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How to Win!… at Friend’s 2020 Fish Fry Auction

Friends of the North Fork’s Fish Fry and Auction will be held entirely online this year.  The catalog is bigger than past years, and as special as ever.

Critical Dates & Actions:

Today:  Register Now, to get this part out of the way in advance, and to get a first glimpse of the auction format.  (Described below.)

September 24, View the Complete Auction Gallery: Our full catalog of items will be available for viewing as of Thursday, September 24 on the Laughlin Auctions website, and will be visible until the last item closes out.

September 27, 8:00am, You Can Begin Placing Your Bids:  At 8am, along with your Sunday morning coffee, you will be able to begin placing bids on any items you choose.  You may start with any bid amount you wish, and you can also input the highest bid you wish to place.  Your first bid will not be increased toward your designated “highest bid” unless someone else outbids you.  The software will automatically bid for you in your absence — up to the amount of your maximum bid — at the smallest increment available according to the Laughlin bidding table.  Come back all week long to check on your items, update your bids, or place new bids.

October 4, 5:00pm, Get Ready!: You’ll want to logon at Laughlin’s before items begin to close out.  Give yourself time to settle in with pencil and paper, and a glass of wine.

October 4, 6:30pm to 7:45pm, Get Your Last-Second Bids In!:  The first item closes at 6:30pm, and bidding will close on items, one at a time, in the order they appear on the website.  Bidding closes at approximately one item every 30-seconds.  It’s fun, and quick, but not as fast-paced as it might sound.  The last items will close out at roughly 7:45pm.

Our Recommendations for a Fun Auction

Just because it’s not a public event, doesn’t mean you’re not part of something very special, very important to our extraordinary Valley community, and frankly… fun.  So, we suggest taking the following steps:

For the Run Up:

  1. Register well in advance.  (See instructions below)
  2. Take time to browse through the gallery of auction items, read notes on each item in its Lot Details section and keep notes on items you want to bid on.
  3. Bid all week long, starting Sunday morning September 27 through Sunday October 4.

For the Big Day (Sunday, October 4):

  1. At 5:00pm or so, set up in a cozy part of home, and set the mood with your choice of music, wine, and food.
  2. Check in on your items, see how the bidding is going.  Check that glass of wine.  Check your items again.
  3. Think about some of your favorite times on the North Fork, in childhood or adulthood, with family or friends, or in your own private experience.  Hang onto that.
  4. Knowing what you value, re-check your items, and throw some caution to the river. Bid with passion, bring home a beautiful painting, and be reminded of the river as it hangs on your wall.  Score a restoring vacation package, and relish in it, knowing you’ve contributed to something very special.  Know that your win is the Valley’s win, is your neighbor’s win, and is the river’s win too.
  5. Enjoy all of those rewards!

The Nuts and Bolts

How to register: Go to  Click on “Auctions”.  Then, choose ANY auction and click on it’s “Click for Online Bidding” button.  Don’t worry, you will not initiate bidding on any items on that auction, and once you complete registration you will be able to enter any ongoing auction when you come back to the site later.

Now, at the top of your screen, click the “Login/New Bidder” button, and fill out the requested information. You will need to create a login name and password.  (Be sure to keep these handy.)  You will enter your contact information and a valid credit card. Although you may not be purchasing something on the day that you register, your card is needed as a unique identifier, and to simplify check-out on the day of the auction.  Know that when you register your credit card, a $1 authorization/hold will be issued (not charged) to ensure that the card is active and belongs to you.  The authorization/hold will be retracted within 5-7 business days of your registration.

Check Out the Full Gallery of Items:  On the auction of your choosing, login with your Login ID and Password.  Scroll down to view the first page of items up for auction.  Use the page keys at the bottom to view additional items.  When you want to learn more about an item, or see more views of it, click anywhere on that item’s “tile”.  This will show you a mini-gallery for that item.  If you click on the “Lot Details” button at the bottom of the gallery, you will have access to much more information about the item.  You can also click on the star (*) icon to “watch” or follow an item.

Bidding Option 1:  Click on the picture of any item you want to win.  You will see a mini-gallery view of that item.  Clicking on the “Lot Details” button will show you more information about the item, and you can bid there while on the item’s individual page.  Note though, that when you are on an item’s individual page, you will not see the other auction items as they are being auctioned off.  So be sure to close the individual item page when done bidding/looking. Alternatively, you can bid from the main gallery (see Opt.2 below).  The main gallery page is also referred to as the Live Catalog page because it is constantly updating all items in real time.  All bids, time left, etc. are updated in real-time.

