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Attending auctions
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Terry    Posted 04-20-2003 at 16:05:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am sure there are some experienced folks on this forum that attend a lot of auctions. Are there any stories that you would like to share.

What are some of the tricks that an inexperienced person like me should look out for. I have heard stories of some fast ones that an autioneer has pulled.

I guess with my limited experience, I usually figure out what I am willing to pay for an item.
I let the bidding start and I just wait to see if the bids exceed my amount, if they don't, then I start bidding. Is there anything wrong with that approach?

Thanks for any stories you share.

Tom a    Posted 04-22-2003 at 05:19:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Lots of good advice from everyone. I'll toss in my experience:

I've got a friend who has been an auctioneer for several decades. There's some auction houses he won't work for, or even attend auctions at because he says they are crooked and expect their auctioneers to do some shady things ("Tom, many an item has been bid up by a beam holding up the roof or a light fixture."). Other places are as honest as the day is long. But you don't have to get taken by the crooks.

First, decide what an item is worth 'to you' *before* you begin to bid, and do not cross your pre-set maximum no matter what. There will always be another auction with the same item, so if you lose it, you lose it (Occasionally, the "winner" will come up to you later and offer to make a deal anyway).

Don't ever take the opening bid; the auctioneer will come down if nobody bites at his open. Only make the first bid if it looks like the auctioneer is going to set the item aside and move on to other things and nobody else is going to bid...I got a $200 Aladdin lamp for $25 that way once and the guy acted like I was doing him a favor! Don't be in a hurry (the auctioneer wants you to get into his rhythym and bid without thinking) and don't be shy about stopping/slowing him by saying "I'm sorry, I didn't understand, what'd you say??"

Remember that every auction is different, sometimes you'll get real bargains and sometimes you'll pay more than you would in a store if you aren't careful. And there's no way to tell in advance, you just gotta go and see what happens.

good luck,

Whispering Pines    Posted 04-21-2003 at 18:42:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
We attend a lot of auctions. It's kind of like therapy, in fact we often joke that we need an auction fix. I hear people say that they "got took" at an auction. All I can say is they're the only ones to blame. Do your home work, know what something is worth, know it's condition, know what you can afford, then bid. Recently I was bid against by the 'guy in the rafters'. I knew it at the time but I also knew what I was willing to pay for the item and got it for less than that. At the same auction the auctioneer took two bids from me without my bidding on an item another guy was wanting. Don't know if he knew it or not and don't care. If he didn't know the value and what he could afford too bad.

DeadCarp - me too    Posted 04-22-2003 at 01:07:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've found myself as a "silent bidder" on occasion when the auctioneer gets a live one going. I think it's sorta funny when you're not "in" anymore but the price goes up anyway :) And it'll get you a fast bargain later in the day - i think of it as sorta a tip.

cowgirlj    Posted 04-21-2003 at 16:51:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The first and only auction I went to, I got the deal of a lifetime. A western supply store had gone out of business, and I went looking for jeans. I tried on a few pairs prior to the auction, and had the ones picked out that I wanted. When the clothing section came up, I sat and watched the other sizes go for about $20. a pair, which is what I expected. When my size came up, no one bid at the starting price. I kept quiet to see what would happen. They started at $20. a pair, and slowly went down to $4. a pair because no one was bidding. That's when I piped up. I ended up with 9 pairs of jeans (instead of the two I was set on) for $4. each. No one else bid at all. The store price of these jeans were $79. a pair. (Canadian prices). I felt like a kid in a candy store.

The only advice I can offer is, have a top price set in your mind, and stick to it. Be patient, and have fun!

Honeybee    Posted 04-21-2003 at 09:42:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Lot's of good info here! I like to go watch the auctions, we only bid occasionaly.

Only thing I would add is that if your going to a livestock auction get there early so you can look over the stock really well before the auction starts. Maybe even talk to the seller, ask a question or two. Healthy stock can pick up sicknesses in the auction barn and spread it to your clean animals at home. So if you buy, don't forget to quarentine them when you get them home and don't put them in with your animals until your pretty sure their healthy.

Have fun and don't get caught up in the competition.

JDJIM    Posted 04-21-2003 at 06:18:05       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Never put the first bid at the price they are asking , wait for them to go for a while , usually they will back down a lot , or wait for someone else to bid , or if you bid make it low and get started . If you throw in a low bid they will grumble but you can say " that's more than you had before " . Auctioneers use lots of tricks , you have to pay attention , takes lots of experience to figure out what's going on . My father , now passed on , could read them real good . One of his sayings was "all it takes to make an auction is one bidder and a good auctioneer " . I still haven't figured out how he could tell but he knew exactly what was going on and when he was being run up etc . He has gotten into more than one confrontation at auctions about what they were doing , he knew what he bid and what every body else was doing , he would say where is the other bid I want to see it .

