How do you bid at an auction?

You have your bidder’s number, and you have looked at all of the items at the auction.  What’s next?

At the beginning of every auction, the auctioneer will tell you what is going to go on throughout the auction.  They’ll tell you which items will sell first, and if they will auction the house off.  They’ll also say some other general announcements pertaining to the sale (like if they are selling off the furniture at a certain time).

The next thing to do is to wait for the items you want to bid on.  While you are listening to what’s going on at the auction, this is a great time to figure out what you would like to spend on what you saw before the start of the sale.  You also need to keep an eye on what they are selling as well.  I don’t know how many times I have bid on an item that is selling way too cheap.

This is also a great time to size up the competition.  What I do is to listen for a buyer’s number that is being repeated over and over again.  I will try to grab a peek at the person who is attached to the bidder’s number to see who it is.  After you attend a few auctions, you also notice the same faces showing up as well.

Be courteous and friendly to other bidders, especially your main competitors.  If they are behind you, or a little farther away from the auction than you, hand them the item that they just bought.  I also give people room for the items that they buy as well.  If you are a courteous bidder, most of the time the other auction-goers will be this way with you.

If a cheap item happens to come up for sale while I am waiting for the items that I really want to bid on, I will place a bid on it to let the auctioneer know that I am here to buy, not just to watch.  When you bid, you are introducing yourself to the auctioneer and the other bidders.  Don’t drive up bids to back out consistently.  Again, be courteous; others will extend the favor to you as well.

When you think about it, bidding for the first time buyer can be one of the scariest things to do.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a $200 Fenton Gone with the Wind Lamp, or a $2 toy.  I was nine years old when I bid for the first time.  Bidding for my mother, I learned a few things that I need to do so that I can be a successful bidder.

First, I learned not to jump in right away.  Auctioneers always try to set the price of the item high.  When they don’t get a bid, they will keep lowering the price until someone jumps all over it. 

I also learned that when bidding for the first time, you sometimes have to work to get the auctioneer’s attention.  Waive your arm, your bidder’s number, or shout “Yeah,” “Yes,” or even “Over here.”

There are quite a few ways to bid.  It ultimately comes down to what your personal preference is.  Mine is to stick my arm up in the air so that the auctioneer can see me.

Once you are noticed, you can even nod your head.  If you are standing behind the auctioneer or one of their employees that hold up item for sale, you could poke them in the back.

Raising an eyebrow, wagging a finger, or even raising your pen in the air are also great ways to bid once you are on the auctioneer’s radar.

If you are new to the world of bidding, experiment with what works for you.  You will come up with a great way that is perfect for you.

Happy bidding!

The auction’s over. Now what?

The last item in the auction has been sold, and the items that you bought have been packed in your car.  Now what?

When you are ready to leave, this is now the time to go back to the “main desk” where you picked up your number.  The clerk that hands out the number also is where you pay for the merchandise that you won at the auction.

Most of the auction companies in my area also employ an additional clerk who accompanies the auctioneer.  Each time an item is won, the clerk fills out a ticket that lists the item description, the amount of the final bid, and the number of the bidder who won the item.  Sheets if tickets are returned to the “main desk” where bidder numbers are distributed.  Tickets are separated by bidder numbers.  When you check out, your tickets are tallied to determine your grand total.

At the “main desk,” the clerk will also give you a copy of the tickets.  These tickets will act as a receipt as well, but be aware that things sold at an auction usually can’t be returned.  If you are interested in something that runs off of electricity like a vintage Budweiser sign, make sure to see if you can plug it in before bidding.  Most auction companies sell items as-is, where-is, no warranties.

When everything is paid for, now is the time to head out and proudly display your latest finds.

5 things that you DON’T want to do at an auction

Attending an auction for the first time can be intimidating—there are so many things to remember it can make your head spin.  What are 5 things that you DON’T want to do when you attend an auction?

Don’t raise your hands in the air if you’re not bidding.  It might seem silly, but an ill-timed hand gesture (like waving at a friend or a family member) just might land you a bid on an item—especially if you are in the front row.

Bidding on an item when you don’t have a bidder’s number.  There will be times when you are running late to an auction—make sure that you stop and get a bidder’s number first (this number will let the auction company who is buying the item).  When it comes to bidding on (and eventually winning) an item, this can be rude because the auctioneer must stop and figure out what number you can use.

Don’t hide items from other bidders.  This could be taking items out of one lot and tucking them into another or an item off a table and putting it in a box lot that you plan to bid on.  This not only throws off the crowd on where the item is, and it also potentially throws off a lot number that is assigned to a lot that corresponds to an estate or consignment.

Don’t bid on an item if you don’t want it.  Everyone is at the auction to get a good deal on an item they want.  The only thing that can happen with driving up the price on an item is that this makes people at the sale mad at you.

