How Auctions Work

Just about anyting you can think of can be found at an auction. Anything from jewelry, collectibles, boats, books,cars, household items; I repeat, anything and everything. That’s the excitement of the auction.

You can find auctions in your area by various ways including your local newspaper who would have a section in the classifieds for auctions that will happen in the coming week or weeks. You can search for auction houses on the internet. If they have a web site, their upcoming auctions along with pictures and descriptions of items would be listed so customers know what is being offered. Usually, there are signs placed close to the auction site indicating an auction is taking place or will be soon. The ads or web site should also give directions to the location.

After you find the auction or auctions of interest, you need to check the time it starts. There should be a starting time for the auction and for viewing the items. Make sure you allow lots of time to get to the auction to check out the items. Then you will decide which items you want to bid on and how much you want to bid. Take a pad of paper and pen to make notes of the items and your top dollar you are willing to bid for the items. This will also be a good time to find the auctioneers and auction workers so you can get to know them. They have the all of the details about the items and should be happy to provide any information you require.

You will want to find out when the auction will start. Find out where the auction will start and what direction it will go. There may be more than one auction ring, if there are many items. Some auctions last for several days. Each auction ring will have an auctioneer, a recorder, and helpers. Find out how many rings and which auctioneer will be in which ring. Introduce yourself to the auctioneer and the workers so they will recognize you when you bid and be more apt to look your way for a bid. It is also an avenue for inside information to the type of auction it is, the type of items being offered, etc. Some auctions have multiple estates represented, so some sections of items may look like it doesn’t really go with the other items. The auctioneer and workers should know this and will share that information with you.

There will be a payment and registration table which are usually together. You will want to stop at the registration table before the auction starts to register. They will need your name, address, phone number, picture ID, and tax number, if you have one.

The auction can be indoors or outdoors, so dress appropriately. You might want to think about taking a snack or lunch. There might be a vendor available near the auction. Check out where you want to park to get your winning items to your vehicle easily.

Each item will have a lot number or description associated with it. This information may not be on the actual item, but the recorder will have it. It will be on the tickets for each of your winning items. Keep track of what you were the winning bidder on and what the winning bid was. This way, you can match each up to your ticket when you check out.

The items up for auction are usually kept in boxes or flats. The items may be auctioned per box or per item. You should be able to request a certain item be pulled out of a box to auction separately, if you like. A lot of times, you can get a better bargain if the item you want is together with other items that may be less in demand.

The more expensive items are kept in locked cases with an attendant close by to open the case for inspection when requested. These items have been determined by the auctioneer to be more valuable pieces and will be auctioned individually. Since you have gotten familiar with the auctioneer, you will know where the auction will start. Get yourself in a position so that you can see the items as they are auctioned and so that you will be readily seen by the auctioneer for your bids. Make sure you have your bidder number card ready to show the auctioneer when you bid and also when you win an item.

Before and during the auction, as people look at the items, some may get moved from box to box. Make sure you pay close attention to what is being auctioned, in case some things were moved. When you win, make sure to take your winnings directly to your vehicle. Once you win the bid, the item or items are you possession and you are responsible for them. Items have been known to get up and walk away while you are not looking. It is best to keep an eye on your winnings or have another person attend to them and take them to your vehicle.

Depending upon the auctioneer, bidding may start at what the auctioneer thinks the item will eventually sell for. That offer may not get any bids, so in order to get people bidding, the auctioneer will lower the starting bid. If you are really interested in an item, you may want to bid first thing. This quick bid may scare off other potential bidders and you will win the item. Toward the end of the auction, there may not be as many people at the auction so this is a good time to get in on some good deals as well.

When you are ready to leave, you will need to go to the payment or registration table to pay for your winning items. They will have a list of items or a ticket for each winning item. Make sure the item and price match what you have recorded. It will be much easier to resolve any conflicts immediately rather than later. Good luck with your bidding!