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8 Helpful Tips For First Time Auction-Goers

Friday, August 17th, 2018
live bidding tips to help you leave your first auction happy

An auction is a thrilling event, especially if you find something you want to buy. Bidding often becomes intense, especially if an item is rare or valuable. You can feel a little intimidated at your first auction, so consider using these tips when you are ready for your first experience.

Observe the action first

Get to know the people who attend and sell at auctions. Some of the same people show up at all the sales held by auction houses. If you watch carefully, you can get to know how others bid and develop your own bidding strategy.

Try not to be the first bidder

Let other people start the bidding on an item you are interested in if you are new to auctions. The auctioneer starts each item out at a set price. If there are no bids on that item, then he or she will drop the price a little until someone starts the bidding. If you allow more experienced bidders to start bidding on an item you like, you might have a better chance of winning it for a good price. You might pay a higher price if you start the bidding at close to the maximum amount you want to pay for that item.

Position yourself at the front

You can hear about and see items that are up for bid clearly if you stand or sit in the front row. This also gives the auctioneer or their helpers a chance to see and acknowledge you when you bid. You can ask about the current bid if you are near the action so that you can keep track of the amount that you are actually bidding.

Do not snipe items

If you place your first bid at the very last minute before the bidding ends, then you are a sniper. Nobody likes when someone takes an item from under other bidders. These types of people often get bad reputations among other auction regulars. If you are interested in an item, bid on it earlier in the process. If you win the bidding, you will not be considered a sniper, because you are already invested in it.

Be gracious if you lose

Be kind if you lose an auction. If you complain or show emotion, you will attract unwanted attention to yourself. You are likely to see the same people at the same auctions you attend. If you do not call attention to yourself, you might avoid potential rivalries and will have a better reputation among other auction-goers and auctioneers.

Taking your purchases home

Think ahead and take boxes, bags, padding, or bubble wrap to get your purchases home safely. If you will be buying furniture, take along some rope, tie-downs or furniture blankets. Make sure you have an appropriately sized vehicle or trailer to transport large items. You must be able to take your items within the amount of time set by each auction house.

Have a plan for auction day

Plan well when you want to attend an auction, because some are long lasting. You want to make sure that you are there when the items you are interested in come up for a bid. Day long auctions will mean that you need to bring snacks, water, and maybe even a folding portable chair with you. Some auctions are held outside and you can become uncomfortable unless you dress appropriately. Bringing an umbrella is also a good idea to provide yourself with shade on sunny days and to keep you dry if it rains.

Meet and develop a relationship with auctioneers

Make yourself known to the local auctioneers. Establishing a relationship with them might help as they learn the kinds of items you want. Sometimes they will let you know about upcoming auctions with those items. You may even get to preview them before the public gets to see them.

Some auction houses operate with a regular schedule each month and they have auctions that are within a specialty they are known for. It is best to become familiar with their schedules to know when you should plan to attend.

Looking for an auction near you?

If you are interested in attending an auction in the Texas Panhandle, contact the experts at High Plains Auctioneers today. You can call us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email to learn more about Buying or Selling at auctions. You can also find out more about our Upcoming Auctions to see what we have available.