In today’s blog post we want to go over some of the most common mistakes that people make when attending government auctions. Avoiding these costly mistakes could save you a lot of time, effort, and money while you are still learning the ropes. The five most common mistakes to avoid are:
Being Too Eager to Bid at Your First Auction
We always tell people that they should attend a few auctions and get a feel for the whole thing before actually placing any bids. That’s why we recommend that you hold off on bidding at your first auction unless the price is so ridiculously low that you would walk away with an insane deal. Besides, there are som many different auctions going on all over the United States, the one you are currently attending will certainly not be your last. If, however, price is not a factor for you, or if the item you want is so unique that you will never find it again (doubtful), then feel free to disregard this advice.
Not Using Professionals to Your Advantage
For any auction you plan to attend, there will almost always be professional auction-goers in attendance. These could be used car salesmen, computer dealers, discount store owners, etc. Don’t be intimidated by these people; they can actually help you! Since they have experience, you can use them to better formulate a judgment of the merchandise up for auction. If they are bidding aggressively that could be a sign that the items are a good value. You can also usem to gauge the value of a particular item. Since a dealer needs to make a profit, he will usually stop bidding at the point where his profit is less than what he wants to make. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot bid past this amount. For example, if you are buying a car for personal use, then you can certainly bid a bit more than the dealer and still come out paying much less than if you were to buy the car at retail. Your advantage here is that you are not motivated by profits, you just want to pay less than you would buying elsewhere.
Getting Auction Fever and Not Setting Your Limit
Once an auction begins many people seem to get swept up in the excitement and fast pace, throwing all caution to the wind. The auctioneer can spot a bunch of newbies, and he will use that against you. Remember, his job is to get the highest price possible. He will jump from one bid to the next ($100 to $200) without stopping in between if he thinks people will give him his price. That’s why you should have a set limit that you are willing to pay for an item. No matter what happens, you will not go past this amount. You can also try to slow down the pace by offering less than the amount the auctioneer is asking for.
Not Staying Until the End
Many auction-goers make the mistake of not sticking around until the end of an auction, even though this is where some of the best deals can be had. At the end of an auction, much of the merchandise may have been sold and many of the auction-goers gone home. At this point many of the participants might simply be bored or exhausted by the auction, so you can get a great deal. Also, if a bunch of similar items have recently been sold (10 computers of the same model), then most of the people who wanted that item have most likely purchased it already. The items towards the end will typically fetch lower prices.
Not Reading the Terms and Conditions
This is one of the most common mistakes we see people making. If you’re going to spend time attending an auction, then at least spend some time reading the terms and conditions. Before attending the auction find out as much as you can about the merchandise. For example for auto auctions, you might be able to get a list of cars and VIN numbers, which should allow you to do some preliminary research. You might decide that the auction is going to be a waste of time before you go.
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