I love going to auctions and finding wonderful treasures at a great price, including furniture and accessories. However, sometimes it can feel a little intimidating without knowing the protocol. If you’ve never done it before, I’m happy to share the process with you.
Generally, two to three days prior to the auction, there will be a period to view the merchandise in person at your leisure, rather than in a hurried way the day of the event. If pieces are in cases, you can ask to have them taken out to look at them closely (if you’re truly interested in the item). They should do this without a problem.
When you arrive you can request a brochure, which will have descriptions and estimates of costs for all the items.
If you think you might want to bid on an item, you will ask for a bidding number and register with the auction house.
The gallery will have seats for all of the people interested in the event.
The auction will be called to order promptly at the scheduled time.
You can bid in-person or do a phone bid during the process (I do both).
In order to bid, you need to hold up your number when the item is presented.
**Hint** I usually put a dollar amount in the brochure, of what my highest bid will be (this avoids going into a bidding war with someone). It’s always better to know beforehand how high you want to go, so you avoid “Auction Fever” and “Buyer’s Remorse”.
In the brochure, it will tell you the price ranges ie; $100-$300. The item could go for more than that or be pulled from the auction because it has not met its reserve (the lowest amount the seller will accept). Or you could get it for the lowest price over the reserve, which usually gives you a great buy.
Goods are sold “as is” and all sales are final. At the end of each sale, payment is due.The buyers do have to pay a buyer’s premium (which generally is 20%) on the item they have gotten, paid to the auction house (which can vary from one auction to another).
**In general, auctions take place all year round and you can find them in your local area by doing a quick Google search.
Attending an auction is a very exciting process and I get many fun and beautiful items this way. If you decide to go to one soon, let us know how it went in the comments below! Good luck and have a great time!