We recently shared some tips for first-time online auctioneers… But what if you would prefer to attend an auction and bid from the comfort of your home? Is this possible? Yeah yeah that! Through online auctions, you usually have the ability to view and bid on items from city lines that you may not be able to go out to beforehand and view in person. It's useful, but you should still do your research beforehand and participate in a prepared online auction. Here are some tips for online auction beginners.
Get in touch and do your research.
In an online auction, you do not have to have the opportunity to participate in a preview or auction to identify potential interests, so be sure to research at your own time and feel free to browse through the auction house website. If you can't find what you're looking for or have questions about a product, don't hesitate to email or contact the auction house in advance and any other information, photos from a different angle, etc. Don't hesitate to ask.
Learn about shipping, bidding deadlines, and other potential costs.
What are the estimated shipping costs in addition to the buyer's premium and hammer price? Do you have a choice of shipping options (expedited or lower prices)? What is the premium for a particular auction house or seller's buyer? These additional charges are important information to keep in mind when setting your bidding strategy and considering how much you want to spend.
Don't be a careless bidder.
This applies even when bidding online! On the day of the auction, this is especially important for the first timer. You want to strike a good balance to ensure you are able to bid effectively and bid well on the products you really care about, while also making sure you don't keep an over-budget bid high! It's easy to get caught and walk away from your computer for a while, and it's just as easy to get caught up in a bidding war, so think about the parts you really need.
Don't miss important dates and deadlines!
At an online auction, you need to make some planning to keep up with the schedule - you have to take into account the travel time to the auction house and the time you'll spend there, so it's a little harder to forget a place you need to be in. Given the convenience of online auctions, it can be easy to forget that the day and hour of bidding has begun! Set yourself an alarm or reminder for (1) the day, (2) the bidding starts, and (3) the bidding time. It might also be wise to pay attention to deadlines - do you have to pay right after the auction ends? Or is there a 5-10 day grant period? It can be difficult to walk away from an auction house without paying money, so remind yourself not to walk away from your computer without securing your payment!