How to bid at an auction

A trusted auctioneer and auction expert witness — with unmatched knowledge of both auction law and customary practice.

15 Sunday Nov 2009


How to bid at an auction… and/or should the auctioneer bid? Both good questions with considerable legal precedent.

First, can the auctioneer bid at his or her own auction? In almost all states (one exception being Pennsylvania), the auctioneer is not prohibited in any way from bidding at his own auction. A few states require such bidding be preceded by a disclosure to the auction crowd that the auctioneer reserves the right to bid. As well, some states require (and it is prudent anywhere) the auctioneer have the consent of the seller for such bidding.

Kurt Bachman, a noted attorney at law with Beers, Mallers, Backs & Salin, LLP, practicing in LaGrange, Indiana, and attorney counsel for the National Auctioneers Association disagrees. He says the auctioneer is advised against bidding because of the potential liability of being accused of selling “quickly” to himself or otherwise favoring his own bids more than other bids.

We respectfully disagree, as Mr. Bachman’s argument appears to be based upon the assumption that auctioneers are intrinsically unethical. To suggest such action be avoided, because it will invite those auctioneers litigation completely ignores a simple argument — that by not bidding, there could be equal litigation.

The auctioneer is charged, among other duties, with maximizing the gross proceeds for his client. Let’s say the auctioneer’s client has a wonderful Rolex wristwatch and hires the auctioneer to sell it by auction. The auctioneer is willing to pay up to $15,000 himself to own the watch, and yet doesn’t bid at the auction because he is trying to avoid the appearance of impropriety; the bidding reaches $9,250 and nobody else will bid more, thus the watch sells for $9,250.

The seller just lost out on $5,750 in potential additional gross proceeds. By the auctioneer not bidding, he did not maximize the gross proceeds for his client. By not bidding, he is in breach of his fiduciary duty to his client, and invites a legitimate lawsuit.

Should the auctioneer bid? Our answer is yes, if:

    1. The seller has knowledge and consent
    2. The auctioneer wishes to bid
    3. The buyers are informed of this right to bid
    4. The governing law does not prohibit it

We well understand that some bidders are suspicious of auctioneers bidding, as they perceive, rightly so in some cases, that the auctioneer is merely “running the bid” against them. Indeed, this does occur, and is all too common in many auction venues. Yet, there is a big difference between the auctioneer bidding for himself and the auctioneer taking bids out of thin air to increase prices. In fact, this is settled law per the United States Supreme Court in Veazie v. Williams, 49 U.S. 8 How. 134 134 (1850)

There is also the argument, made in part by Mr. Bachman, that at an absolute (without reserve) auction, neither the seller, nor an agent for the seller may bid — and therefore, since the auctioneer is an agent for the seller, auctioneers cannot bid at absolute auctions.

Again, we disagree. Agency duties are outlined by clients in different manners. People can be general agents, limited agents and special agents. Each type of agency describes a set of rights the agent can perform on behalf of the client. Auctioneers act as special agents, with a specific set of rights to perform for the client (such as the right to possess, display, advertise, and take bids upon certain items). If the right to bid for the seller is not extended per the agency agreement between the auctioneer and client, then the auctioneer has no right to bid on behalf of the seller. Yet, this hardly prohibits them from bidding for themselves.

Lastly, in real estate auctions, there is the issue of “dual agency” which also plays a part in auctioneers bidding. It is difficult, at best, to maintain neutrality, and keep all information confidential from other parties, when conducting a real estate auction. So, it is my opinion that bidding on a real property while bid calling is likely prohibited by real estate law in most jurisdictions.

We agree with Mr. Bachman that auctioneers must do everything they can to improve on their reputations, and maximize their client’s position. We disagree, however, that auctioneers bidding for their own interest violates this premise if handled in an open, disclosed and fair manner.

There are great opportunities for buyers at property auctions, but you need to understand the rules of the game. Here are 5 tips for buying property at an auction.

If you’re planning to buy a house at an auction there are a few things you should note. Here we distinguish between a voluntary auction, bank auction, sheriff auctions as well as property in possession, with everything you need to know to prepare you for buying a house at an auction.

