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 links...so 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<