For the first time bidder the experience of your first auction can be both exciting and nerve racking.Â Auctions move fast this is for three reasons. First, there are many lots in a auction that need to be sold in a timely manner usually just a few hours. Second, forcing bidders to make tfast decisions. This is part of the strategy of auction marketing. Aggressive bidding is what makes an auction successful.Â Third a good chant makes the auction entertaining for the bidders holding there attention.
The first and most important thing you should always remember when going to an auction for your first time or your 100th time is inspect inspect inspect. No matter how well you know the item you want or how bad you want it you must inspect it properly. There are inspection dates prior to an auction and usually a hour or two prior to the auction start. I would advise going to the preview inspecting all the items you wish to bid on. Then inspecting the items you have decided to bid on again before the auction. Items or lots in an auction are sold as is where is. This means there is no guarantee or return policy once you buy it you are responsible for it and its removal after you have paid your bill. If you have any questions about the condition of an item remember you can always ask someone that works at the auction house or you can bring a specialist with you to view the items. Some auction houses will include condition reports in there catalogues as these are usually accurate you still need to inspect the item for yourself. The condition can always change the items are being moved and touched all the time.
The second most important thing is to set your stop bid price. You want to do this before the auction starts. The auction will move way to fast for you to make a reasoned decision during the bidding process. The average lot takes 30 to 40 seconds to sell. The buyerâ€™s premium must also be taken into account. The buyerâ€™s premium is a % or flat rate that is added to each lot that is sold. The premium can range from no premium to 20% or more. This means if you bid on something and win it for $100 and there is a 15% buyerâ€™s premium it will cost you $115 + tax if it applies. If you wanted to buy the item for $100 your stop price with a 15% premium would be $85 this is without tax. You will also want to ask if there is a premium for paying with a credit card. Some auctions will charge one to three percent to pay with a credit card. This should be factored into your stop bid price.
After you have inspected the items and set your stop bid prices you will need to register for a bidding card if you are going to bid on any items. You can usually register for an auction on the preview day and auction day. I would advise registering on preview day. This is because most auction houses break a tied bid by the lower bidder number. All auction houses require you to show a photo id when registering especially for the first time. Some auction houses will ask for a credit card also if you are a first time buyer with them. They do not charge it unless you skip out on your bill. You can always call the auction house or go to there website and find out there requirements for registering.
Now on to the fun part the bidding. There are a lot of myths that you can accidentally bid by making some little move scratching your nose touching your face and so on. This is very unlikely to happen. If this does happen just let them know you where not bidding as soon as possible and they will fix it. They to do this before the item is sold since a auctioneer can not normally reopen the bidding once it is sold. When bidding you want to make eye contact with the auctioneer or his assistances (also called ring person). A ring person is someone taking bids from the audience and then passes those on to the auctioneer. This person can also let the auctioneer know to pause or that there was a mistake. To bid you can hold up your bidding card or your hand, or say yes. The auctioneer or ring person will make eye contact with you, take your bid immediately turn and seek another bid. You can stop bidding at anytime by saying no or shaking your head no and putting your bidding card down. I would advise raising your card each time you bid instead of just keeping your card up. This will keep you from phantom bidders running up the bid on you. A phantom bidder is someone the auction house has placed to keep the bids moving. This is frowned upon in the auction industry but still happens. Once the item is sold to you or the other bidders they will move onto the next lot. Some auction houses will hold your items till after the auction and some will hand them to you right away. You should make sure to have boxes or bags if this is the case. Remember once you buy our item it is your responsibility even if the auction house is holding it for you.
The last things for you to do are pay for your items and remove them. Make sure you pay for them before leaving the building with your items. This process is just like paying any other bill. You can do it at anytime during the auction. Just go to the office or place marked for payment. Give them your bidder number and they will print your bill. Make sure to check your bill and that all the lots are yours or that you are not missing a lot before you pay. There are often mistakes made.
Here are a few tips. You should arrive at the auction on time. This dose not mean when the auction starts. You can calculate when you need to be there. Most auctions run at 100 lots per hour. If you are bidding on lot 250 then you can go to the auction about 2 hours after it starts. You will want to make sure to be there a little bit before your lot comes up. There is always the chance they are running fast. Auctions have seasons if you go on the off seasons you can find better deals. Off months are June, July, August, and December. Donâ€™t be overeager. Let other bidders open the bid. You do not need to open the bid with the first price the auctioneer says. The price will drop down to about 1/3 of the opening price the auctioneer asked for. If you open the bid at the first price you can be over paying. The item can sell for less of more. Donâ€™t worry about bidding against dealers. They have a set price unusually lower then most. They have to buy at a deal. When the auctioneer is chanting just listen to the numbers. It will make it easier to understand. Also know if he is asking for things like one and a quarter he means $125 a quarter is 25 an half is 50. Ten and a quarter is 1025.
Good luck and happy bidding.