Going Once…Tips for Success at Online Auctions

If you have never been to a live auction, it is certainly an experience worth having. The thrill of competition and the chance to find rare treasures is something you need to see. But thanks to the internet, you can have access to many of these auctions without leaving the comfort of your own home. If you are looking to make yourself a master in this field, here are just a few top tips to get you started.



Do Your Research

The last thing that you want to do is pay over the odds, so you should do your homework on what you are about to buy so you can get a fair market value. Since you can’t see what you are buying in person, you should look at as many images as there are available. Ask the auction house or online estate sales service for more information and ideally a condition report as well. If you have never bid for anything online before, it will help you out to watch a few online auctions so you get a better idea of what is going on. Like anything in life, experience is everything.


Set a Budget

It is very easy to get carried away when you are at an auction, which is why you should be setting a bidding limit for yourself. You should have in mind a maximum price that you are willing to pay for the piece and stay within your budget at all times. When you are just typing figures into a screen, it can be difficult to imagine it as real money which is why you really need to be careful. Sometimes, knowing when to pass is the most important skill to develop.


Narrow Your Focus

The beauty of an auction is that you should be able to pick up items that you can’t get elsewhere, so you should aim to go in with a narrow focus. And though it may be tempting to buy something as an investment, remember that market values tend to fluctuate all the time, so you should be going for pieces that you have a genuine passion for, and that you want to collect.


Bid Live When You Can

Your odds of winning are much higher when you participate live rather than just leaving an absentee bid and keeping your fingers crossed. Some auction houses will even offer a live stream so you really get a sense of the experience. Watching live is also a great way to snag yourself a bargain. You may see something that you thought was out of your price range, but the bidding has been so slow that you decide to take a shot yourself.


Don’t Delay

As long as you are sticking to your budget, you should aim to bid with clarity and confidence. If you bid early enough in the process, you may even find that nobody else follows you and you get the item for a much cheaper price than you would have otherwise thought.  


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