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8 Things You Should Know About Buying At An Online Auction

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
bidding at online auctions in the texas panhandle

Online auctions provide you with an opportunity to shop for almost anything. You can find items as small as a mobile phone to as large as a house and everything in-between. Before you begin bidding online, you should check out these tips to help you prepare.

Do some research

Before you begin bidding on an item, you should research its value. You will also want to know its full condition and look over any photos provided carefully. If you are interested in a piece of art or an antique, ask as many questions as possible including if it is signed, what its dimensions are, and its history. If you are bidding on farm equipment, you should know how much it has been used, its total lifespan, and if the engine is in good shape. Most auction houses will have a catalog available that will tell you more about the items they have available.

Be aware of all charges

Make sure you are aware of all charges that will be attached to your winning bid. Some online auction houses will add an extra percent to the winning amount. There are also bidding platforms that will ask you for 3-5 percent to use their services. You may want to consider arranging to bid for your items by telephone if you cannot pay the extra charge.

Know the deadlines

Many online auctions give you days to place and track your bids. These sites will often send you email notices if you have been outbid by another person as well. The deadlines will vary, and the method of alerts can be different on separate sites. You will need to know when the deadline approaches to make your winning bid.

You don’t want to miss the start of the auction, so know when it will begin as well as when it will end. Mark your calendar as soon as the date is released for the auction start time.

Opening bids

The opening bid is an estimation of what an item will sell for, but the bidding process will increase that amount. There are times you may find an item going for much more than expected and then there are auctions where you can score a great bargain.

What is absentee bidding?

Some auction houses are willing to accept your authorization to bid on your behalf. This process is called absentee bidding. You tell them the top amount you’re willing to pay for an item before the online auction begins. They will place bids in increments until they’ve reached your max amount. But, they will place bids for you at the lowest possible price first.

Set a budget and know your limits

Just as the bidding process can become frantic in-house, it can also cause you to become frantic and over-bid online. Know how much you can afford or are willing to pay for an item before joining the auction. You can find yourself becoming emotionally caught up in a bidding war as the clock ticks down. It is important to know when you should stop bidding.

What happens if you want more items than you budgeted for?

Some items up for auction are just too good to pass over. It is often better to buy from your heart at auction so you can get items you truly enjoy. There are always financial concerns to consider and there are some items you will find that may take you out of budget. If this happens, think about what you need versus what you want.

If you win, you have to make the purchase

Winning a bid means you now have an obligation to pay the winning bid amount. When the bell rings or the hammer comes down and your bid wins, you are now under contract to complete the purchase. This is the same whether you are in an auction house or taking part in an online auction.

Most online auctions give you up to 10 days to complete payment and make shipping arrangements for items you’ve won. It is best to complete this process as quickly as possible though, to avoid possible storage charges.

If you would like to learn more about online auctions, or live auctions, call the experts at High Plains Auctioneers today. You can reach us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email for more information about Bidding and Selling at auction. Feel free to check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we currently have to offer.