For bargain hunters and collectors, there is nothing as exciting as live auctions. Auctions are partly shopping and partly sports and they are price sources for artwork, great furniture pieces, and accessories. Bidding at auctions may seem easy and simple, especially for beginners. However, it is more complicated than it appears. To guarantee success, you need to know how the auctioneer works the crowd and how moderators deal with virtual bidders. When you are aware of some strategies, they will enhance your chances of being successful in your bidding. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when bidding.
Learn the jargon
There is a unique language that is used in the auction world. Therefore, it is important for you to learn the auction jargon, especially if you are just starting out. When you know some of the words used during live auctions, you will know what they are actually talking about. This way, you will have an easier time when making bids. Here are some terms used that will make you feel like a professional.
- Hammer price- this is the final price of the bid, whether the property is unsold or sold, and it is announced by the auctioneer after the gravel falls. It does not include the buyer’s premium.
- Buyer’s Premium- this is the percentage that is paid by a successful bidder to the auction house along with the hammer price.
- Lot- this is the object or group of items that are offered for sale as a single unit.
- Provenance- this is the information that concerns the prior or current lot ownership, which can affect its value.
- Price realized- this is the sum of the final selling price, the hammer price and the buyer’s premium.
It is important to research extensively at live auctions in person. If you are starting out at auction biddings, then you should take some time to observe your local auctions. Although different auctioneers will have varying styles, the auctioneering process is essentially the same wherever you go. You can also watch or listen to auctions online through different auctioneering sites. This will give you a glimpse of what to expect and what to do when bidding.
When bidding at auctions, it is important for you to arrive early and register. This is important because you will have to register before you start bidding, which can take some time. It is ideal that you arrive at least one hour earlier before your desired lot(s) is due.
Set a budget beforehand
Before you go to a live auction, it is advisable that you set the maximum amount of money that you are willing to spend. It is best that you set limits for every item that you are interested in and stick to it. You should never let the excitement of the auction get to your head. This is because it is easy for bidders to be caught up in the moment and end up spending more money than they actually intended. Most auction houses will give a price range of what an item may sell for and when you stick to this, then you will avoid going broke while at the auction. If you doubt your spending willpower, then you should attend the auction with a friend who will help keep you accountable.
Remember that sales are final
With auctions, there is nothing like a purchase and try policy. Individuals may only return purchased items in very extreme cases. Most items will usually have rescission rights, which means that you have the opportunity of returning the items within 48 hours after getting the receipt. However, this will only apply to pieces that are damaged or differ from the way they were actually described. Apart from this, an auction bid is a binding contract that you must adhere to.
Make your choice of items
Most auctions will involve beautiful items that may tempt you to purchase more. However, it is important for you to force yourself to choose just a few items that you actually want to win. You should then rank these items to determine where your priority lies. This way, you will only bid on items that matter to you, and avoid unnecessary spending or overspending on items that you may regret later on.
Pick a strategy
Before you start bidding, it is important for you to pick the right strategy. Some individuals will believe in bidding early enough because they want to demonstrate that they are serious and actually mean business. However, other individuals will believe in waiting until the last minute for them to place their bids. Whichever strategy you choose will largely depend on what works for you and the number of times that you wish to visit the bidding table. Irrespective of the strategy that you opt for, the final 15 minutes of every auction is usually the most important. You can stay close to the bidding table to determine whether anyone will stop by your preferred item.
Before you go for the actual auction, it is important for you to attend previews as it will help you inspect the goods in person, especially if you have not seen pictures in the auction catalog. If an item is damaged, make sure that repairs are possible and will not cost you more money to repair them. If you are planning to bid on items, you need to take note of the box lot numbers and the contents.
Never show excitement
It is advisable that you always stay calm during previews when you find items that you desire to own. You do not wish to announce your intentions to other auction bidders. This is because it may increase competition for the specific item if you call a lot of attention to it. If people do not notice great pieces at first glance, you should never give them a reason to go back and take a second look.
When it comes to winning an auction, the work usually starts even before you get there. Take time to research on the items before you bid on them. The work of the auctioneers is to sell every item at the highest price possible, so when you know the real value of the pieces beforehand, you will be able to pay a fair price. Be sure to also check on pickup and delivery options. This is because some auction houses will expect clients to pick up their possessions immediately, while others will charge you fees for storage. With all the above-mentioned tips in mind, you will be assured of a happy and successful bidding process.