Published On: Mon, May 20th, 2019

Are you planning on attending your first auction?

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 There’s a lot of preparation beforehand and fast-acting buyers will be ready to make commitments. There are certain things that you can to do as a buyer before attending an auction. This basic knowledge of an auction will guide you through the do’s and don’t, as well as make sure you have a solid understanding of the process.

Does it cost anything to register for an auction? One of the main questions asked a lot by first-time bidders is about our registration process. You must fill out a registration form and leave a cash deposit to get a bidder number. Deposits make sure that all bidders are sincerely bidding in good faith. This creates a more comfortable environment for the buyers. The key word here is deposit. If you are unsuccessful with your bidding, the deposit is immediately refunded.

As a bidder, how should you prepare for an auction? One of the biggest mistakes buyers make before attending an auction is not doing their research on the items being sold! Determine new and used costs on the items you want and compare it to the item for sale. Test and inspect the equipment including condition during the auction preview and decide how much you are willing to bid.

“In the excitement, bidders can get caught up in a “bidding war” with another buyer and become disappointed if they pay more than intended.”

What are the terms of sale? This information is on the auction company website and auction registration form. It includes the bidder’s responsibility when making a purchase including acceptable forms of payment and time to remove your auction purchases.

What is the buyer’s premium? Auction companies typically use a buyer’s premium as part of their commission structure. The amount is in the terms of sale. Be aware of the buyer’s premium percentage and figure that into your bidding.

Will I pay sales tax? Auction companies will collect sales tax on your total auction sale. If you plan to buy under resale, be ready to complete appropriate sales tax forms.

If you are new to auctions, it’s important be comfortable with the bidding process. Listen to the auctioneer and make sure you understand the bidding increments so you will be comfortable with the pace of the sale. Auctions are a great way to save money and be in a fun, fast-paced purchasing environment.

Daniel Clar is an industrial equipment auctioneer and appraiser based in Northern California. He provides liquidation and appraisal services through out the western United States

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