Auction Tips For New Bidders


Are you interested in attending upcoming auctions, but unsure what to expect?  Attending auctions can be a great way to score antiques and other household items cheap.  However, you must know the basics before you attend. You don’t want to wander around the auction house or grounds looking uninformed.  Most importantly, you don’t want to make mistakes that will cost you financially.

Check Out On-line Pictures Before the Auction – Many auctioneers will have photos of the items up for auction on their website.  Check out the photo gallery so you can get an idea of what’s going up for bid.

Wear Comfortable Shoes – Auctions can last hours, so wear comfortable shoes.

Bring a Tape Measure  – If you are bidding on items for your home,  bring a tape measure to ensure it will fit into the vacant spot in your home.  You will want to measure you space at home, and make a note so you can reference it once you arrive at the auction.

Arrive Early  – Arrive early so you can check out the items up for bidding.  Check pieces for damage and box lots to see if it’s something you want to bid on.

Register to Bid – Be sure you have your driver’s license with you and another form of identification.  You will need to register before you can bid.  The auctioneer will assign a bidding number.

Check Out Fees Before You Bid – Know the method of payment allowed and any fees before you arrive at the auction. Some auctioneers will charge bidders for using credit cards.  Most auctions will accept checks without an upfront fee. Furthermore, some auctioneers charge a buyer’s premium, additional  percentage charged, on purchases.  Know if the fee is applicable, and remember this when you are bidding.

Bring Cash or Checks – If you plan to write a check, be sure you have check blanks with you.  Also, if your purchases are small, cash is a good way to pay.  Also, many auctions sell refreshments.

Bring Blankets and or Tarps  – Have a blanket handy to cover purchases until you’re ready to load it into your car or truck.  A tarp is nice to have on hand, especially if it rains.

Bring a Folding Chair – Auctions can be an all day affair.  So, folding chairs are great when you need a break,  relax, eat or check out the scenery.

Set a Limit on Your Bid – Decide how much you want to spend on each item and stick to it.  It’s easy to get caught up in a bidding war in the excitement and overbid on an item.

Pay Attention – Be mindful of what you are doing.  Accidently rising your bidding card could cost you.  The auctioneer will see your card and assign the current bid to you.  It is rare that they remove the bid.

Be Prepared to Haul Merchandise Away – Make sure your vehicle is large enough to hold purchases.  You are responsible for transporting all items that you bid on.

Most importantly, have fun.  Mingle, ask questions and just enjoy the day.





Speak Your Mind



  1. Great tips Rhonda.  My husband usually ties my hands behind my back if we go to auctions LOL:) Thanks for sharing with us at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.  I’ve shared on social media.

    • Rhonda Gales says:

      Hi Sue.  It’s so easy to get caught up in a bidding war at an auction.  It happened to me once, and only once.  I catch on fast when comes to spending my money foolishly.  Lesson learned.  Thanks for stopping by.  Please linkup on my Sunday’s Best Linkup.  Starts every Saturday night at 8:00pm.

  2. Thanks for the information about bidding at an auction.  Thank you for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.  I’m sharing your post on social media.

  3. Thank you for sharing this at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty!
    We look forward to seeing you again at the next link up!

  4. Auctions can be a lot of fun. Thanks for these tips!

    • Rhonda Gales says:

      Hi Lori.  Yes, you can find a few bargains at auctions.  I’ve been able to grab antiques as well furniture cheaply.  Thanks for stopping by.  Please join my Sunday’s Best linkup.  Starts every Saturday night at 8:00 pm.

  5. I never actually attended an auction. Thank you for the tips and thank you for sharing with #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’ve shared your post on social media.

  6. It sounds like you have some great experience that would be very useful to a newbie. Thanks for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I have shared your post on Twitter.

    • Rhonda Gales says:

      Hi Christie.  I’ve been to quite a few auctions over the years.  It’s a great way to pickup a few antiques or furniture cheaply.  I love a bargain.  Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Thank you for all of these great tips! I have only been to one auction, but I had a blast and would love to go to more. Thank you for linking up at the Blogging Grandmothers Link Party!  Pinned!

  8. Thank you Rhonda for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared this post on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.