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A how to guide on completing your due diligence before taking part in an online auction.
3 Mins

How to do your due diligence prior to an online auction

Vikki Wilkinson
Vikki Wilkinson

What happens if I change my mind and no longer want to complete a purchase? It’s a situation we want to avoid, and in order to do so it’s important to be as prepared as possible prior to making any commitments.

Having a plan in place is vital and will keep you from experiencing any complications later on.

If you want to be the savviest buyer in the auction, here’s our top tips for due diligence below:

Familiarise yourself with our website

Get a really good feel for it. There’s loads of hints and tips you’ll come across and it will make you more comfortable when you do decide to enter an auction and bid for the first time. You can even watch an auction beforehand without bidding to get to grips with it.

Understand the fees

If you’ve never bought from an auction before, there might be some new information. The most important figure is the buyer’s premium which is standard practice and we always display this close to where you enter your bid. There will be a separate VAT cost added on top of the premium if applicable, also clearly there for you to see. The only other cost you’ll need to factor in is delivery, unless this has been included in the reserve by the seller, in which case it won’t be separately stated.

Read the T&Cs

This is crucial as every auction house is different and it will vary from one to another. If you’re brand new to auction buying, set some time aside to take a look at these and for anyone who’s purchased at auction before, don’t assume the terms will be the same across board. Ours are very easy to find so you don’t need to hunt around for them. We’re not trying to hide anything!


We highly recommend this. You’ll thank yourself for it later as it’ll mean you have all the information you need to inform a decision when the time’s right. The description should tell you everything you need to know but if not, ask. We have a Live Chat function and a very friendly team who love to help! Once you place a bid you can’t retract it so it’s much better to cover all grounds beforehand.

Decide your budget

This leads on from the previous point and your research should help with setting this. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of an auction that’s attracting high numbers of bids, so make sure you set a maximum to avoid going beyond your comfort zone.

Watch the increments

Again, you can get some practice by keeping an eye on a lot that you’re not interested in bidding on and get an idea of how this works. If the price starts to go up quite quickly you may want to consider increasing your maximum bid should the need arise. We let you know once a rival bid comes in so you can be on top of it!

Know the deadline

Most of our auctions run for at least two weeks but these do vary so be sure to make a note of the end time and date. It’s easy to forget so set a reminder! Don’t worry if someone tries to pip you to the post within the final 10 minutes, we’ll alert you and give you another chance to win.

We hope this helps you to get started. View our live auctions and  feel free to share any of your own experiences below. We love hearing them!