Attending an auction can be nerve-wracking, but don’t be intimidated! Knowledge is power. With a little preparation, you can turn your day at the auction into a fun and rewarding experience, and pick up some great finds at bargain prices.
1) Review the catalog beforehand. Familiarize yourself with the lots. Most auction houses post the catalog online several weeks before the auction.
2) Research comparable items. Once you have picked out what you want to bid on, do your homework. See what similar items have sold for in previous auctions. Set a limit on how much you are willing to spend on the item and stick to it!
3) Inspect the items. Many auction houses will schedule a preview day. Examine the pieces thoroughly and note their condition. It is not easy to return an item once you have purchased it, especially if it is a consignment item.
4) Be prepared to take possession at the end of the auction. Storage and delivery charges are additional. If you’re out of town and bidding online, determine shipping costs beforehand.
5) Check the payment terms. Does the auction house accept checks and credit cards? Do you have to put down a deposit when you register to bid? Most auction houses add a buyer’s premium and sometimes local taxes to the final bid price.
6) If you can’t attend the auction or you’re out of town, go ahead and place your online bid in advance. You may be the only bidder and win!
7) Attend the live auction if possible. You can save up to 5 percent or more in buyer’s premiums as a house bidder using cash or a local check.
Sarasota Estate Auction is located at 6030 N. Lockwood Ridge Road in Sarasota, Florida. No deposit is required at registration. The buyer’s premium is 18% for house bidding and 21% for online bidding (2% off for cash and local checks). View the online catalog at sarasotaestateauction.com. AU #4555, AB #3375.
By Andrew Ford, Sarasota Estate Auction