Bright Star Real Estate Logo

Auction FAQ

Our home office is in Middlebury, Indiana, in the very northern part of the state about 6 miles from the Michigan line.
We have held Auctions throughout the Mid-West and Eastern part of the United States: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

We have specific Staff members who specialize in the marketing and selling of:

  • Equipment and Property of Sawmills, Lumber Operations, and Woodworking Set-ups
  • Farm Properties and Equipment – large and small
  • Construction and Excavating Equipment
  • Hunting Acreage
  • Personal and Commercial Properties
  • Estate Sales
  • Mechanics Liens
  • Used Cars

We accept:

  • Cash
  • Personal and Business Check** (see below)
  • Major Credit Cards – no fee on invoices with a total amount up to $2500. We will not accept credit cards if the total invoice is over $2500.
  • Cashiers Checks
  • Bank Wires

**For large amounts paid by Personal Check, it is advisable to have a letter from the bank where the checking account is held, indicating a maximum amount the check is guaranteed for. This is especially important when purchasing Vehicles or Rolling Stock if you wish to drive the purchase away on sale day.

It is a set percentage charged in addition to the Highest Bid price on each item.


  • Say the High Bid on a set of tires is $100. With a 15% Buyer’s Premium, the total due is $115.
  • A forklift brings a High Bid of $5,000. With a 10% Buyer’s Premium, the total due is $5500, not including any taxes.
  • The High Bid for a Semi Tractor Sleeper is $80,000. If the Buyer’s Premium is 13% the total due from the buyer will be $90,400, not including any taxes.
No. However, we can recommend companies that offer that type of service.
There is no fee up to $2500. We will not accept credit cards if the total invoice is over $2500.
Call the Bright Star Office during business hours at 574-825-0704.
Business Hours are M - F, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. excluding major holidays.
This varies with each auction. Typically, Small Items must be removed within 2 days.
For Larger items, Equipment, and Rolling Stock, buyers usually have 14 – 30 days to remove.
If you send a trucking or logistics company to pick up your items, they need a copy of your paid invoice as well.
No, however, we can recommend Logistics companies that offer that type of service.
Oftentimes a member of our Staff is on site for a day or two after the auction to load Smalls that do not need rigging.
For items that will need rigging, it is the buyer’s responsibility to arrange and pay for this. We have several professional, insured rigging companies for buyers to choose that are available at most auction sites. A buyer is also welcome to hire a different rigging company or do it himself--as long as proper liability insurance is in place in all cases.
Not usually.
While we always try to convey all offers to the sellers, once something is contracted to be sold at Auction, we recommend that the sellers wait to sell it till the day of the Auction. This is the fairest practice for the other bidders who are waiting on the item until Auction Day.
Call the Bright Star Home Office and a member of our Office Staff will connect you to the Auctioneer in charge of that sale.
Generally, yes -- items usually can be seen a few days ahead of the Auction.
Call the Bright Star Home Office at 574-825-0704 for details.
It is an Auction where there are no reserves or minimum prices. Each item will be sold to the Highest Bidder.
Vehicle titles are typically sent by Priority Mail, which includes a Tracking Number, within a week or so after the Auction has concluded and when all payments on that item have cleared.

Buyers who want to drive or tow their purchase away on the day of sale should be prepared to pay with Cash, Cashier’s Checks, or a Check WITH BANK LETTER guaranteeing the Check at least up to the amount of purchase. Additionally, the BANK LETTER must be from the same bank that holds the checking account.
Visit our bidding website for online registration or call the Bright Star Home Office at 574-825-0704.
Most of the time, the online system will 'test' your credit card to make sure it is valid. This is done by pulling a few cents out and putting it right back into the account.
Yes, our bidding website is located at
Just find the auction you want to register for, and click the bid online button.
Sometimes we offer bidding on third party sites such as Proxibid, Bidspotter, AuctionTime or Equipment Facts. Usually, the Buyers’ Premium is a few points higher on these third-party sites.
A Max Bid (maximum bid) is a bid you place on or other online Auction sites, representing the highest amount that you are willing to pay for a specific item.
As other buyers place bids on that item, the online bidding technology will “bid” on your behalf. The platform will always place the lowest bid necessary for you and will not exceed your maximum.
Probably not. If other bidders do not bid against you, you will be the High Bidder at a lower price than your Max Bid.
Also, if you are the High Bidder at the end of the Auction, your amount due will have the Buyers’ Premium added in plus any taxes if applicable.
If no one else bids, the price will stay at the base price for that item. Once someone else bids, the online program will counter-bid the lowest amount necessary on your behalf.
The simple answer -- an Absentee Bid is the highest price you are willing to pay for a specific item as a Registered Bidder By Phone or In Person. It is placed directly with the Auction Company ahead of the sale. It does not include the Buyer’s Premium and/or sales tax; please consider these additional costs before placing an Absentee Bid. Call the Bright Star home office ahead of the sale at 574-825-0704. Our Office Hours are: M – F, 8 am – 4 pm eastern time

Bright Star offers 2 types of Absentee Bids: Absentee Firm Bid or Absentee Bid Plus 1. See descriptions and examples below:

Absentee Firm Bid: Buyer places an absentee bid of $5,000 on a Forklift. In the event of a tie with another bidder, the other bidder will get the Forklift because your bid of $5,000 is “firm” and cannot be increased to break the tie.

Absentee Bid Plus 1: Buyer places an Absentee Bid of “$5,000 plus 1” on a Forklift. In the event of a tie, the Auctioneer will bid one more time on your behalf. If someone does not counter-bid, then the item will be yours.

Again, Absentee Bids do not include Buyers’ Premiums or Sales Tax.

Examples of Absentee Bidding:
“Buyer A” places an Absentee Firm Bid of $2000 on log deck. The bidding action goes up to $1800 and stops. Buyer A is the high bidder at $1800 because the bidding stopped below their Absentee Bid of $2000. With the Buyer’s Premium and tax added in, Buyer A’s total is around $2034.
Here is the breakdown: Highest Bid = $1800; Buyer’s Premium (13%) = $234.

“Buyer B” places an Absentee Bid Plus 1 of $1300 for a pallet of wood. The bidding reaches $1300. The Auctioneer bids one more time on Buyer B’s behalf -- $1350. The other buyer chooses not to counter – so Buyer B is the High Bidder with $1350.
His total: Highest Bid = $1350, Buyers’ Premium (13%) = $175.50. Total due = $1525.50

“Buyer C” places an Absentee Bid Plus 1 of $750 on a log splitter. The auction goes up to $750, the Auctioneer bids one more time for him at $800, but someone counters with $850. Buyer C is out because his absentee bid plus one has been exceeded by another bidder.

Bright Star Real Estate Logo
55137 State Road 13, Middlebury, Indiana 46540
Phone - (574) 821-7653
Realtor LogoNAA Auctioneer LogoCAI LogoIAA LogoBBB Logo
A Licensed Real Estate Company in Indiana and Michigan

Auctioneer Licenses

Auctioneer Co. Lic. - Bright Star Realty & Auctions, LLC - AC32100007
Auctioneer Lic. - Loren Beachy - AU10500161