Auction Tips to Help You Walk Away a Winner


The popularity of shows like Storage Wars and Antiques Road Show have inspired many people to attend public auctions in the hopes of finding diamonds in the rough–pieces of old memorabilia and vintage collectible items–that they can either keep or make a profit off of.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when attending auctions so that you can walk away a big winner.

Things to Do Before the Auctions Begin.

Prior to the day of the auction, check what the payment terms are. Some auction houses may only accept cash, so make sure you can pay with checks, credit, or debit if that’s what you’re planning. Be sure to ask about any extra charge or deposits, as well. Some auction houses require a deposit before handing over any bidding paddles to ensure that people pay for their goods. They also may charge a buyer’s premium on top of what you’re winning bid was. Also, make sure to inspect the goods before the auction starts, even if you’ve checked out the catalog’s photos. Some damages may not seem so bad in pictures, but up close you might find that they’re much worse.

Things to Do During the Auctions.

Make sure to jump on an item you’d like to purchase once it’s on the block, since auctions can move pretty fast. Though it might be tough to work up the courage, once the gavel’s banged, the deal is done. In the event that you do win, be sure to take your new possessions to your vehicle so that you can be free to go to the restroom or get a snack. Many people aren’t above stealing unattended goods.Put your winnings in the trunk so that parking lot thieves won’t see.

Things Not to Do During the Auctions.

Do not show any signs of visible excitement when looking at items during the preview, or when they come up, otherwise you might increase your competition. Others might not have noticed the collectible you’re hoping to win, so don’t give them a reason to take a second look. If someone does start a bidding war with you, be sure not to get too caught up in it, otherwise you may wind up paying too much. Once that gavel falls, you’re legally bound to pay for the item.

If you heed these tips, then you’ll get the antiques and vintage collectibles you want at any and all auctions you go to. Who doesn’t want to walk away a winner? If you have any questions about to do and what not to do at auctions, feel free to ask in the comments. Research more here.

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