Who Is Prigge Auctions?
Auctions -  Cleanouts - Appraisals




John Prigge is a first-generation auctioneer who began his career in 1990 graduating from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, IA in the top 10% of his class. Shortly thereafter he became a member of the National Auctioneers Association and the Illinois Movers' and Warehousemen's Association.


In 1995, John added another layer to his auction resume by becoming a personal property appraiser with the Certified Appraisers Guild of America. In November, 2005 John completed the course studies requirements with the National Auctioneers Association in Overland Park, KS to earn the designation of CES as a Certified Estate Specialist.


Skilled in public speaking, eager to allay the misconceptions about auctions, and recognized as an Elginite with more than just a passing interest in history, John has taught classes at Elgin Community College on how to buy and sell through auction and how to collect for fun or profit. He offers seminars to Seniors and their families who are downsizing to smaller homes and centers. 

John´s training in improvisational comedy acting at "The Second City" in 1992-94 adds a special touch during the auctions! John was trained by and practiced with Nia Vardalos of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' fame, Stephen Colbert of The Comedy Channel´s 'The Colbert Report.', film actor and producer Jon Favreau and the late film and television actor Jim Zulevic.



We will discuss with you your potential consignment over the phone or in-person. While each situation is unique our visits are often brief, as we are looking at volume and value when determining if an auction is the best option for you. It is important to note that we do not render on-the-spot appraisals or make auction price predictions. If we feel an auction is the best avenue for you, we will ask for your business. If not, we will offer alternate suggestions that we hope will be helpful.

Either way, we will answer any questions you may have but, as happens more often, we will answer the questions you did not even know you had! Very few people who contact us have ever done business with an auction service. Consequently, they do not know that each auction company is different. We will provide you with information and enhance it with a written contract. There are situations where using another method of selling may be better for you than an auction. There also may be instances where an auction is the best option but we may not be the best company for your needs. In either case, we will attempt to refer you on.




No guessing games here. Our standard commission is 38% on all items sold for most residential clients. This fee includes research, cleaning, preparation, advertising and marketing and auction day staffing. Our clients prefer a "one price, out the door" price structure. This is compared to auction firms offering a lower or decreasing selling commission only to itemize other required services that eventually lead to the same commission.

Titled items, i.e. vehicles, are charged 15% in commission. We rarely accept minimum bids on non-real estate auctions. Any items that we do allow a minimum bid on and are not sold are charged a fee equal to half of the selling commission. When we do allow minimum bids on titled items we post the minimum bid directly on the item on auction day and in all advertising. Again, no secrets and we respect a buyer's time by being upfront before the auction starts.



We offer a variety of commission structures for business clients. Whether your needs are for a retail or an industrial auction, the preparation time and costs can be different than a whole-house estate auction. Therefore, our commission rate can be as low as 10%. A no-obligation visit from us can give you specific answers.


It´s as simple as a phone call!





We do not take credit for auctions our company does not conduct.

There is a difference between working at an auction company and actually being contracted to conduct an auction. There are auctioneers who may have worked for another auction company when they just started out but take credit for booking the auction.

We will never offer to buy an estate or a consignment from a seller.
It's 100% unethical.

We strongly recommend to potential sellers to never, ever sell items to an auction company, nor, do any business with an auction company that offers to buy your items either before or after an auction. Not only does it stain the auction industry with a large conflict of interest issue, but it sends up a red flag that says, "The auctioneer is working for what is best for the auctioneer, not me."

Auction companies should be a seller's agent earning a commission from their own auction and not be a buyer from a potential selling client in need. Auction companies are perceived as value experts. To abuse that perception by buying from a potential seller is unacceptable. Our experience tells us that most resellers/dealers rarely pay more than 10-25% of what they feel an item is worth. 

We would much rather pay owners 62% of what the public determines the value is. 


We do not recirculate the same merchandise or routinely sell the same type of merchandise through our auctions.

