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How to Bid

Auctions are unique - in experience, in sound, in practice. Many auction attendees find the experience addictive, loving the thrill of finding something they want and bidding against others who want the same thing.

But you don't have to be a seasoned auction attendee to enjoy the thrill of auctions. Auctioneers across America welcome new bidders. While some may fear accidentally buying something with a mere scratch of the nose, this myth is far from reality.

"People who have never been to an auction before should certainly give it a try," suggests John Roebuck, CAI, AARE, president of the National Auctioneers Association. "Don't be intimidated - go and have fun!"

You can start by attending an auction without the intention to bid, just to get a feel for the process. Many auctioneers address common questions and explain the proceedings. Some even conduct pre-auction sessions or tutorials for newcomers.

Remember, you're free to ask questions if something is unclear. Auctioneers and their teams aim to encourage attendance and repeat business, so they'll be more than willing to assist.

Upon arriving at an auction site, register for a bidder number and familiarize yourself with the rules. It's important to inspect the merchandise, as most items are sold "as is." When you purchase an item, you become responsible for it and are expected to settle payment before leaving, even if you're not taking the items with you immediately.

To place a bid, make sure the auctioneer or ringperson notices your intention by holding up your bid card, raising your hand, or verbally confirming. If at any point you wish to stop bidding, a simple "no" or head shake will suffice. Misunderstandings can occur, but they can be quickly rectified by addressing the mistake promptly.