Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Auction 411 Part 3: You've Won... What next?

Welcome to Part 3 of 

The Auction 411!

I'm glad you're still with me and I hope that I'm helping you not to be afraid to tackle your first auction.

You can find Part 1 of the Series HERE.

And Part 2 of the Series HERE.

We'll wrap up the series today and you'll know all you need to know about going to your first auction.

Let's get started!

YAY!  Aren't you excited???  

Good for you!  

You've survived your first auction!

It wasn't as hard as you thought, was it?

If there's nothing more you want to bid on, you have a couple more details to take care of before you can take your items home and do a happy dance.  ;)

What next?

1.  Pay for it.

Take your bidder's card up to the desk where you registered (unless they have a separate one for purchases) and show it to the person running it.  They'll have a list of all your purchases.

Make sure you give plenty of time between the last item you won and when you go to pay for it, so they have all your winning tickets or you'll be getting a phone call.

2.  Be sure you're getting what you bid for.

Although rare, people are human and make mistakes.  Be sure to check your receipt against your tickets against your win list to make sure 1) You paid for everything you bid on and 2) You didn't accidentally pay for something you didn't.

Sometimes tickets can get put into the wrong number slot, so its always good to keep track of what you've won.

TRUE STORY:  A couple of weeks ago, Scott and I were loading up our pieces from the night.  In the parking lot, he counted the tickets and checked off what items we had to be sure we hadn't forgotten any.  At first he thought we had missed loading a table, but there were no tables left inside.  So, he went and talked to the ladies at the purchasing table to try to figure out what we were missing.  They said we had the table we had paid for.  Still, something wasn't right.  We only had 9 items loaded, but 10 tickets.  Going back outside, we went through the list again.  We were still short something.  Sure enough, we had someone else's ticket and although that item wasn't showing up on the list that the purchasing desk had, we had the ticket for it.  But, all's well that end's well...  Although we had the ticket, she hadn't added it into our purchases, so we weren't charged for it.  Who knows if the other person paid for their $35 footstool.

Always, ALWAYS check your tickets against what you have.  

Better safe, than sorry!

3.  Load and transport your items.

Be prepared to have a way to load and transport your wins.

Auction services do not help you load.  Sometimes you can get people to help you, but its your responsibility to get your items loaded by yourself.  Its always a good policy to have someone there to help you, so you're not dependent upon a stranger's generosity.

Bring a friend (or a husband)!

Items MUST be removed that night, so if you're planning on buying large items, be prepared...  Borrow a truck and trailer from a friend or rent a U-Haul.   Have a way to move them or risk your stuff being set outside and left for the taking.  That would suck!

Be sure to bring ropes, straps, and bungee cords to tie down your winnings, and maybe sheets/towels to put between items so they don't rub together, if you're really piling it in.  ;)

4.  Go home and gloat over your loot!

Its a great feeling!  

You're not only getting things at super great prices, you're reducing waste in the landfill, you're repurposing and giving items a new lease on life, and you're having fun doing it!

and ONE last thing...

5.  Tell ME about your experience!  

If this series has inspired you to try out your very first auction, I'd LOVE to hear about it!  Or, if you have any questions, you can absolutely e-mail me at ourprairiehome@gmail.com.  I'll answer any questions you have and I'll celebrate your great finds with you!

So, that's it.

We're done.

How easy was that?!

Its so much fun that after you go to your first, 
you'll be dying to go to your second.

Be careful though...  

You might just become an auction addict...

Like me.  ;)

Until later, y'all...  
See ya on Facebook!


Disclaimer:  I am by no means an expert.  Auctions vary from state to state, town to town.  I'm posting from a small town perspective, so there may be differing opinions/etiquette depending upon where you live.  It is YOUR job to find out proper procedure and etiquette in your area.  Never go by the word of someone else.  Do your homework!  ;)


P.j. said...

Great "how to" series, Laura! I occasionally get to a few auctions, & have noticed some differences between 2 of the auction companies that are worth noting. The guy who does 80% of auctions in this county almost alwasy starts with more valuable collectibles, then moves around the room clockwise (from the attendees' perspective). Depending on the wares, he often has a side auction run by one of his helpers to sell tools or guy stuff, sometimes outside the building. It speeds up his sales, most of which are scheduled for Sat. starting 9 a.m.,& even big sales are usually over by 1-2 p.m. At his auctions they typically start selling furniture roughly 2 hrs. into the sale. His auctions are set up with a long row of tables in the center of the room for all the less expensive--but often still nice/useful/collectible stuff, sometimes with boxes under the table for books, fabric, records, etc. The stuff in the middle is usually the last to auction, & he allows bidders to bundle items to have auctioned. It's good to plan ahead to know what things you'd like to have before that time, because lots of other bidders have packed it up & gone home. I've often paid just $2-5 for a box of things that I would have had to pay that much per item. Sometimes another bidder hasn't noticed items till they're handed to the helper to start bidding, so they don't always go for the starting bid.

OK, so the other guy is a piece-by-piece auctioneer, no matter how small or worthless an item is. He rarely bundles unless nobody is bidding. His auctions start at 5 p.m. on Thurs. & often last till 11 p.m. because he stretches them out. I have gotten some good things at his sales, but if I have to work the next day I only stay till the last dog is dead if I see something worth the wait. I've often had to wait 2-3 hrs. for something I want to come up, & then it may go for more than I want to pay.

I agree with your tip to set a limit on how much to bid on a piece. It's interesting to see how much people will pay for some things. Collectors will pay top prices, because they aren't planning to resell. Shop owners usually keep their profit margin in mind & may be easier to outbid if you really want something. If I don't win against a shop owner, I may try to find out where their booth is so I can check it out later.

It's funny to see people compete over stuff they could get at Walmart, sometimes cheaper than they're paying at an auction, especially when the item isn't old or collectible. There are lots of Amish who go to the "piece by piece" auctioneer's sales, & it's good to learn the type of things they'll be bidding on. I didn't necessarily want a vintage solid wood bedroom set at a recent sale, but thought it would be a good set to paint & sell for a profit. A young Amish family started bidding on it & got all 3 pieces for about $50. They needed it more than I did, so I didn't even bid. :-)

P.j. said...

At another sale I bought 2 almost new upholstered Norwalk chairs for $10 because nobody else bid. I didn't notice till later that there was a matching ottoman (bonus!). While loading the chairs a lady approached me with $10 in her hand, asking if she could buy the ottoman. She hadn't bid because she didn't have room for the chairs. So the chairs were free, except for 4 hrs. of sitting & gas for a 30 mile round trip.

NanaDiana said...

Great series, Laura. I used to go to auctions all the time but I haven't been in a long time- xo Diana

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