Where do I find out about auctions in my area?
The very best place to look is the website Auction Zip, the nation's largest
directory of live auction listings, at
http://www.auctionzip.com/ . The
site contains auctions, auctioneers,
auction companies, and auction galleries in
various auction categories and states.
Your local newspaper may also contain an auction category in their
classifieds section. Most auction notices will be in the Sunday edition
(or the most read edition of the week). Look in the classified section of the paper under auctions, miscellaneous for sale, antiques, etc.
These ads should state the date, time, and location of the sale along with a description of the merchandise to be sold.
The auctioneer's name and business number should be listed in case you need additional information.
Know the rules !!!!
Be SURE before attending any auction that you know the terms and conditions of sale. This will save you great embarrassment and money.
Ask questions such as:
- May I write a check for my purchases?
- Are VISA and/or MASTERCARD accepted?
- Does everything I buy have to be moved on the day of sale?
- Are there any additional fees or Sales Tax to be charged?
- What identification do I need in order to register at the auction?
- Is there any registration fee or deposit required?
- Are there any "BUYERS PREMIUM" or other fees?
These are just a few of the things you need to know, in order to make your auction experiences pleasurable.
Go early -- stay late
Most mistakes are made at auctions because the buyer did not get there in time to inspect the items, or didn't think it was important. Almost all items sold at auction are sold AS IS, WHERE IS, meaning it is the responsibility of the buyer to look the item(s) over PRIOR TO BIDDING AND BUYING THE ITEM. You must get there in time to look over the items you are most interested in, so that you can determine the level of flaws or wear and tear. Don't blame the auctioneer if you haven't looked an item over. The auctioneer is not being paid to hold your hand.
Plan on staying to the end of the auction. Many times the crowd dies down and there are some real bargains to be had. The auctioneer will usually reward the people that stay with him or her till the end.
Most auctions require you to register in and bid using a numbered card or paddle.
DO NOT discard this bidders card when you leave the auction. This is your wallet!!!
If someone picks up your card and buys an item you can be held legally responsible for paying for the item, whether you want it or even get the item.
Auction mailing lists
One of the most expensive and time consuming facets of operating an auction company is maintaining the mailing list(s). Over a period of several years an auction company will accumulate 1000s of names and addresses of potential buyers and people interested in attending auctions.
Mailing a brochure to everyone of these prospects would take many man-hours and a huge budget for stamps. A company doing just 20 auctions a year and mailing 1000 brochures for each one would spend over $7,000 buying stamps. Our budget is almost 3 times that high. That does not include the expense of the brochure or the time needed to print and attach a label and the stamp.
Don't be shocked if you asked to be put on an auction company's mailing list, and the brochures don't come pouring in. Most companies segment their list into categories such as heavy equipment, vehicles, restaurant equipment, antiques, etc. You might make one or two of the lists, but rarely all of them.
If you expect the notices to keep coming, you must attend and BUY SOMETHING. Normally, after 12-18 months of inactivity, you can expect your name to be dropped completely from a mailing list. We review our mailing lists monthly and reluctantly make the decision to drop a few more off the list.
If you have a change of address, be sure to notify your auctioneer. Otherwise, he/she has no way of knowing where you are. After 2 or 3 of your brochures come back "undelivered", you will be dropped from the mailing list.
Ask the auction company if they use e-mail notification. This works great for all concerned. It cost the auction company virtually nothing, and therefore can send a notice to EVERYONE for every auction scheduled. You may receive notices about auctions of which you have no interest, but the same happens with brochures also. If the auction company does use e-mail notification, PLEASE make sure that they get the correct, complete address. After your address has been rejected several times it will probably be automatically removed.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR AUCTION EXPERIENCE!