Auctions are a great way to bag yourself a bargain but if it is your first time at an auction house or on an online auction website that is populated with auction experts, it can be a bit intimidating. The increased bidding competition can mean that your “bargain” ends up being rather expensive. To avoid being pushed around by experienced bidders here are some tips on how to handle yourself in an online auction situation.
Obviously the atmosphere you are in will vary depending on the type of auction and the lots up for auction (a silent auction for charity will be completely different to a rare art auction). So for the purpose of this article I will focus on online truck auctions.
Do your research. Knowledge is power so make sure you know as much as possible before you get to the auction. Find out the market value of the vehicle, its condition, its resale value, who the seller is, if it has been inspected, etc. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you figure out which lots are worth fighting for and which aren’t worth the effort. You will also be able to determine your maximum budget.
Patience is a virtue. You do not have to start bidding as soon as the lot is up for auction. In fact I’d recommend not bidding first, instead wait to see what the competition is like. Are there lots of other bidders after this item or just one or two? Are they eager and quickly out bidding one another or are they taking their time. Once you’ve figured out how intense your competition is you can decide how you should bid (or if it is really competitive, whether you should bid at all). Remember the worst thing you can do is appear too eager.
Explore your options. In my last point I said that sometimes you have to give up on a lot. This can be very disappointing if you have your heart set on a particular rare item. However if you are bidding on a mass manufactured product like a used van then there might be several of the same model available at auction. Just because you don’t get the lot you want it doesn’t mean that you can’t have the item that you want.
Learning these basics will put you on a level playing field with any experienced auction bidder so don’t get intimidated when the bidding begins on your lot. Just make sure you have prepared properly, stay confident and don’t get emotional about a lot (or you could end up going over your budget).