivered.
Branded title — Salvage and/or rebuilt, theft recovery, abandoned, or other. Check with your state’s DMV rules and regulations regarding registering branded title vehicles. Some states, such as New York, do not allow registration of salvage vehicles (without an inspection by
certified representative).
Other Disclosure may include: Air Bag or Other Dash Lights Illuminated; Letter of Correction; Not for New York Buyer; TMU (True Miles Unknown); No Title; or other disclosures.

Red Light: Sold subject to ALL defects, including possible engine, frame and transmission defects. Implies vehicle may be unsafe for the road. Not guaranteed to run, drive or pass any kind of inspection. NO TEST DRIVE. AS IS.

Frame Policy * Upon vehicle payment in full, purchaser will have 72 hours to discover and make claim of any frame damage that renders the vehicle to fail inspection by the State of Vermont. Written confirmation of the defects by a certified mechanic is required. Any vehicle not paid for by the required time period, will automatically lose any inspection rights. A green light or red light car can have a yellow light as well. Example: a repossession can be sold Green Light and sold Title Delay, or the seller sells the car as Green Light but has disclosed in writing that the true miles are unknown (TMU).


Download PDF of Light System

What happens to the vehicles that don't sell?

The cars that do not sell go back to their owners. Sometimes the owners decide to run them through another auction, sometimes not.

Fine Art Auction Questions

What do the abbreviations stand for in your painting catalog descriptions (SLR, O/C, etc.)?

Glossary of painting terms

Est. Estimated value
Framed Size Size of entirety, including the frame.
Mediums and surfaces
O/C/B Oil on canvas-board
A/B Acrylic on board
O/B Oil on board
W/C Watercolor
O/P Oil on paper
A/P Acrylic on paper
A/C/B Acrylic on canvas-board
SLC Signed lower center
SLR Signed lower right
SUR Signed upper right
SUL Signed upper left

Contact Thomas Hirchak Company

Thomas Hirchak Company has a proven record of results through our successful auction marketing.

Main Office:
Thomas Hirchak Company
1878 Cadys Falls Road
Morrisville, Vermont 05661
PHONE: (802) 888-4662
TOLL FREE: (800) 634-7653
FAX: (802) 888-2211

Williston (Autos)
298 J. Brown Drive
Williston, Vermont 05495
PHONE: (802) 878-9200
TOLL FREE: (800) 474-6132
FAX: (802) 878-0222