Many Illinois auction houses have connections with reproduction furniture factories, Native American artifact wholesale companies, art brokers, global resellers, overseas furniture shippers, retail store merchandise return companies, etc. These companies offer an endless supply of merchandise for the auction house to buy or sell on consignment with hidden reserves and minimums. What doesn't sell for the seller's minimum at one auction gets held over to another auction where it is tried again or it is shipped to another local auction house and tried there. This process can continue until the right buyer is found. These items can usually be identified by noting if sales tax will be charged on them if sold. Another long-term observation to be aware of is when the same theme of merchandise (artwork, jewelry, tools, new Native American pieces) is on a routine auction schedule, usually quarterly or bi-annually. 

We exceed our seller's expectations because bidders know we do not recycle the same items every auction or two. 

Bidders know they better buy on our auction day because it will NOT be at our next auction. Nor, will it be disguised under a different method later. We do it right the first time.


We Do Not Charge Minimum Sales Commissions

Many auction houses charge their sellers a minimum commission guarantee on what they sell. Some are as high as $100.00 per consignment. We do not. We rely on our experience to tell us if we can do well for you via an auction. We trust ourselves and, therefore, do not need to protect ourselves with a guaranteed pay back at your expense.


We Do Not Rent Our License To Illegal Auction Companies

This is a growing trend in northern Illinois and now it’s infested the public auto auction market. Scenario: A company with plenty of merchandise or vehicles and no Illinois auctioneer’s license will contact an area licensed auctioneer and offer to “co-op” with them on a traveling auction that is coming to the auctioneer's town. The illegal company with no address or phone number uses the Illinois auctioneer's license number and that local company gets paid for it. You may see these auctions advertised as being from a drug dealer’s estate, millionaire’s divorce settlement, etc., and they are held in large hotel ballrooms.
Today there are companies doing the same thing with public auto auctions. This time with a twist – part of the proceeds will benefit various charities. That’s how they get to rent public facilities like a county fairground to hold auctions. All in the name of charity.
We have more respect for our company and the way we do business. We do not and will not sell or rent our license number to anyone - legal or illegal.  


Sliding scale commission rates is another red flag for sellers

While this sounds like a nice deal for a seller, any commission plan that encourages an auctioneer to hold bidding down in favor of a higher commission rate is unethical and clearly not in the best interest of the seller.

For example, an item selling for $490 at our 38% commission rate nets our firm $186.20 in selling commission. However, if we were to offer a 5% commission reduction on a sliding scale basis on items selling for $500 and more and that item were to sell for just $10 more at $500, our commission would be $165.00, a $21.20 loss in commission if it sold for $500 instead of $490. While we realize making the most for our clients is our main goal, we will not allow ourselves to be exposed to second-guessing from our seller.




This web site, for starters!

Many auction companies in Illinois still have no Internet presence at all. To find them you either have to know someone who knows the company or check the telephone book and start from new on the telephone. We like giving you a head start because that is what today's public wants. Today's public wants information via the Internet. This website does more than just advertise our upcoming auctions. It gives you an opportunity to learn more about the auction industry and the way we conduct business.

We do not conduct, nor participate in estate, garage or tag sales.
That industry is our competition.

A professional company should never be involved with businesses that competes against itself. Managing and/or conducting estate sales, tag sales, eBay stores or antique and consignment shops is a classic conflict of issue situation. It should give sellers and buyers cause to be suspicious. In all fairness, there are times when a worldwide exposure via an online auction setup is in the best interest of a seller. We can make arrangements in those situations but they should be rare pieces and certainly not $5-$100 items.  

Click on the Auctions vs. Estate Sales link at 
http://www.priggeauctions.com/page/page/3982377.htm for more details on why dealing with an auction company that conducts these types of sales or is involved with competing industries is never in a seller's best interest. Ever.


We do not portray to the public what and who we are not.

Prigge Auctions is owned and managed solely by auctioneer John Prigge. In other words, the name on our door is the one who owns and manages the company. In fact, other than being hired as an independent contractor on auction day to help a fellow auctioneer, John has never been an employee of another auction company. His experience comes from owning his own auction company since auction school graduation in 1990.  

