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10 Tips for Success at Any Live Auction

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Today, I am going to give you 10 Tips for Success at Any Live Auction...and before I get started...if you are new to my blog and/or YouTube Channel, Josh Levine Speaks...and you know you are going to have a good time...before you leave, click the heart or subscribe, turn on notifications and I'll be sure to alert you to each new blog post & video episode...please feel free to post some feedback to...i love hearing for you you...all the links are in the drop down at the bottom, including all my my other social media lets just get to it, shall we.

Live Auction Tips

(1) attend the preview

You should always attend the preview to inspect the goods even if you’ve seen photos in an auction catalog. You can call the auction for additional condition reports prior to bidding but your opinion is your own. Its amazing how subjective "good condition is"....also if there is minor damage, you can make your own decisions about possible repair costs, etc, should you win. Also, its a great time to take note of box lot numbers and contents if you’re planning to bid on them. Can't hurt to take a photo either so you make sure whats in the box, stays in the box.

BTW If you get serious...below in are My Amazon Picks that I think are the "Must Haves" for a the serious previewer, appraiser or reseller. Just to keep in your car in case you run in to a special painting or jewelry stash !

(2) set a maximum you’re willing to spend

Set your limit for each item of interest, and then stick to it. It’s all too easy to get caught up in auction fever and bid far more than you intended. If you doubt your willpower, attend with a friend so you can keep each other accountable. I had a good friend that would go to all the toy auctions and had a legal pad he'd guard with his life that had some secret codes he used for his bidding. I would always tease him that we had figured it out.

(3) check the payment terms before the day of the auction

Make sure the auction house accepts checks or credit cards if those are how you plan to pay. Ask about deposits and extra charges also. At some auctions, you have to put down a refundable deposit when you register to bid. Some, heck most, add a buyer’s premium to the hammer price, which is an additional percentage or fee added to your winning bid.

(4) i am going to say it again...double-check box lot contents

It’s not unheard of for unscrupulous or just uninformed bidders to switch the contents from box to box. Check again just before the start of the auction as well, if the official preview took place on a preceding day. Things happen. Also were taking a picture might come in handy.

(5) register for a bidder’s card

You can’t participate without one, so do this as soon as you arrive. Nothing will drive an auctioneer nuts like you running in and bidding without a card. I can't tell you how many times someone has done that to me and it brings the auction to a screeching halt.

(6) dress appropriately

And I mean so you are comfortable, not fashionable...and trust me, most auction attendees will not be accused of being fashionable. You have to make sure to dress practically, especially if the auction is being held outdoors or in a barn or warehouse. Dress in layers if there’s no temperature control, and be prepared to stand for hours, in some cases...which leads me to no. 7

(7) pack a folding chair

Just have one in your car. Just in case all the seats are taken or, more common, there's no were to sit. No one wants to be miserable at an auction. Its a good time dammit.

(8) expect the best deals at the end of the sale

It's often, as bidders run out of money....and’ll have less competition for the winning bid. It's called "cleaning up at the end" for a reason.

(9) get in on the bidding when your item is up

Auctions move fast. If you hesitate too long, the auctioneer may not notice you and the hammer may come down before you’ve worked up the courage or decided to bid. An auctioneer wants your bid, he or she does not want to miss you but reopening a lot can cause an auction disaster as well. Or at least some fury.

And last...

(10) secure your purchases

Make sure to bring your purchases to your vehicle or otherwise secure your wins if the auction requires immediate payment and possession before moving. If you leave your purchases unattended while you visit the snack bar or restroom, you won't get a refund if someone pilfers part of your stash. Lock purchases in your trunk or put them under cover so you don't tempt parking lot thieves. I have seen everything. Again, the bring a friend is a great thing to prevent this. Or just growl a lot when people stand near you.

I hope these 10 tips bring you future Live Auction Bidding Success. And if you enjoyed this post, you may want to watch "my first time, going to a live auction" a deeper dive video in to the world of Live Auctions. But I am just getting started with these tips and tricks. So, if you like what you read or saw, click the heart, subscribe to my YouTube channel, turn on the little notification bell, click like and place your comments below. I have a lot more on my channel were that came from....all my contacts and social media links are below.

Until next time, my friends !




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Anyway....that my update. If you ever need help an estate, just a free consult or a real estate agent. I'd be thrilled to help you.

All my best !



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