Stealing is not a good idea.  It does not matter if it is from the auction or the person that just bought it—stealing can get you into a world of trouble. This is only 5 things that you do not want to do at an auction.

What are some of the other things that you don’t do at an auction?

Things to consider after you attended an auction

Now that you have attended an auction, paid for everything and took all your purchases home, what are some things to consider?

After you figure out what you want to keep for yourself and what you want to sell, the first thing to do is to figure out where you are going to sell the item.  It could be at a flea market, an antique booth or even online.

When you know you where you are going to sell the item, you need to get a little history about the item.  Where it was made, who made it and even a good time frame when it was made will help any customer when they are interested in it.

Repairs may be inevitable before you sell the item, and you will have to take this into consideration when you go to price the item.  The cost of any repairs that you may make will drive the price of the item up.

These are only a few of the things to consider after you attend an auction.  What kinds of things do you run across after you attend an auction?

What are the different types of auctions that you might run across?

Auctions have been around for many years now, and there are quite a few different types of them.  What are some of the different types of auctions that you might see?  Here’s a few of the more popular types that you’ll run across:

English Auction—this type of auction is arguably the most common form of auction that are used today.  People attending this type of auction bid openly against one another, and every new bid is required to be higher than the previous bid (this type of auction is also known as an open ascending price auction).  The English auction is commonly used for selling goods (most prominently antiques, art, real estate, etc.).

Dutch Auction—with this type of auction, the auctioneer begins with a high asking price for some quantity of items that are the same.  The price is lowered until a bidder is willing to accept the auctioneer’s price for some quantity of the goods in the lot (it doesn’t have to be all the items) or until the seller’s reserve price is met.  This type of auction has also been used for perishable items like fish and tobacco.

Sealed first-price auction—with this type of auction, all of the bidders that are participating will submit sealed bids at the same time.  This is so that no bidder knows the bid of anyone that’s there.  The bidder that submits the highest price will win the auction.

This is only some of the types of auctions that you will find.  What are some of the other types that you have seen?

What are some things to consider when you attend an auction?

When you are attending an auction, you need to be aware of what’s going on—especially when you go to pay for the items you bid on.  There are some things to consider, and it could potentially add quite a bit to your bill.

The first thing to consider is that there could be sales tax added to the bill.  The amount of tax really depends on the state that the item was bought in.

Another thing to consider is that the auction house might have added fees when you buy there.  I’ve seen these fees range from 10% all the way up to 30% of the final auction price.

I have seen auction houses have an auction in a certain location and allow bidders overseas to bid on an item.  If you buy an item that’s overseas (especially in Europe and India), there could be restrictions and laws that prohibit you from shipping the item to the United States.

If it’s possible to ship an item from overseas, not only will you have to pay to ship the item, you could also need a special license to ship it here.  One country that I know of that states you have this license is Spain (and it could take a couple of months to get your item).

Another thing to consider are Paypal or credit card transaction fees, which can quickly be racked up on how much you buy.

So, when buying at an auction, it always pays to do a little homework on what is going on.  If you still have questions about something, it also pays to ask questions.

What kind of taxes and fees have you run across when you went to buy an item?

The auction that you attended is over. Now what?

The auction that you attended is now over, and you have everything that you bid on and won during the auction packed up.  What exactly do you do now?

The first thing that needs to be done is to pay for what you bought.  More often than not, you will pay for everything at the same place that you got your bidder’s number.  The person that assigns you your bidder’s number gets a sheet from the auctioneer that states what was sold and for how much it went for.

This sheet will be separated out by the bidder’s number written down on it so they can have all the buyers pay for the right items.

After you pay, you now get to take everything home and make any repairs if there are any to be made.  Once that’s done, you now get to take the items to your booth, list them online for sale, or even add them to your collection.

You can see what to do when you first arrive at an auction here.  What kinds of great finds have you run across at an auction?

What do you do when you attend an auction?

So you have decided to go and see what goes on at an auction.  You scouted out the perfect one, and have even showed up about 30 minutes before it started.  Now what do you do?

The first thing that you need to do is to register to get a bidders number.  More often than not, the auction company will have a special area set up for just this purpose.  All that you need to is to show the auction company a valid ID and supply a phone number, and you have a biding number.  What this is for is to let the auction company know who you are and even able to contact you if something arises (like if something that you bought gets left behind).

Whenever I have attended an auction, this will only take a few minutes at most, and it doesn’t cost me anything to do so.

The next thing that you will want to do is to look at the merchandise that’s in the sale.  Getting to the auction a few minutes before it starts will help you look over the items to see what’s there and to see what kind of condition that it’s in.

Make sure that you listen to what the auctioneers say at the very beginning of the auction when they make their announcements.  This will let you know what will happen during the course of the auction and what will be sold first.

So have some fun when you go to auctions and see what’s out there!