Local Auction Guide!

Did you know that auctions are becoming more popular? Today’s auctions create some of the best experiences for everyone involved. Popular TV shows like “Storage Wars” and “Flea Market Flip” have fueled an interest from buyers. Here’s some tips from the experts in the field.

Get their early! You do not want to be rushed and/or informed about the merchandise when you attend an auction.  So, do your research before you go. This can make a big difference in how you spend your money. Since budget is important to your buying experience, take a serious approach to figuring out where your limit of spend is, and then match it with your interest and desire to the products.

Inspect the items or property prior to bidding. This is very important for property and merchandies, as auctions are usually sold “as is”, so get your inspections done in advance! For goods, pre-inspection times are set by the auctioneer, usually the day before or perhaps only hours before the live auction. Make use of this time. In addition, many auctions have online buying and you may be able to place your bid online.

Contact to the auctioneer or company in advance of the auction if you have questions or need clarifications. If there are things you’re not sure about, such as the title, condition of items, auction process, etc., be sure to ask. It is useful to ask someone who has an interest in seeing you satisfied.  These companies want you to have a good experience so you’ll come back in the future, and tell a friend about your experience.

Most importantly, make sure you understand all the payment instructions and requirements before registering for an auction.

  • Writing a personal or travelers check or using a credit card is not the same as cash. Some auction houses only accept cash.
  • Many auction houses add a buyer’s premium and local taxes (such as general sales tax), so be prepared to pay more on top of the winning price. Find out in advance if this applies.

Pre-register and get a bidding number.

  • Most auctions today require that anyone intending to bid be pre-registered with the auctioneer and assigned a bidding number. This bidding number is usually written on a card that the bidder can hold into the air, signifying to the auctioneer of the intent to bid. The registration is on-site.
  • If you do not register and receive a bidder number you may not be allowed to bid.
  • While allowing a bit of privacy for bidders, it enables being recognized as a bidder by the auctioneer.
  • The auctioneer will announce the number of the winning bidder along with the winning amount.

Be clear when making bids. Put your hand up – call out – flash your bidding card; do whatever is effective in calling attention to your bid. If the auctioneer misses you, repeat your action until he or she sees you.

  • The fall of the hammer constitutes the sale. A bidder can withdraw a bid prior to the fall of the hammer but not after; after, a contract of sale has been formed.
  • If the hammer falls and you made a bid but the auctioneer did not see you, you may want to ask for the bidding to be reopened. The auctioneer does not have to comply but if others saw you bidding and back you up, you might succeed. This is why it is important to be clear about bidding.

Make sure you have proper transportation for what your buying. This point is very important, as you do not want to limit yourself from biding on an item due to lack of the right vehicle to transport it.