How to Bid Wisely at an Auction
An auction is always going to be a combination of luck and expertise. But there are ways to get your skills in order with just a little bit of practice. Before you raise your paddle, keep the following tips in mind to get the most from your time at the auction.
Know Before You Go
Sometimes when you walk into an auction, they'll give you a catalog that lists the worth of each item, but sometimes they won't. The more you understand the exact value of antiques (or other items) that are likely to turn up at an auction, the more likely it is you'll bid correctly on each one. You'll also want to check out each piece visually before you bid on it. Small imperfections in a piece can drastically reduce its value, so make the most of the pre-auction inspection. You may not be able to pick up and hold things, but you will be able to get an overall impression of its condition. When it comes to knowing when to put down your paddle, this is one of the most important steps you can take.
Throw Off Your Opponent
This piece of advice is tricky because throwing off your opponent has to do with your competition. Sometimes that means being aggressive, sometimes it means acting like you don't care. It's all about being able to read the room, and knowing when your opponent is serious about the piece. This is not the time to be competitive though! Typically, you should never be showing your initial enthusiasm in a piece to the public, nor should you be calling out the maximum you're prepared to pay at first. One trick anyone can use is to switch up the increments in which you bid. If you call out a specific number, it will force the auctioneer to have to do a different type of math in their head. This can ultimately slow down the process, which can slow down the other bidders. It sounds odd, but auctions are as much about the pacing as they are about the pieces.
Ready to test our your auction skills? Check out the available auctions at Hines Auction Service.