If you’re like many people, you’d love to participate in your first live auction – but you’re not quite sure what to do to succeed. These five auction tips for beginners will help you get started on the right foot.

5 Auction Tips for Beginners

Preparing for an auction is important, and part of that is knowing exactly what you’re getting into. You’ll be most successful if you:

  1. Do your homework before you bid
  2. Give yourself a pre-set limit
  3. Get there early (and sit wherever you want)
  4. Bid quickly, and counter-bid quickly
  5. Be aware of absentee bids

(Learn more about our auctions here.)

#1: Do Your Homework Before You Bid

Before you show up to the auction, preview the items. You can typically inspect the items that will be sold, so make sure it’s possible to make repairs or improvements if necessary.

You also have to check the payment terms before you arrive. Most auction houses accept credit cards, checks and cash, but some have strict limits on what they’ll take. While you’re checking on payment terms, find out about deposits, delivery charges and buyers’ premiums.

Finally, at nine pickup and delivery option.  Sometimes, you have to take possession of your items immediately.  In other cases, you may be able to ask the auction house to store your purchases until you are able to retrieve them.

#2: Give Yourself a Pre-Set Limit

After you’ve inspected the items and decided which ones you’d like to bid on, give yourself a pre-set limit on how much you’ll pay. Bidding often moves quickly, which means you’ll know before too long whether you’re out of the race.

#3: Get There Early (and Sit Wherever You Want)

In most cases, it pays to arrive at an auction early.  That way, you’ll be able to choose your seat wherever you feel most comfortable. You’ll read all kinds of tips on where you should sit to be seen as a competitive bidder, but let yourself make that determination after you’ve been to a few auctions. (Getting there early also guarantees you a pretty good parking spot!)

#4: Bid Quickly, and Counter-Bid Quickly

In many cases, bidding moves very quickly – and there isn’t really an advantage (at least for most people) to hold off and jump in at the end. After all, the end could arrive without you even being able to squeeze in a bid if you wait too long!

If you have a pre-set limit (see Tip #2), you’ll know exactly how much you can spend on an item – and there’s no harm in bidding and counter-bidding quickly. When you get to your limit, stop.

#5: Be Aware of Absentee Bids

People don’t always have to be physically present at an auction in order to bid on items they want. Absentee bidders can place bids with an auctioneer before the auction starts. In some cases, people can bid by phone, email or online, so be aware that not everyone bidding on the same items you’re bidding on it have to be in the building.

Get more tips for participating in your first auction here.

Are You Coming to One of Our Auctions?

You’re always welcome to stop by one of our auctions to check things out and see how it all works. Check out our upcoming auctions – we’d love to see you at one. If you have questions about selling your own items at an auction, please call us at 904-806-4274 today.