A property investment should be the “bricks and mortar” of your investment portfolio, and a great place to create wealth and residual income. Like any venture, fortune favours the bold, so there is no time like now to get out there and make it happen. You will need to decide what property to buy as there are so many variables and much depends on your own circumstances.

What I can say is you need to choose what suits you and become an expert in that space.

I can tell you that I got bitten by the property bug by buying my first property at an auction. It was an old house bordering on a commercial node that was part of a deceased estate. I knew there was a lot of interest but I had a tenant lined up already. I remember watching the bidders at the auction from my seat and when they were exhausted fighting it out against each other and the hammer was going to fall, I put in my first bid. All I can say is it is a really exciting process with the best opportunities to find bargain properties. But you really need to understand the rules of the game.

Let’s explore some of those.

Firstly there are different types of property auctions, so chose which type of auction you go to carefully.

Voluntary auction
In South Africa there is a growing trend to sell your house through an auctioneer in a VOLUNTARY auction, with the prime purpose to get a better price for the property by playing buyer against buyer in a live environment. These auctions can work well for the seller in an active property market but seldom work for the buyer. The seller has a reserve price and the sale is subject to the sellers acceptance.

Bank auction
Look out for the bank auctions, also a voluntary auction (sort of), organised by the bank but where the distressed seller (who is significantly in arrears with his bond) is given an ultimatum to sell at the auction, subject to the bank accepting the bid.
In this case most of the properties are sold at a discount and the bond holder agrees to write off the shortfall on the outstanding bond. (In fact they give the seller an unsecured loan with soft terms for the shortfall) So in this circumstance you are buying a home from a seller with all the normal warranties and on transfer the rates and taxes will have been sorted by the seller. This is a great place to source realistically priced property, without the risks inherent in forced sales.

SHERIFF auctions
The ultimate source of great value property is of course the SHERIFF auctions. Where the bank is unable to rehabilitate the bond holder and they see no chance of recovering their funds, the bank applies to the court to attach the property and sell it to the highest buyer as it stands, called a sale in execution. These transactions are executed by the sheriff of the court. They are not well advertised with poor turnouts and often postponed. In most cases the only party at the auction is the bank. The bank will let the property go at a big discount, often around 50% of value, and this is where the real opportunities lie.

Property in possession (PIP)
Understand when the bank buys the property in at a sale in execution they have to incur significant costs, transfer, evicting the errant occupants, making good the damage and securing the vacant property. On top of that there are many stalling tactics that can hold the process back and the bank gets locked up in litigation, preventing them from selling the property on. They add all the costs incurred and try to recover the total when they sell. This is the property in possession, or PIP, and are therefore not always great buys.

How to buy a house at auction?

To buy a house at auction you’ll need to attend a voluntary or bank auction and register to receive a bidder’s card and sales catalogue. You’ll receive this two to three weeks before the auction. The information pack will include the conditions of sale and copies of the title deed, site plans, zoning certificates, lease agreements and rental schedules.

If you are ready to go and get in on the action, here are 5 lessons you should remember before buying at a sheriff auction;

Make sure you can follow through with the purchase. If you can’t make the guarantees, you will forfeit the deposit and still be liable for sheriff’s fees.

The property is sold as is and it is your responsibility to settle all outstanding rates, taxes, municipal services, body corporate levies and don’t rely on the figures given by the sheriff.

The majority of these properties are occupied and it is your problem to evict the occupants.

If the owner is sequestrated, the transfer can be held up for extended periods of time. The owner is often allowed to have occupation while this is in process and you cannot get transfer, so your deposit and costs are locked up.

You will have little time, or often no access to the property before the auction, so there is considerable risk that the property is not in a reasonable condition.

In Summary: How to buy a house at auction?

  1. Go to an auction and get registered
  2. Make sure you can go ahead with the purchase, in order not to lose your deposit
  3. Make sure you will be able to pay all other outstanding rates

Private Property makes it efficient and convenient to locate your dream home by listing hundreds of the best deals and beautiful homes actively on sale right now.

BIDDING at auction takes strategy, skill and a few clever psychological tricks. Here’s how to give yourself the best chance of winning.

