When you finally find a parking place,
get a chance to look around, and then decide that today is your day, you can go to the
front counter and get your number. To bid at an auction you must have a bidders number,
which is good for that day only. You'll need to display your drivers license, and usually
your telephone number. That's all. Most auction houses accept cash and major credit cards
only. Some auction houses will accept personal checks, but only if you have established a
good credit history. Check before you make any purchases.
Your bidding card has your bidders
number written upon it and a place to record your purchases for easy
calculation. Usually the back of the card is blank, here you can make notes
about item prices or anything of interest to you.
Claim a seat and then take another look
around before the auction starts. Notice where the item(s) that interest you are located,
and make notes on the back of your card as to what the item is and the price your willing
to pay. You may also want to pick up a box and some newspaper before you sit
When the auction starts, it best to have
gone to the bathroom and have purchased your refreshments. Some auctions will sell items
in a certain pattern , others will mix items from everywhere. Keep alert to what is being
sold. You may miss your item.
I cannot stress this any better, figure
the maximum dollar amount that you are willing to pay for an item (remember the sales tax
and buyers premium if applicable) and stick to your price. You can also establish a total
dollar amount limit. This will allow you to pay a little more than you wanted on certain
items, and still keep within your spending limit for the day. Either way is fine, but stick to your limits.
If you get a another chance to look at
the items that your interested in before you bid, do it. Sometimes you see things you
didn't see before and sometimes chips and cracks mysteriously appear. A good 'feeder' will
notice these flaws and relay the information before the item is sold. Once the item has
been sold to you, it's yours. The auction rule is that items are sold 'as is',' where is'.
If the item is damaged or not it is yours and your responsible for the payment. However,
some auction houses will allow you to return the item, within a specified time limit if,
the item being sold was said to be in excellent, mint or perfect condition when sold and
upon which you discovered that the item was damaged, you will be able to return
Be aware of the possible presence of
reproductions, mismatched sets and statements made to the fact that an item is probably
old because the lady that owned it was old. My grandmother is old but that doesn't mean
everything she has is old.
Be aware of the various consignment
lots. It's best to write this number down next the item you wish to purchase. Many dealers
will use the auction as a dumping ground for items that are usually damaged, mismatched or
otherwise could not be sold elsewhere. Be aware of the condition and types of items in
these lots. They sometimes hold reproductions mixed in with older
Do not move items from one location to
another when viewing. Auctions have various consignments which have their unique 'lot'
number. Not only will this anger the auctioneer and 'feeder' but anyone that has interest
in that item.
Many reproductions are hard to
distinguish from the original items. The fact is the machines that actually made
these items 40 - 60 years ago were sold to third world countries (China, Taiwan, India),
when American machinery was upgraded, and are still in use making these items
reproductions. No sure fire way exists to determine if an item(s) are
reproductions. However, you can use these as guidelines: quality, quality and
By visiting known reproduction houses and
consulting reputable dealers, you can usually tell if an item is a
If you have questions about any items
for sale at an auction, ask around for various opinions. Always ask more than one person
for an opinion, unless you know someone you can trust. Some of the dealers that have
consignments will show up during the auction and give their items a big build
During the course of an auction you will
notice multiple dealers who are competing for certain items. Do not go by the impression
that if they're bidding on an item that it must be old, good and or cheap. The fact is
many dealers dislike each other and will run up the bid on one another. The only one that
wins in this battle is the seller.
When your in an auction, you are primary
in competition with everyone present.
Watch for family members at an estate auction.
Sometimes an estate winds up at auction because of feuding between family members, which
will greatly inflate prices.
Navigation is accomplished by using
the main menu on the left. Just click on the red
help book next to the words Auction Guide
and the topics will unfold. Or you can use the index below.