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10 top buying tips from online auctions experts on bidding in online auctions.
4 Mins

10 top buying tips from online auction experts

Vikki Wilkinson
Vikki Wilkinson

Ever thought you liked the idea of online auctions but aren't sure where to start? Fancy taking yourself out of a comfort zone and trying something completely new? I’ve picked the brains of some of our experts which will allow you to enter into the online process oozing with confidence and full of knowledge.

1. First tip, get ahead of the game. Online auction catalogues are published well in advance of the closing date at auction. Here at William George, these will usually be visible for at least two weeks; use them wisely! Nobody wants the dreaded buyer’s remorse, so do the smart thing and prep with all the information available beforehand.

2. Make sure you’re registered. No matter what auction site you are bidding on they all require you to have a registered account. It’s quick, easy and takes very little time so make sure you’ve created your account and are logged in before sitting and waiting to bid and finding out too late and missing out on your dream item.

3. Read the T&Cs. These vary depending on the auction house so it’s crucial you have read the ones specific to the site you are making the bid on. Don’t assume that because you’ve purchased from auction before that these are the same, they’re not! You can’t miss ours - we include them with each and every sale to make sure the buyer is fully informed.

4. Ask questions. We’ve got a fantastic team who have a tonne of knowledge at their fingertips and are happy to help. Use our Live Chat function to get in touch.

5. Understand the fees. If you’ve never bought at auction before this one’s important as there is a buyer’s premium added to your final bid. This fee is a percentage of your added bid and you’ll see it when you’re bidding so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s standard practice, just one to be aware of.

6. Check the logistics. You might stumble across an item that seems like you’ve found an absolute steal, which it may be! But make sure you check the conditions around collection etc as sometimes the distance to travel or size of the item might make this more complex that you imagined.

7. Next, decide on your budget. If you are ready to do this then you’ll know you’ve done enough research. Use it to inform your upper spending limit and be confident in sticking with it. It’s so easy to get distracted and carried away with the excitement of bidding at auction; our platform allows you to set a maximum so as not to do just this!

8. Watch the increments. This is crucial so that, if needed, you are prepared to increase your maximum bid should the need arise. Sometimes exciting items can garner a lot of interest quickly and this can create bigger increments so make sure you’re on the ball!

9. Know your competitors. You’ll get better at this the more time you spend at online auctions but, depending on the lot, people’s strategies will vary and it’s good to notice these. Make a note of when bids are placed and in what volumes so you can gauge different levels of competition.

10. Don’t forget the deadline. Simple mistake to make, but easily done… even when we’re in lockdown and there doesn’t seem to be much else to do! Use your phone to set a reminder and be on hand to increase your bid at the last minute if needed.

If we've tempted you to have a go at bidding, check out our live auctions to see what could soon be yours!