Recent Experience with Rock Island Auction Company

This is a quick review of my experience with the live auction, customer service, and final receipt of items purchased.

A recent forum post alerted me to another potential player in the hunt for rare Glocks–one I’ve known of for many years but had never taken the time to follow their auctions. The poster initially posed the question “How much is a 1st Gen Cutaway Worth” but after a few pages of speculation from the collector forum, the OP posted a link to the up-coming Rock Island Auction Live Online Auction with a number of rare Glocks included on the roster. Needless to say, it pique our interest immediately.

There are several options for setting yourself up to bid with Rock Island, but it all starts with creating an account. If you are logged in, you can actually place “sealed bids” prior to the auction date and they will use proxy bidding in set increments until you meet your max or you win the auction–whichever comes first. They also have the “live” site that allows you to watch the auction in progress on the day of and is set up as if you are seated in the crowd. This would have been my first choice, but they charge a 1% premium if you bid through the live feed (on top of their normal 15% buyers premium). Make no mistake, Rock Island has it set up so they make money.

I chose to go with option three, which is to set up a callback from their staff so that I could live bid over the phone. I have no idea why, but this service is free (well, not a further premium over the 15%) while the live feed webpage cost extra. On the day of the auction, a wonderful staff member name Alexandra called me to give me an estimated time on the auctions I had requested and to make sure we had the right phone numbers. She called right in time for me to make my bids and, five minutes later, I had spent $11,500!

The guns purchased are super rare and are featured in other parts of the site here so I won’t go in to details, but they made the process easy. A couple days later I got a call from another staff member and they had created a preliminary invoice with my totals. I was able to split the lots into credit card and check payments (because who has $12,000 in their checking account?) and I proceeded to print my invoice and mail in my tax ID, FFL and check.

Then the waiting started… As a new account holder, they will accept personal checks as payment, but hold said checks for a full two weeks to ensure payment is good before guns are shipped. My check finally “cleared” on a Tuesday and I received my lots on Thursday via UPS. Everything was packed extremely well and they claim it is all insured if something were to go missing or be damaged (I can’t imagine how it could).

At the end of the day, I would have no hesitations of purchasing through Rock Island again, but I would limit my purchases to extremely rare items; a majority of the rank and file guns sell for premium prices–especially when you consider the addition of a buyer’s premium on top of the hammer price. Just remember to keep your head about you and don’t fall for the auction fever over-paying in your quest to be the “winner.”

-That “Glock” Guy

Published by That "Glock" Guy

Licensed firearm dealer from Tulsa, OK and an avid Glock collector. This site is born from my hobby of trying to track down rare Glock production models and piece together the early history of America's most popular gun.

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