Adding to my inventory at Texas Twins Treasures has given my twin sister, Cindy and I yet another spin to the Pawning Planners brand. There are things you need to know before heading off to an onsite auction and, most were learned from a few fumbles on our journey into this unique industry. Today, I’m going to share these “tips and tricks” with ya all:
If you are a collector or bargain hunter, there is nothing like the excitement of a live auction. Auctions are equal parts sport and shopping. They are also prime sources for furniture, artwork, and accessories. I often flip trades submitted to The Pawning Planners and occasionally refurbish them (when necessary) prior to listing items at Visit My Treasure Chest- Texas Twins Treasures! I have never found furniture that didn’t require upholstering, staining or an investment of time and money but, furniture sales generate the most revenue for Texas Twins Treasures, so I’m always on the hunt to turn “Trash Into Treasure! Often “quick flips” don’t require any investment when jewelry, furs or clothing are involved which is why my storefront is so diverse.
Before you head out to your first auction, ask about deposits, extra charges required such as a refundable deposit when you register to bid. There may be a “buyers premium” to the hammer price which is your winning bid. Be sure to know what you are buying before you buy if with hidden fees and “extras” that you were unaware of.
Don’t wait until you’ve won a large item to check on pick up and delivery options. At some auctions, you are required to take possession immediately. Some auctions charge storage fees if you cannot take your purchase when you leave.
Be sure to arrive early and I spect items before you bid, even if you have seen photos in an auction catalog. You will need to know that it’s possible to repair damaged items by viewing them in person. Jot down box and lot numbers with a brief description so you remember exactly what you are bidding on.
Don’t gasp, exclaim or show any sign of visible excitement during the preview when you find items you wish to acquire. You don’t want to announce your intentions to other bidders. You may end up increasing your competition if you call attention to specific pieces. If they didn’t notice your favorites on a first glance, don’t give them a reason for a second look.
Double check box contents on the morning of the auction of the official preview took place on a preceding day. It is not unheard of for unscrupulous bidders to switch contents from box to box.
Wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothing especially if the auction is outside or in a barn. Try to dress in layers of there is no temperature control and be prepared to walk across muddy or uneven terrain.
Try to pack your own folding chair should no seating be available. Set a maximum bid for yourself and stick to it. It is all too easy to get caught up in the auction and bid more than you intended.
Don’t get into a bidding war because you feel like being competitive- some of these folks do this for a living and are “auction educated” on the value of items. Be willing to walk away.
The best deals are often in the afternoon when the early morning bidders have run out of money and energy.
Never shout out your maximum bid as soon as the bidding begins- the auctioneer will increase the amount until the auction ends and the item sells.
Auctions move fast- jump in on the bidding when your item is on the block. If you hesitate, the hammer may come down before you work up the courage to bid.
Be sure to take items to your vehicle as soon as you buy them. If you leave items while going to the restroom or getting a snack- you won’t get a refund if someone pilfers part of your stash. Lock purchases on your car or cover them in the vehicle to prevent lot thieves from finding your items.
Don’t bid unless you are absolutely certain you wish to buy that item. If you win a bid you own the item and are expected to pay for it- you cannot change your mind after the hammer falls!
Auctions are held at different locations. From home auctions to heavy equipment to storage auctions and even charities, the location can be a hotel, airport hangar, garage, barn, community center and even online.
Wendy M Wortham