March 13, 2017 7:16am

Tips on how to bid at an auction.

Tips on how to bid at an auction

The psychology of auctions and tips on how to bid. Source:News Corp Australia

BIDDING at auction is like a sport. There are competitors, spectators, an umpire, game plans, and in the end, there are winners and losers.

It isn’t as easy as turning up with a price limit in mind and calling out some numbers. There is actually a lot more strategy, endurance and psychological tricks involved, reveals Damien Cooley of Cooley Auctions.

Auctions are touted as the most transparent way to sell a house — and they are. The open market determines the price, rather than a closed door deal between a seller and buyer.

But auctions also thrive on momentum, which is why you can turn up confidently only to be left in a spin within a matter of minutes because the property you thought was in your price range just sold for money you can only dream of.

“When an auction has momentum it can sell really well and a buyer can, in many cases, find themselves in a scenario where the bidding started at $800,000 and all of a sudden we are at $965,000,” Mr Cooley told

“What that means is the buyer needs to act quickly and make fast decisions — and it is those spur of the moment decisions where the auctioneer’s role is to get that buyer to continue bidding.”


Sounds intimidating, but Mr Cooley says there are a few sneaky tactics that a buyer can employ to slow the momentum and steady the decision making — much like the captain of a sports team can slow the game if it is getting sloppy.

An effective way to do this is to bid in odd increments and call our your actual bid, not the total price.

“If the auctioneer is asking you for $10,000, there is no reason why you can’t give them $13,000. But don’t call out the number you want it to land on, call out the increment you’d like to bid in,” Mr Cooley said.

“If the auction is at $920,000 and you bid another $13,000 that is easy to add up but what about if you made another bid of $18,000? And don’t say $951,000 because that is easy for the auctioneer. If you just call out your bid of $18,000 the auctioneer has to think about it add that up in their head.”

And it’s not just about slowing the pace of the auctioneer; this tactic also throws other buyers off, slowing momentum even further.

“Most buyers will land on a round number, so most bidders will go to auction saying we are going to pay $900,000. That’s their limit and they won’t go over it, it is a psychological thing .”

Damien Cooley of Cooley Auctions said bidding at an auction is like a sport: it takes strategy and skill. Source:News Corp Australia

When bidding at an auction you also have to adjust your strategy accordingly; every auction is different. For instance, the amount of competition you have really matters.

For a lot of competition at a large auction, Mr Cooley said you have got to be confident and aggressive.

“If you can see there is a lot of competition then you are going to have to bid aggressively. I would argue that the best way to bid in that scenario is to come in with a really aggressive bid first,” he said.

“This is firstly to show your confidence but also and if an agent has quoted $1 million and you know you’re willing to pay up to $1.35 million, I guarantee you that some of your competition are thinking it will go for between $1.25 million and $1.35 million. So there is no point starting the auction at $1 million and giving everyone hope.

“In that scenario I would come in with a strong bid at $1.2 million and that will send an immediate shockwave through every single person at the auction and it will stun them that someone has started the bidding so high.”


On the other hand, if you can only see there is one other registered bidder, then Mr Cooley said to play your cards a little bit closer to your chest in that same scenario.

“I might start the bidding at $950,000 and let the auctioneer tell me if they are happy to accept it or not. If they say no then you can guarantee that the owner is not selling at that price. And that’s okay, that’s not offensive.

“So if they the auctioneer said no, sit back and see if anyone else bids. If they don’t the auctioneer may use a vendor bid. If they do make a vendor bid, you then need to consider if you want to bid above that or get into a negotiation.

“You have to remember that if you don’t make a bid, the post-auction is open to any bidder but if you’re the highest bidder, you have the first opportunity to negotiate with the seller. So I’d always recommend that a buyer bids above that vendor bid — assuming they are happy to pay that price for it.”


Competing at auction isn’t just about how you present yourself. Just as important is keeping an eye on your opponent.

“It is important to watch what your competition is doing because their body language will tell you a lot about how much further they are prepared to go,” Mr Cooley said.

