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An expert guide on the top ten steps to get started bidding and buying from online auctions.
4 Mins

10 steps to get started as an online auction buyer

Helen Marvel
Helen Marvel

Interested in buying from one of our auctions but aren’t sure how to get started?You’ve come to the right place, as below are our top 10 steps to get you bidding and winning quickly and easily…

1. Explore our website

Take a look around and you’ll find a huge selection of live auctions in a wide range of categories, as well as expert advice and tips to help you along your way. You can also view our archive of closed sales as well as seeing what exciting new auctions are in the pipeline. It’s worth familiarising yourself with how our site works, so you’re ready to get bidding once you’ve found your perfect item.

2. Register to bid

Before you can place a bid, you will need to register your details with us. It’s a speedy process which won’t hold you up and means we can be sure we are only accepting genuine bidders. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to log straight in every time you visit our site.

3. Understand the fees

The most important figure to be aware of is the buyer’s premium, as this may be new to you if you’ve never bought from an auction before. This fee is added to your bid and is paid to the auction house. It’s a percentage of your bid and is clearly displayed where you enter this. You’ll be charged VAT on the buyer’s premium which is also there for you to see. The only other cost you’ll need to factor in or for delivery, but you may have the option to collect your goods.

4. Read the T&Cs

It’s crucial you know the terms and conditions as you are accepting them once you place a bid. Every auction house will vary in the way they operate so don’t assume if you’ve purchased in auctions before, the terms will be the same. Ours are very clearly included with each of our sales, normally at the top of the page, so you don’t have to hunt around to find them.

5. Research your desired lot

Once a lot has caught your eye, it’s time to carefully check through the details and do a little research. Depending on what it is you’re interested in, you might want to look into what the item is worth, as this may affect your bidding level. The description should normally be comprehensive enough to tell you all you need to know, such as the year of origin, and the item’s history.

6. Ask questions before bidding

There should be enough information in each lot for you to know whether you want to make a purchase but sometimes you may have specific queries you want answers to before committing to buying. Once you place a bid you can’t retract it, so if you feel you need to know more, get in touch with our friendly team by clicking on the ‘Ask a question’ button or by using our Live Chat, and they will be able to help you out by contacting the vendor.

7. Decide on your budget

It’s a good idea before you start bidding to decide on your spend limit. When calculating this be sure to factor in the elements outlined in point 3. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of an auction that’s attracting lots of bids, so our platform allows you to set a maximum bid to avoid going beyond your comfort zone.

8. Watch the increments

It’s advisable to keep your eye on the increments so you can see how the much the price is rising by and consider whether you would be prepared to increase your maximum bid should the need arise. When a rival bid comes in, we’ll let you know so you don’t have to constantly be hovering by your screen.

9. Know your competitors

Our auctions generally run for a minimum of a fortnight, aside from our regularly weekly sales, and you will normally notice bidders joining at different stages. People’s bidding strategies will vary and it’s worthwhile looking at when bids are placed and in what volume so you can gauge the level of competition in your area of interest.

10. Don’t forget the deadline

If you decide to bide your time and wait for an auction to almost be at an end before bidding, be sure to check out the end time and date. If you’re the winning bidder and someone decides to try and pip you to the post, don’t worry, if a bid comes in within the final ten minutes, the clock will reset to ten minutes, giving you another chance to win.

Now you’re fully armed with all you need to know to start shopping, check out our auctions and see what we can tempt you with today…