We’ve covered how to select an auction and what to take and how to spend those precious minutes beforehand inspecting the offerings. (Those posts are linked below.) Today let’s cover what to do at the auction.
1. First, don’t worry that the auctioneer will interpret every hand movement as a bid! Usually you’ll know whether he sees you and has you down as a bidder, but if you are concerned, be sure to adjust your glasses or scratch mosquito bites in between bid cycles. Good auctioneers have multiple assistants who bring up lots with little downtime between each, but you will have a few moments if needed.
I like to bid by flipping my bid card up so the auctioneer sees it. Others will hold raise their hand or make a small movement with their head while calling out. If you are new to auctions or it’s your first time at an auction company, then watch a few lots to see how other bidders act and get a sense of pace.
2. Everyone has a different opinion on where to sit. Personally I sit near the front. We got burned at a couple auctions where we couldn’t quite tell what was offered and ended up paying for each item (choice out) vs. an entire lot. Now we sit so we can see the lot and know exactly what is being offered.
Other people like to sit near the back so they can see other bidders. I don’t really care who is bidding.
3. Get your winnings right away. Wrap them and store them safely by you. You cannot remove them from the premises before paying, but you can put them securely where you can keep them from getting broken or stolen. We brought boxes and wrapping materials with us and put the boxes in the aisle in front of our chairs, or if outside, off to the side near where we sat.
If you buy glass, check it right away. Make sure you got all the pieces you bid on, then wrap it and stack it where it won’t get damaged. Outside estate auctions can get pretty hectic with people walking around or the auctioneer dragging his equipment, so look for a safe place to stash it.
If it’s too busy, then go ahead and pay for the glass you bought and move it to your car. You can always come back and bid some more!
We’ll cover a few last tips in a future post. I hope these tips help you enjoy the auctions and get the items you want.
Finding Vintage Glass at an Auction – Step 1 Learn the Lingo
Finding Vintage Glass at Auctions – Step 2 Pick the Auction
How to Buy Glass at Auctions and Not Get Ripped Off
7 Things You Must Bring for a Successful Auction