“Stand in a prominent position where you can see what your competition is doing — their facial expressions, body language, and whether they are talking. ”

And the same goes for your actual auctioneer, he said.

“This is important because every auctioneer calls an auction differently. You should research them and watch how they trial close, watch their speed and watch the little things they do and say . I’m always actively looking to convince bidders to bid particular numbers because I’m thinking three or four bids ahead of what the number is I’m asking for.”

Auctions can be high-pressure situations where it’s easy to get swept up in the drama – and if you’re not careful – pay more for a property than you had planned.

But luckily there are a handful of strategies buyers can use to help secure the property at the lowest price.

How to take control at an auction

Although local market conditions and the property’s fundamentals have the most significant impact on the price, controlling the bidding can affect the final result, according to Lauren Goudy, buyer’s agent at Rose & Jones.

How to bid at an auctionRaising the gavel is intended to convince bidders that the property is about to sell. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

She suggests buyers arrive at the auction early to choose the best vantage point, and more importantly, determine how many bidders are registered.

“If there are 20 bidders, you might decide to open with a strong bid to knock people out,” she said, explaining that an opening bid above the maximum price of most buyers can immediately shrink the bidding pool.

Bidding increments can set the pace

Data from auction streaming service Gavl has revealed the average increment between bids at auction is $10,418, and the most common knockout bid is $10,000.

But according to auctioneer Damien Cooley, avoiding round numbers is a strategy that can work well for buyers.

“If you are able to change the pace of the auction by bidding in odd increments it keeps your competition guessing, and it makes it more difficult for the auctioneer to add those numbers up,” he said.

Auctions thrive on momentum, and Mr Cooley said controlling the pace of bidding is the key to keeping the price low.

“If you want to control the increments, the first bid you make can be under a round number,” he said. “Don’t start the bidding at $800,000. Start at $795,000,” he added, explaining that bidding will then be more likely to continue in increments of $5000 rather than $10,000.

But he said bidding big is important at the business end of the auction. “Let’s just say your limit is $850,000, and the bid is at $840,000 and they’ve been going up in [increments of] $5000, go straight to $850,000.

“It shows confidence, and at least you get the chance to put the bid in at your maximum amount.”

Similarly, when it comes to setting the budget, Ms Goudy recommends aiming slightly above round numbers. “Most people decide in $50,000 or $5000 increments,” she said. “If you decide that $850,000 is your budget, then you could go to $853,000 or $856,000, but it’s a decision you need to make before you start bidding.”

Pay attention to body language

Understanding how bidders behave at an auction can reveal when a buyer is reaching their limit.

Couples are guilty of some of the biggest tells, which can include having a discussion mid-auction, making a phone call if the other partner isn’t present, or even making eye contact with each other.

According to Ms Goudy, basing your maximum bid on due diligence rather than emotions, having confidence in your decision and being prepared to walk away are the keys to controlling these signs.

“If you go to the auction with conviction, it will show in your body language and your competitors can read it too.”

Mr Cooley said reading the body language of the competition allows buyers to know when to deliver a knockout bid.

“If they look at each other, that’s a sign that they’ve come to the auction with a preconceived number, and they’re either at that number or they’re close to it,” he said. “That’s the point where you as a buyer should increase your increments.

“It might take that buyer 30 seconds or a minute to make the bid, and they’re hoping you won’t bid again. If you’re able to crush their hopes immediately with a counter bid, it sends a message to them that they are not going to buy it.”

Don’t fall into the auctioneer’s traps

Mr Cooley said auctioneers use certain techniques to get buyers to keep pushing the price up.

“Calling the property ‘first, second, third’ is an urgency tool that we use to encourage a bid out of somebody,” he said. “When you’re a registered bidder, you automatically get that fear that you’re going to miss out.”

Mr Cooley said auctioneers use their own body language to encourage another bid by making buyers think the property is about to be sold.

“The grabbing of the gavel makes people think I’ve met the reserve and we’re about to sell,” he said.

Ms Goudy suggested inexperienced buyers may want to avoid bidding altogether to prevent mistakes in the heat of the moment.