Bidding Opt. 2, Bidding From the Main Gallery Page:  While viewing the auction’s main gallery page (the LiveCatalog page) click on the “bid” button of your item.  You can enter either the next suggested bid, or your maximum bid. We recommend you enter your highest bid because the software will automatically enter your bid at the lowest level that puts you ahead of others (only up to your maximum). It will NOT instantly jump to your maximum bid unless others have already bid higher than your max. Be sure to click to “Confirm” your bid in the popup.  The page automatically updates all relevant information (bid amounts, counts, and your “winning/outbid” status).

As you place your bids you will see that the lots you are winning will have a green backgroundWhen you are Outbid, the background will go red. Watched lots have a blue border.

Bidding history for each item: See the bidding history for each item with active bids by clicking the link next to the “bid history” line adjacent to the item image. A pop-up will appear with all bids placed on the item.

Keeping Track of All Your Bidding: Your bidding history can be viewed by logging into your account and clicking on the green “+ Bids” link in the upper right corner. When you’re already viewing a catalog, the green button is at the top of the page.

Watch list: Add an item to your watch list by clicking the star below the auction item on the gallery view page or next to the item on the item page. By clicking “Watch” on any lot, the item will be added to your personal watch list, anonymously. When logged into your account, you can find your watch list by clicking the blue button with the white star at the top of the page.

Soft Close: The closing time of a lot will be extended by 1.0 minutes if a bid is placed on this lot within the last 60-seconds. Just like during a live auction, when someone bids in the final moments of an auction, the auctioneer extends the duration to allow the backup bidder to jump back in.

Close: Items close out, one by one, in 30 second to 1 min intervals.

Buyer’s Premium: There is no buyer’s premium for this auction. There is a 4% credit card processing fee.

Max bid: Enter the highest bid you would like to place for an item as your bidding amount. As in a live, in-person auction, your “maximum” price you’re willing to spend is always anonymous. This feature allows you the bidder to bid once, at your maximum and let the software bid competitively on your behalf. Example: Lot 1 is currently at $4.00. You need to bid $5.00 in order to win. If someone comes in right before the auction ends and bids $6.00, you may or may not have time to increase your bid. By entering your maximum bid (for example, $15.00) the software will automatically bid against other bidders competitively until your maximum is reached. If you are outbid, you will receive an email alerting you, and prompting an increase. You will win the item at the lowest competitive dollar amount up to the maximum bid you entered.

Bid alerts: Bid placements and “out bids” are accompanied by an email. 

Absentee bid: We understand some folks hesitate to buy anything online. Rest assured your information is completely secure on our site. We utilize some of the most powerful safety features available to keep your info secure and anonymous. If you would still like to leave an absentee bid to avoid bidding on the internet, contact us at [email protected] or 540-459-8550.

Fraudulent bids: Laughlin Auctions reserves the right to withhold or reject, any and all bids, at any time where fraudulent activity is suspected. This includes up to the time until payment is accepted. In an instance where this activity is present, the underbidder will be contacted for first option at last honest bid.

How do I know if or what I’ve won?: After each auction, we will send you an invoice via email for your purchases. Also, once logged in to our bidding site, click on the green “+ Bids” button at the top of the page. If you’re looking 24 hours or more after the auction close, you’ll need to click the “Past Bids” tab to see every bid you have won or been outbid on through the auction house. 

Lot details: By clicking the image for each item from the catalog page and then clicking the grey “lot details” button at the bottom of the pop-up window, you’ll then be able to access links to the following information at the bottom of the page for each item:

  1. Information: Additional information about the item.
  2. Auction Information: Lists the Start and Closing times for bidding. If you will not be available to bid at closing time, please leave your max bid early. 
  3. Terms and Conditions for the auction: Terms for the complete auction.
  4. Bid increments: Below each item is an “Auction Details” tab with a link to the minimum bid increments for each item.
  5. Payment information: Details any additional fees.
  6. Shipping/Pick-up: Details the shipping fee for each item. No fee is added for pick-up from the Friends of the North Fork office in Woodstock. Some items are labeled “Local Pick-up Only.” Please see special considerations for shipping art. Depending on your location and your Art Handling preferences, art shipping can add $200 (or more) to your purchase.
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