Sunday, November 22, 2009

Auction 101

When I post about auction trips I usually get a few questions, so I thought I'd do a quick Auction 101 lesson.

Where to find an auction? My favorite site; type in your zip code & then click the day you want to hit up an auction

What auction to look for? Estate auctions tend to be smaller, smaller crowds/less items, and may be good for a first timer. Larger auctions that are held weekly, biweekly and/or monthly are larger and will draw a large (sometimes high price) crowd. Avoid Holiday auctions, more people=higher prices. Larger auctions will have more items and sometimes you may be able to find great items mixed into box lots.

What are box lots? Large sales (and sometimes at smaller sales) box items for quick sale. You may get a great box (sometimes find the BEST items) or a bad box.  Arrive earlier to look through box lots, however be careful not to point out expensive things in a box lot that would draw attention to other buyers or the auctioneer who can remove and item to be sold separate.

Ask if you can pull an item.  If you want something specific ask the auctioneer to auction it separtely.  This can be dangerous because you may draw attention to the object or you may get it cheaper because it's no mixed in with other items people may want.

At the auction:
Bring chairs - something mom & I have learned the hard way, we pack folding chairs.
Some auctions only accept cash.
WATCH YOUR PURCHASES, sadly there are people who take other people's items.
Dress comfy.  Last weekend I wore jeans, Uggs, and a few layers of shirts for when I got hot/cold.
Bring a big car, you buy it you take it. (sometimes they may hold or deliver, but not always).
If you're going to bid, set a limit (i.e. $20) and go one over the limit (i.e. $22.5).  Most people stop at large numbers 20/30/40/etc, if you go one above it might be enough to win the item.
Pay attention to multiple items being auctioned together.  Price may be per item, i.e. $10 per item, 3 items your total will really be $30.
Pack a snack.  Some auctions have food vendors, but not all.

Get ready to people watch. Auctions bring out the fun crowd.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

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