“If you are intimidated by the auction process, your best strategy might be to get someone else to bid for you, whether that’s a professional, mum or dad,” she said. “You need to ask someone who is experienced not only in auction bidding, but also in the market.”

Car auctions have gained much popularity nowadays. Buyers have the opportunity to land great deals on a used car in very good condition. However, not everyone has knowledge about car auctions or how they work. Sometimes there’s a bit of confusion when it comes to pricing or the process in general. Since you have to place a bid on the car you’d like to buy, we think it’s important to go over how the bidding process works. Stick around as we show you in this article how bids at car auctions work.

Placing Bids at Car Auctions

Throughout this article, we’ll focus on buying used cars at online car auctions. We’ve talked about the two types of auctions before: public and dealer auctions. Dealer auctions give you the opportunity to find a used car and save up to 70% of the market price. This is pretty appealing, especially for buyers on a tight budget. Nonetheless, some buyers don’t have experience with auctions and may be overwhelmed by the bidding process.

How to bid at an auction

Research is crucial before placing bids at car auctions. It will allow you to take care of your budget and find a used car that won’t be faulty. Part of this research must be understanding how the process of placing bids at car auctions work. We’ll go over the steps you should follow to place your bid and know what you’re doing.

Further Reading

  1. Your Guide to Buy Used Cars on an Online Auto Auction Site
  2. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars
  3. How You Can Get Your Next Car from a Dealers Auto Auction
  4. White Paper: Market Report for New and Used Cars Abroad

Registration and Deposit

Most online car auction platforms require that you register for an account. This account will give you access to exclusive major dealer auctions. You won’t need to have a dealer license to access. This is what makes these auctions a great choice, they will lend their license for you to bid. The registration process is usually very easy, you’ll just have to provide your full name, email address, and phone number.

Once you’ve registered, you’ll have to make a deposit to your account. Most platforms require you deposit 10% of the value of the car you want to buy. Also, you can use this deposit as part of the payment for your vehicle.

Choosing a Used Car

The process of choosing the used car you will eventually buy requires extensive research. It is crucial that you know everything about the vehicle and make sure it is a smart purchase. Once you’re sure about your options you can start the bidding process. Make sure that you also download the vehicle’s History Report for each vehicle you like. This will help you know if the car was involved in any accident or if it has any kind of damage.

Placing Your Bids

The first thing you need to understand is that vehicles’ prices may vary in car auctions. Since these cars are sold through an auction process, prices change based on the bids placed during the auction. The majority of car auctions have an option called Buy Now, which is a final price that you can pay if you don’t want to bid. There’s also a Pre-Bid price which is also a starting price for the vehicle.

How to bid at an auction

Ultimately, you will be assigned with an Auction Specialist that can guide you through the process. You will work with the specialist to decide your bidding price once the auction starts. This will also increase the chances of winning the auction and getting a great deal price for the used car you want.

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  1. When you arrive at the auction, the first thing you want to do is look for our red and white Rentzel’s cashier’s truck. After you find the truck, you will need to have your driver’s license and phone number ready when the cashier asks you for them. When they ask for this information, you are registering for a bidder number. You will get a small card with your own individual bidder’s number on it. This is how we keep track of what you are buying at the auction and you will use this number when you make a bid. This bidder’s number is good for that day’s auction only.
  2. Next you want to inspect the items that you are interested in bidding on. After you look over those items, you are now ready to wait for them to be put up for auction. The on-site auction usually has an order of sale and one of the auction helpers will be able to help you with any questions. We do not have a time for every item that is going to be sold because there are probably hundreds of items at the auction.
  3. When an item comes up for bid the auctioneer will start the bidding. The auctioneer will usually start asking for a higher price and will then come down to a lower price. When you feel you are willing to give an asked amount for any item you should hold up your hand and wave it, wave your card, or nod your head. Somehow get the auctioneer’s attention that you want to bid on that item. The bidding will start and the auctioneer will say, “I have a bid of $20.00. Who will give $30.00?” Someone might wave their hand and the auctioneer will then say, “I have $30.00. Who will give $40.00?” If you are willing to pay that amount, hold up your hand and the auctioneer will say, “I have $40.00. Who will give $50.00?” and so on. There will come a point when the bidding will stop. If it is your bid at this time, the auctioneer will say, “Sold, $40.00” and point to you. At this point you should hold up your bidder’s card with your buyer’s number on it. The auctioneer will then say, “Sold, $40.00, bidder#_____.”

