How to Make Auction Bids

Auctions are a place where you can usually get great deals on things you have always wanted. But if you are not careful, you might leave the auction house spending a lot more than you ever intended. If you plan on attending an auction in the near future, here is a quick guide on how to make the best bids without busting your budget.

Go to the Preview

Auctions will usually have a preview prior to the actual event. This is a perfect time to examine the objects and make sure they are worth buying. This is especially important if the item needs to be fixed or repaired. You can also get a better idea about how the item actually looks in real life as opposed to photos. If you find things you are interested in buying, write down the appropriate numbers so you can bid on them later.

Plan Your Bids

A woman inspects art at an auction house.

You should set a limit on how much you can spend before you start bidding. A limit should be placed on every item you plan on betting. Once you get in the heat of a bidding war, it is easy to let your emotions get the best of you, which usually results in spending more than you ever wanted. If you have trouble sticking to your limit, bring a friend along to the auction to help keep you in check.

Familiarize Yourself with the Auction Rules and Payments

All auctions are run differently, so it is important that you fully understand the rules of the auction and what they accept as payment. Double check that the auction company accepts credit cards, for instance, or checks. You should also look into additional charges the auction house may have, like a buyer’s premium that is placed on the final bid. Make sure you calculate any additional charges into your budget so that you do not go over.

Register and Dress for the Right Occasion

An auction announcer bangs a gavel.

On the day of the auction, the first thing you need to do is register for a bidding card. You will not be able to place any bids without one. When it comes to attire, make sure you are dressed according to the setting. If the auction is held outdoors, for instance, wear appropriate clothing for the season. If the auction is inside, check and see if the building is temperature controlled and plan accordingly.

What Time Is Best for Bidding?

The afternoon is the best time to get great deals at an auction. People who bid in the morning usually spend all of their funds by the afternoon. They also have less energy by the afternoon, which usually translates to easier bidding as the auction wears on. Of course, the time of day you bid will depend on what items you want to snag, so you may have to bid earlier than you want.

Bidding Techniques

People bid at an auction.

The best bidding advice is not to hesitate once your item is on the auction block. Auctioneers are notorious for moving quickly and you might get left out of the bidding if you hesitate for even a second. Regardless of who else is bidding, keep placing your bets until you have hit your budget ceiling or won the item. You can also read into other bidder’s body language to tell if they are getting close to their limit.

After You Win Your Bid

If you win the item you are bidding for, double check the box to ensure that the correct items are inside. It is not uncommon for items to get mixed up after the auction, and the last thing you want is to go home and discover that you received the wrong package. Once you have the item you won, make sure you secure it properly. The best place to secure your belongings is usually in the trunk of your vehicle. If that is not available, then make sure the item is covered to deter would-be thieves.