You have your bidder’s number, and you have looked at all of the items at the auction. What’s next?
At the beginning of every auction, the auctioneer will tell you what is going to go on throughout the auction. They’ll tell you which items will sell first, and if they will auction the house off. They’ll also say some other general announcements pertaining to the sale (like if they are selling off the furniture at a certain time).
The next thing to do is to wait for the items you want to bid on. While you are listening to what’s going on at the auction, this is a great time to figure out what you would like to spend on what you saw before the start of the sale. You also need to keep an eye on what they are selling as well. I don’t know how many times I have bid on an item that is selling way too cheap.
This is also a great time to size up the competition. What I do is to listen for a buyer’s number that is being repeated over and over again. I will try to grab a peek at the person who is attached to the bidder’s number to see who it is. After you attend a few auctions, you also notice the same faces showing up as well. Be courteous and friendly to other bidders, especially your main competitors. If they are behind you, or a little farther away from the auction than you, hand them the item that they just bought. I also give people room for the items that they buy as well. If you are a courteous bidder, most of the time the other auction-goers will be this way with you.
If a cheap item happens to come up for sale while I am waiting for the items that I really want to bid on, I will place a bid on it to let the auctioneer know that I am here to buy, not just to watch. When you bid, you are introducing yourself to the auctioneer and the other bidders. Don’t drive up bids to back out consistently. Again, be courteous; others will extend the favor to you as well.
When you think about it, bidding for the first time buyer can be one of the scariest things to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $200 Fenton Gone with the Wind Lamp, or a $2 toy. I was nine years old when I bid for the first time. Bidding for my mother, I learned a few things that I need to do so that I can be a successful bidder.
First, I learned not to jump in right away. Auctioneers always try to set the price of the item high. When they don’t get a bid, they will keep lowering the price until someone jumps all over it.
I also learned that when bidding for the first time, you sometimes have to work to get the auctioneer’s attention. Waive your arm, your bidder’s number, or shout “Yeah,” “Yes,” or even “Over here.”
There are quite a few ways to bid. It ultimately comes down to what your personal preference is. Mine is to stick my arm up in the air so that the auctioneer can see me.
Once you are noticed, you can even nod your head. If you are standing behind the auctioneer or one of their employees that hold up item for sale, you could poke them in the back.
Raising an eyebrow, wagging a finger, or even raising your pen in the air are also great ways to bid once you are on the auctioneer’s radar.
If you are new to the world of bidding, experiment with what works for you. You will come up with a great way that is perfect for you.