Spence    Posted 04-21-2003 at 05:48:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Watch for the baiter.

He's one or two guys payed by the auctioner to bid whenever they see a prospect who's really interested in an item. They have no money but their job is to one-up on your bid until they see your hesitating then they back off.

A devious bunch of rascals for sure, but it must be a skilled job, as he could end up buying the merchandise if the buyer copps out, or, explaining it to the client.

That happened to me once on a 62 Grundig Stereo that still had music quality compared to today's Bose. He took me to 200$ when the asking was 50$. My interest turned to something else I spotted, but I noted a look of dismay on his face when I strolled off.

Best rule is have a set price you think it is worth and don't go beyond that. You can get some
fun at auctions by guessing who the baiter is, and that's what I do. My B inlaw knows who they are as they are locals around here.

Lazy Al    Posted 04-21-2003 at 04:52:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Go to auctions all the time mostly for the fun
of it . Have stopped bidding more than continued and got some thing for more than I thought it was worth . Like has been said before at an
auction " You've already paid more than everybody else thought it was worth " Went to one
Sat. lots and lots of people there so I left early every thing was going high . Nice day and all . Even on rainy cold days you never know because everybody thinks I'll stay cause they'll all will go home and I'll get a good deal

realfarmer    Posted 04-21-2003 at 00:28:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Auctioneers are like any others- from honest to crooked, just like the buyers and sellers. Watch the auctioneer- see if he really has a bid, or a bidder. Some will turn away and "Yup" your bid, while no one is nodding across the way! Some have a habit of starting the bid, while they have no bidder. Give him time, if no one raises his "bid", he will restart lower. Decide ahead of time how much you will bid, and stick to that. Big crowds, weekend sales, bring higher bids- because farmers have to bid against weekenders, with city jobs and bigger checkbooks. Know your market, what the item is worth, and bid accordingly.

Taylor Lambert    Posted 04-20-2003 at 21:22:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
I love auctions myself but sometimes there are some auctioneers that have family or buddies that run the prices up called shills. its illegal in most case bt still happens alot here. Also the buyers fee her was announced as 10% all the auctioneers here except one has sales tax figured in. THis las auction the auctioneer had family running things up and bidding off things early to freinds at a lower price. He also anouncd 10% buyers fee but didnt annouce that there was a 7% sales tax added to to. SO most folks without tax numbers had to pay 17% on everything they bought. THis is just one bad auction out of the several good ones ive been to. Just dont get inot the frenzy and buy something used that could be bought new for the same price.

Okie-Dokie    Posted 04-20-2003 at 16:48:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nothing wrong with that approach. Best thing to do is read the sale bill carefully, go check out the items you are interested in early, compare the going prices for like items, set your limit and don't go above what you can get the item for other places. It's easy to get carried away and bid more than you intended to. Don't pay any attention to how the auctioneer describes the item.

Pitch    Posted 04-20-2003 at 16:38:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Auctioneers are like any other salesman they will use a lot of nonspecific terms that can't be pinned down. For example my brother and I were looking at a 1 ton dump wasn't a bad truck but when it went up the man termed it as "just gone through" And sure enough it had been gone through by everyone that was thinking about bidding on it. Then there is "dealer maintained", "shed kept" and a thousand other such phrases. Best thing to do is go to a few without bidding on anything till you get the idea. When you do decide to bid know what you want to spend and don't let a bidding war take you over your limit. As far as equipment auctions go I find that on a wet cold day you will be bidding against a lot of farmers and contractors cause they can't get onto the fields or jobsites in the mud. Dry sunny days they would rather be making money than spending it.

pat    Posted 04-20-2003 at 16:26:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
nope nothing wrong with that approach at all, figure out what you want to pay for the item and stay there ,, if it goes higher then you still win by losing,,, I have seen many many people run and old junk item up to twice what it is worth when you can go to wally world and buy it new with a warranty,,dont seem anxious when bidding,,, let them sit on you for a while thinking,, they have a less chance of running you up if you set the pace,, not all auctioneers are like that ,, very few I think actually but they can do it, we have all seen it,,, and dont keep your hand raised even if you know you will pay anything for the item ,,, they dont have to know how interested you are,, I was trying to explain auctions to my 10 yr old 2 weeks ago,, after all was said and done I said it is just like a game that you play,, the more you play it the more you learn, and the better at defense you will get,,, go to an auction ,, have fun,,, spend some money if it is the right thing to do,,, but have fun anyway,,, deals are only deals if they really are,,,,,, as has been said by many the best auction I won was the one where I was the losing bidder,, it has a lot of truth to it,,

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