5 Top Tips for Buying at Auction Online

Friday 18th November 2016 - Cara Bentham


5 Top Tips for Buying at Auction Online

Online auctions have really opened up endless opportunities, connecting people with the things they love at auctions across the world. We take a look at some top tips to help you enjoy your online bidding experience.

Bidding at auction online is a fun and convenient way to get those items you really want. If you’re new to online auctions, check out our 5 top tips for buying at auction online…

  1. Make Sure You Do Your Research

Prior to the auction, make sure that you get as much information as possible about the items you intend to bid on. Read the catalogue listing carefully and perhaps even contact the auction house directly to request more information and/or photos. Remember that old items will almost inevitably have some wear or damage to them; this can affect the value, so be sure to clarify the condition of any items before bidding. When buying antiques and valuable items, it’s always a good idea to double check where, when and by whom the item was made to ensure you know exactly what you’re bidding on. Also, be sure to check the proportions of an item to make sure it’s suitable for your intended purpose.

  1. Decide Your Limit – And Stick to It!

It’s very easy to get caught up in the thrill of the moment and carry on bidding beyond what’s affordable. Prior to the start of the auction, consider the items that you intend to bid on and decide what they are worth to you. Know your maximum limit and don’t go beyond this. The hammer going down at the end of bidding not only establishes the price to be paid, but also constitutes a contract to buy. Stick to your limits and you won’t have any regrets.

  1. Understand All the Charges Before You Bid

When buying at auction, you will find that there are additional costs above what you bid for an item. It’s important to understand the rates of commission charged by an auction house, before you place any bids. This will allow you to calculate the total cost and ensure that it remains within your budget. These rates do vary between auction houses, but most charge somewhere between 15-20% commission on top of the hammer price. When buying online, you may also face additional charges for using the online bidding platform. Again, these vary between companies so be sure to check again each time. With Easy Live Auction, you can bid on as many items as you like in a single auction for a flat fee of just £3!

  1. Don’t Delay Payment with Successful Bids – It Could Cost You!

If your bid is successful, it’s worth being quick to make payment and arrange transportation of your item. Some auction houses charge fees for storage of items held longer than a few days, so make sure you understand these before you bid and be prompt with payment and collection/delivery arrangements to avoid additional costs. If the auction house is a long distance from where you live, it’s worth contacting prior to the auction to find out whether they offer a delivery service and what the charges for this are. Auction houses allow 5-10 days, on average, for payments to be made.


  1. Make A Note Of The Time and Date Of The Sale

It’s so disappointing to miss out on an item you had heart set on because you forgot the details of the auction. Make sure you make a note of the date and time of the auction so this doesn’t happen. By registering for an account with Easy Live Auction, you can create a wish list, set up auction alerts and leave absentee bids free of charge. We do our best to ensure you never miss an important lot!