Buying equipment at an auction can be a great way to get what you want at a decent price but there are a number of tips and bidding strategies that it often pays to stick to if you want everything to go smoothly once bidding gets underway.
Regardless of whether you are a seasoned bidder who has attended numerous auctions or new to the process, there are several key things to keep in your mind and check off your list before you get to place your bid and points to remember while the bidding is in full flow.
Here is a look at what you need to know and how to help ensure you get the best result and win the bid at the best possible price.
Take The Time to Preview the Items You Are Interested In
Buying blind is never a great idea and if you don’t check out the machinery or equipment that you are interested in beforehand, it could turn out to be an expensive mistake.
If there is a preview date set when you can attend and actually view the items for sale before they go under the hammer it is a very good idea to go along and run your eye over what you are going to be bidding for.
If the auction is online, make sure you read all the information available and ask any questions in plenty of time before the auction so that you know exactly what you are trying to buy.
Discipline is Required
It is a familiar scenario to witness someone bidding for an item that they want and refusing to back down when someone else is competing against them and the price is rising steadily.
It’s easy to get carried away or let your emotions win the day in such a pressurized environment but if you pay more than you wanted to for an item it is too late when the auction ends and you are declared the winner.
Set a maximum price you are willing to pay for each item and back out at that point, even if it is something you really want.
Sort Out Your Finances
Where you are bidding online or at a physical auction the rules of engagement are much the same and you are entering into a contract and agreeing to buy the item if your bid is declared the winner.
You will be expected to make payment shortly afterward so make sure you have the finances in place and also check that the auction house accepts the form of payment you are proposing to use.
Register In Plenty of Time
You will have to register as a bidder to get involved and place bids when the auction gets underway.
It makes sense to get that done as quickly rather than leaving it to the last minute, especially as it is often a simple administration process where you might have to provide some identity details and payment information.
You will normally be allocated a bidders number which will be noted by the auctioneer if your bid is accepted as the winner.
Timing Can Be Crucial
Although there are no hard and fast rules about when is the best time to try and bag the best deals at the auction there is often the perception that it is harder to get a bargain on the first few lots.
This is because of bidders enthusiasm and the fact that everyone still has some cash to spend.
Later on, when crowds might have thinned out and some people don’t have as much energy and money as earlier it is possible that you might face less competition for an item.
If you have your eye on a couple of items, be prepared to hold out if one of them is being sold later on, as it could come to you at a lower price if you are patient and last the distance.
Be Alert When Bidding Starts
The auction action can be fast and furious and if you are not on the ball and alert to what’s going on you could find that the bidding is over almost in the blink of an eye.
Some bidders like to see how much interest there is before placing their own bid and might wait until near the end before showing their hand.
There is nothing wrong with biding your time but you need to be alert as the auctioneer won’t wait too long before ending the bidding process once the price has reached what appears to be a maximum level.
It is not unusual to see an item that you decide you really want or know that you need, such as a piece of machinery that you have been waiting for, but it doesn’t pay to display too much interest around rival bidders.
If someone else has the same interest in an item you could fuel a bidding war if they know you want it too.
Pace Yourself With Your Bids
As already highlighted, you want to have a maximum bid in mind and stick to it, but you don’t want to get there too fast if you can help it.
Be mindful that bids rise in increments and that means you should go as low as you can and see where that takes you rather than trying to outbid anyone else with a higher number.
When You Win
Bear in mind that when you are declared the winner and your bid is successful the item becomes your responsibility from that moment.
If you are bidding on an expensive item of machinery, for example, you will want to make sure it is not left unattended and you might even want to arrange insurance cover straight away.
Check Everything Is In Order
Hopefully, you will have inspected the item before bidding, but now you are the owner and your bid has been successful it is important to check that everything is in order in terms of the paperwork.
Check that you have all the required ownership documentation such as receipts and any warranty details.
If you follow these basic and sensible rules when it comes to bidding at an auction it should help improve your chances of achieving the right outcome.