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auctions can be exciting & fun. There is nothing better than feeling of victory when
winning that special item that you have had your eye on. The following is a list of
helpful hints & general tips
for those who are new to attending traditional live household and estate
- First try attending a couple of local
auctions just to observe the going’s on. You do not have to bid on
anything. Each auctioneer has their own way of handling an auction. Make
sure that you are comfortable with the auctioneers style of doing business.
- Find out what the "Terms &
Conditions" are for the auction you are attending. Usually you will
find the "Terms:" within the auction advertising display ad,
on the individual auction sale bill, or posted near the registration area.
- Know and understand the terms of the auction
before bidding. The auctioneer will usually read off any additional terms
for the particular auction prior to starting the auction. It is a good
idea to be
present and to hear the opening announcements at the start of the auction.
Listen carefully. Things you should pay close attention to are: The manner
of payment accepted, ex. (CASH, Type of Checks, Debit or Credit cards).
not they will accept out of state checks? Weather or not a "Bidders
fee", "Buyers fee" or Buyers premium...is added to
the high bid to establish the final selling price? Weather or not sales tax
applies? When does the merchandise have to be removed by?
- Many auctions have a preview time for buyers
inspection of the articles being offered at auction. At an on-site out-door
auction this preview time is shortly before the start of the sale usually
one hour. Take advantage of the inspection. Due to the fact that most
everything being sold has had some use many auctioneers will sell everything
in as-is and where-is condition unless announced otherwise by the
auctioneer. When you want to take a closer look at an item feel free
to walk up and examine it more carefully. Ask questions if you are unsure about something.
Some times the
seller is available and can answer a question about the over all condition or the history of
an item. Let us know if this is your First auction you will be bidding at.
We will work with you until you get the swing of it.
- During your inspection it is a good
idea to list the articles that you are interested in bidding on and the
dollar amount that you will being willing to pay for each item or lot.
buyers use the back side of their bid cards to list the items with the price
they hope to buy it for. Know what you can
afford to spend for the day. Sometimes when you get the First item
bought for far less then you were willing to pay, you may consider going a
little higher on another item when it goes above your original price.
- Where the proper clothing for the day’s
weather conditions. Dress in layers on cold days. Wear boots on damp days.
Rain gear on wet day’s. Be prepared to make a day of it. At out-door sales
some people will bring along a lawn chair which is usually just fine.
- Come prepared to haul your purchases the day
of the auction. When you are planning to buy furniture be sure to bring the
proper vehicle, some packing blankets to prevent damage, and possibly a
friend to help you with loading and moving. Many on-site auctions require
that the items be removed the same day. Some in-door auctions may be able to
make arrangements to hold your items for a short time.
- When planning on buying porcelain, fine
glassware, or anything that could be broken and or damaged be prepared to
protect your valuables with newspapers, disposable diapers, and some boxes.
- Upon registration most auction services will
require positive photo ID in order to register to receive a bid card number.
will need this numbered bid card in order to bid. A current picture drivers
license will usually do for ID. Out of state buyers may be asked to show a
current bank letter of guarantee addressed to the auctioneer for that
- A bid number card is used by the auctioneer
to recognize your bidding and to record your number as the purchaser. You
are responsible for this number and items purchased that day with it. Always
have it ready to show the auctioneer when you become the successful high
bidder. This keeps the auction moving right along.
- Be sure that you
signal with your bid card to the
auctioneer or make it obvious to the ring help that you are biding on something.
Do not be shy.
Shout out if necessary. We do not want to miss your bid. Be sure to raise
your card up high enough so that we see it. We can not see someone winking a bid at us
when they are wearing sun glasses even when they are staring at us.
- Listen carefully to the auctioneers
description of how the items are being sold on each item / lot before he
asks for the opening bid. The following Three terms are commonly used when
selling at auction.
- High bidders choice,
choice out or your choice: When
selling similar items some auctioneers will give you a choice out of several
like items / lots. The highest successful bidder will have the First right
to pick One, or more of the items / lots being offered and bid on at that selling price
per item, multiplied by the number of items that are chosen.
- "All to go",
or "Everything goes", or
"All for One money": When selling
matching sets or items sold as a grouping you may hear the auctioneer say,
"All For One Money" or selling "All To Go". (This means
that you are buying the items together for one price).
- "So much (each, a piece) and
( x ) many times your money": This is
often done with matching chairs. Ex. you are bidding on (4)
chairs, So much a
piece at $35.00 each and the quantity (4) x your money would
look like 4 x $35.00 =
- Do not bid an amount
that you are not willing to pay. When you become the winning bidder,
you will be expected to pay that amount. If you are unclear about something ask before bidding.
- Dropping Out
of Bidding: Should
you wish to drop out of the bidding process, when the auctioneer looks to
you for your next bid, simply shake your head "no". This
will help to speed up the process as the auctioneer will not need to wait on
- Once the auctioneer has said sold you become
responsible for that item and paying for it, and prior to leaving the
premises for the day. It is a good practice to keep track of the whereabouts
of your purchases. Some people bring a friend to help carry items to their
- Another good practice is to keep track of
your purchases during an auction. Many people record their purchases and the
selling price on the back of their bid cards.
- At an auction all sales are final.
Once the auctioneer recognizes you as the highest successful bidder and said
sold, a legally binding contract has been established.
- Before leaving the premises, all purchases
must be settled for in full with the cashier. You will receive a receipt for
each item. Like any other business, leaving the premises with out paying for
your purchases or writing bad checks is frowned upon by auction services and
violators are prosecuted to the fullest letter of the law.
- For those who can not stay for the auction
some auction services offer a courtesy absentee bidder service. These
auction services usually recommend that the buyer First inspect the items
they want to bid on, then leave a reasonable opening bid and also the top
bid that they would be willing to pay with the auction staff. Each
Auctioneer has their own individual policies regarding (proxy bidding) or
absentee bids. Not all auctioneers extend this service.
Auctions offer buyers a great
opportunity to acquire great merchandise at the prices that they are willing to pay.
is the competition between the bidders present that day that will set the
selling prices. The only way to be sure you do not miss the bargains is to
actually be there and to be part of the action.
- Many auctions that last over Two an a half
hours will have a lunch service on the premises when & where permitted. They offer
sandwiches, soft drinks, coffee and snacks to auction goers so that they do not
miss anything selling by leaving the auction sale site.
Murphy, auctioneer -
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