  • If this is the only item you want, now it is time to pay your bill. Go back to the red and white truck where the cashier will ask for your bidder number. He or she will tell you your total bill. You will pay your bill and will get a receipt with a list of all the items you bought and how much you paid for each item.
  • Now you can take your item home and enjoy your purchase.
  • At Offsite Multi Consignor Auctions:

    The bidding procedure at this type of auction is similar to the on-site auction with a few exceptions.
    We usually hold our off-site auctions at the York Expo Center in the John and Paige Smith Center on Thursdays starting at 10:00 a.m. We will usually start selling with two auctioneers – one selling box lots in the rear of the building and one selling items from the tables in the front of the building. The tables are numbered and we sell the tables in number order. We may also have items in a show case to sell, cars, equipment, or a special collection which we would advertise to be sold at a specific time. We typically see furniture at 3:00 p.m.

    All times listed above are approximate. Check our weekly ad to see what times we are selling certain items.

    Special Off-site Multi-Consignor Terms:
    At multi consignor auctions we are required to charge PA sales tax which is 6% unless you register your PA sales tax number with us.

    Bidding on Real Estate

    Bidding on real estate is much like bidding on personal property at auction, with the exception that it is a larger amount of money. In most cases, a real estate auction is sold with reserve. This means that the seller reserves the right to accept or reject the high bid. The auctioneer will once again start high, come down low, and go back up but when the bidding stops going up, instead of saying “Sold,” he will say, “I will hold that high bid and confirm with the seller whether or not we are going to sell this property today.” If the seller is willing to sell for that price the auctioneer will come out and say we are now at absolute auction. Whoever is the high bidder after the real estate is put back up for auction will be the new owner of this real estate. Or, if the seller says he is not willing to sell for that price, the auctioneer will come out and say that the seller is not willing to take the reserve off and the property will not be sold today.

    If an auction is advertised Absolute Public Auction, the real estate will be sold regardless of price and the auctioneer will not take a break to check with the seller to see if the property is going to be sold. When the bidding stops, the property will be sold to the highest bidder.

    A generic Terms and Conditions Form that would be filled out for the property that you would be bidding on at auction can be viewed by clicking here:

    If you’ve ever seen a Barrett-Jackson® auction, you know that it’s multiple days of relentless bidding in hopes of scoring that one prized possession.

    And if you’ve attended an auction in person or are planning to, maybe you want to get in on the action as a bidder.

    How to bid at an auction

    While the process of bidding at a Barrett-Jackson auction can seem daunting at first, it is quite simple once it’s broken down.

    Just follow these steps and you’ll be able to score the car of your dreams at the next Barrett-Jackson auction.

    How to Register as a Bidder

    The first step is to make sure that you are eligible to register as a bidder and obtain a bidder badge.

    To register, head over to and start the bidder registration process. You’ll need to fill out the Bidder Agreement Form for your select event and provide all of these required items:

    • Registration Fee
      • This fee is payable only by credit card or personal or business checks
    • A provided color photograph of yourself for your bidder badge
      • Photograph only needed for first time bidders
    • Printed copy of your updated driver’s licence, state ID card or passport
    • Proof of your auto insurance that will run through the dates of the desired auction
    • Signed initials on the Terms and Conditions pages attached to the agreement form

    Second, you’ll need to provide proof of financial credibility in case you purchase a car at a Barrett-Jackson auction. Barrett-Jackson has laid out several ways for potential bidders to prove this:

    • Pre-approval from Woodside Credit, a collector car finance company that can offer low monthly payment financing options to collector car buyers at an auction
    • Bank Letter of Guaranty
      • This comes with a minimum bid limit of $30,000
    • Wire Transfer
      • Minimum bid limit of $30,000
    • Bid Limit Deposit with cash or cashier’s check
      • Required deposit of $9,000 for minimum bid limit of $90,000

      Once the Bidder Agreement Form has been collected with all the required items and the payment method has been approved, you will be granted a bidder badge for your select auction.