Why is this crucial in selecting an auction company for selling or even buying needs? Because sellers and buyers need to know whom they are really dealing with when it comes to matters of trust. Crucial selling or buying concerns need to be handled by the owner and not employees - former or current. The public should be cautious of any firm that is owned and managed by someone whose name does not appear "on the door." Sadly, this is a significant issue in the local auction world.


 The Way We Advertise Our Auctions

We use our own fresh and current e-mail mailing list comprised of attendees who have come to our auctions, appreciate the way we do business and decided to register for a bid card. This list grows with each auction we do. We do not do any regular mailings via the U.S. post office because our customers prefer to get their notifications via e-mail. As the public continues to move away from newspapers for their news we generally limit our print ads to the Daily Herald main news sections of the prior Thursday's publication. The days are long gone where auction ads are best when buried in the classified section. We advertise and market our auctions not only on our website but on multiple national auction sites.

Our print ads are clean, informative and appealing. Prominent items get proper allocation. We do not "puff up" our ads by listing things like clock radios, coffee mugs, brooms, etc. It is assumed those things are part of an estate or household auction and can create a false impression with potential bidders in regards to the overall size of an auction. 


What We Charge And The Way We Charge Our Fees

Our commission fee includes pre-auction preparation, boxing/sorting, advertising, marketing and auction day staffing. It is the savvy seller who knows that any auction company charging a very low selling commission and then tacking on additional charges for those above-mentioned needed services a la carte is no bargain. In some cases, it's unfair.

An example of this when auction firms charge sellers for taking photos of their items. Taking photos is and should always be part of the total plan we offer our sellers. We believe taking photos, especially for Internet advertising, is a part of what is expected from sellers - and we do it.  

We are also one of the very few auction firms that list our fees on our web site - not forcing you to call and ask. That leaves the wise consumer wondering later if the rate quoted is the rate everyone else pays or if it changes.

Our rates are not only the same or even lower than most part-time auction companies, they are within industry standards. For example, our buyers premium is the industry standard of 10% despite many local companies charging double or more than that. 

The Way We Conduct Our Auctions

Times have changed when it comes to auctions. 

Long gone are the days when bidders would plan on spending an entire day at an auction. We utilize a strategy that increases bidding while strengthening attendance. It begins with using two auctioneers at the same time on our larger auctions. At all of our auctions we go at a comfortable yet urgent pace. The key to our pace is the fact we generally do not take bids less than $5 to start an item. If we cannot get a $5 starting bid we will add another item to the offering and ask for $5 to start that offering. Response from bidders has been overwhelmingly positive.



Not all Illinois auctioneers have the same credentials and qualifications. 
Always choose an educated professional who is committed to the auction industry





We are always looking for quality, customer-focused representatives to work in a variety of positions. Hourly pay and bonuses vary on position and experience. Positions and duties include:

Auction preparation specialist: A key and vital position for those with strong organizational skills and knowledge of antiques, collectibles and items of value. Responsibilities include going into homes searching for and boxing of auction material, identifying and taking notes of items discovered. Coordinate and supervise removal of auction items on auction day and assist auctioneer on other duties. Hours/days may vary, but mostly is a week day job. Must be able to work alone in homes or businesses.

Auction day cashiers: Face-to-face registering of bidders, adding receipts and collecting payments on auction day. Must enjoy customer contact in this front-line contact with bidders. Most auctions are on Saturdays with some Sunday and weekday potential.

Auction day ring associates: This exciting, fast-paced position has you at the auction site at 7 a.m. preparing for that day´s auction. Some lifting is required as you remove/prepare items for auction from the home or business we are working at. Holding up items on the auction block, delivering them to winning bidders and doing security work are just part of the responsibilities.

Auction/cleanout personnel: Various duties include packing, loading and unloading furniture and boxes, removing of unsellable household and business items, general cleanout duties, etc. Truck loading knowledge a plus. Mostly weekday work.  

Many of our positions are ideal for the recently-retired who can work on part-time or on short notice! The preparation staff position requires heavy lifting at times. Of course, any knowledge of antiques & collectibles is a plus. 

Please call our office at 847/888-3870 or e-mail us at PriggeAuctions@aol.com for more information and an interview.


How Can We Earn Your Business?