Auction buyer tips will help you avoid common mistakes made by buyers. Read up on laws, rules, bidding tips and buyer rights.
Auction Buyer Tip #1: Do not mistake auctions for retail sales. The two have very little in common. Auctions are different from retail because auctions are governed by federal laws, state laws, Uniform Commercial Codes and city ordinances. When you bid at an auction you actually enter a legal contract.
Auction Buyer Tip #2: You must have a bidder’s card in order to buy at the auction. To obtain a bidder’s card, you must put down a deposit for a bid card. This insures that you will pay for all your purchases that you bid on. Once you pay for your items or decide to leave the auction without purchasing any items, your deposit is immediately returned to you. If you do bid and win, your deposit is applied to the purchases.
Auction Buyer Tip #3: Be careful when you bid on lots. Know how much you are bidding and whether you are bidding against your spouse, parent, sibling or friend. Although you can retract a bid while the bidding is open, you cannot retract it once the auctioneer has said "sold." Auctioneers expect you to take full responsibility for your bids.
Auction Buyer Tip #4: The moment the auctioneer says "sold," the ownership of the item being auctioned has changed hands. This is the law. If your merchandise is later stolen, you will still have to pay for it. It is no different than having your wallet or purse stolen while shopping at a store.
Auction Buyer Tip #5: Know what you are bidding on by closely inspecting each item before the auction. This is why an auction preview is offered. Use your own evaluation as your bidding guide, not the auctioneer’s description or other bidders' comments. You are buying the merchandise "AS IS" with no guarantees of any kind from the seller or auctioneer. The risk of the item not being what you wanted should be factored into your bidding amount.
Auction Buyer Tip #6: A fast-moving auction benefits both buyers and sellers. Auctioneers have the right to reject any bid amount that would slow the bidding. Auctioneers cannot wait for slow bidders, so know in advance what to buy and how much to spend. Your inability to keep up with the bidding pace is not the auctioneers’ concern.
Auction Buyer Tip #7: Don’t be shy about bidding loud and large. Raise your bid card in the air if you want an item and keep it up until you are done bidding. Make certain the auctioneer is aware you are bidding because the auctioneer may be taking bids from someone in front of or behind you. Once the auctioneer says "sold," the item is gone even if you are willing to continue bidding. There are no do-overs in the auction business. Spotters or ringmen are there to help the auctioneer spot bids and will signal your bid to the auctioneer.
Auction Buyer Tip #8: When the auction starts, you will hear a ringman call out a lot number and give a brief description of the item. The auctioneer will begin selling the item and will ask for you to bid. The auctioneer continues to go up in increments until the item has been sold. Once the bidding has closed, the auctioneer will say "sold" and state the winning bidder’s number and the final selling price.
Auction Buyer Tip #9: During the auction, clerks record the description of your items and your buyer number as well as the amount you paid for the item.Auction Buyer Tip #10: There are some terms that are used during an auction of which you need to be aware. These terms are "choice" and "all for one money."