      Bidding at a Barrett-Jackson Auction

      Once you’re at the auction with your bidder badge, the fun begins.

      The first thing to do when on-site during the auction is to identify the Barrett-Jackson staff that will be pointing out bidders to the auction block. This is who you’ll be trying to get the attention of when you’re bidding.

      To get a good idea of the car you want to bid on, take a look at the daily list of the docket of cars for the day. This will identify the lot and lot number of each car that goes across the auction block.

      When you’re ready to bid on a vehicle or piece of automobilia, raise your hand and a Bidding Assistant will signal to the auctioneer to register your bid. If you’ve been to an auction, you know the drill — if you really want to win something, you may have to raise your hand multiple times.

      What to Do Once You’ve Won

      Once the hammer slams down, the vehicle or automobilia is officially yours.

      As soon as possible, head over to the cashiering area to sign all the necessary paperwork to complete and validate the purchase.

      Also make sure to arrange shipping of your vehicle to your desired location on the same day that you make a winning bid. You are not able to arrange shipping after the event has passed.

      When finalizing the purchase, keep in mind the premiums added to the sale price:

      • On-site Buyer’s Premium — 10%
      • Absentee Buyer’s Premium — 12%
      • On-site Automobilia Buyer’s Premium — 15%
      • Absentee Automobilia Buyer’s Premium — 17%

      Attend a Barrett-Jackson Auction as a VIP

      Make the bidding process easier than ever with an Official Ticket Package from Barrett-Jackson VIP Experiences. Packages come with a complimentary bidder badge (pending your approved application) and give you access to premier hospitality spaces where Bidding Assistants will have no trouble seeing you.

      ©2004-2020 Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, LLC.

      How to bid at an auction

      If you are looking for a great deal on almost any item, an online auction is the best source for finding what you need. You can find all types of things including vintage and antique items, auto supplies, household furnishings, farm equipment, houses, and vehicles.

      Once you‘ve found an item you want, you need to have a strategy in place for bidding and winning the auction. These are a few tips for you to follow so you can develop a great online auction strategy.

      Go for the less active items

      There are often many items up for bid in an online auction lot that are similar or the same. When you find an item and it has too many bids, scroll down the page to see if there is another being offered in the lot. For example, if you see that there is an antique toy up for bid, there may be one more of the same toy up next.

      Begin with a high bid

      You might think putting your lowest bid in first is the best starting point, and sometimes it is for both in-person and online auctions. This plan doesn’t always work, though, because it invites more buyers to start bidding. If you have a set price in mind you are willing to pay for an item, bid an amount close to that to stop potential competition.

      Another method of placing a high bid is to use a “bid and forget it” strategy. Most online auctions will let you enter a max amount so the system can make bids on your behalf in increments. This strategy, called absentee bidding, will stop when your high bid amount is reached.

      The absentee strategy is useful if you find yourself getting caught up in auctions and placing bids higher than you planned or can afford. It also allows you to go on with your day and let the system bid for you. This is helpful if you do not have time to track your bids.

      Auction squatting

      Auction squatting, or marathon bidding, involves you placing bids early and watching the site all day for other bids. If you choose this online auction bidding strategy, you will have to be available until the auction is over. But, you will be able to match any increasing bids as they happen. If you bid faster and more often than other buyers, they will know how serious you are about winning the item and may become intimidated. This strategy is a psychological tactic to scare off other bidders.

      Wait until the very end to bid

      The strategy of waiting until the bidding is almost done is known as “auction sniping.” If you know what time the last bid will be accepted, you can check back right before the clock runs out to put in your bid. The hope with this strategy is to outbid everyone at the last second.

      Check the policy on the auction and what happens if higher bids come in during the last few minutes. Some sales will extend their end time if this happens.

      Live and online auctions at High Plains Auctioneers

      High Plains Auctioneers are your auction experts in the Texas Panhandle. If you would like to learn more about Buying or Selling at auction, call us today at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us via email. You can also view our Upcoming Auctions to see what we have available.

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