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How Do You Bid at Auctions?

Whether you want to add to your vintage toy collection or are looking for something mid-century modern at an auction in NJ, Bodnar’s Auction is the destination for you. You may not be a seasoned bidder, and that’s okay. We’re here to tell you what you can expect.

What Happens at an Auction?

The idea of an auction may conjure up images in your mind based on what you may have seen in movies or clips online: rapid-fire auctioneering, a royal heirloom in a dazzling display coveted by everyone in the room, and much more. While a snippet of a bidding war or a dramatized scene may be enticing, you still may wonder — how does the bidding work? Besides raising a paddleboard, what goes into the entire process?

The first thing you need to do is to register with the auction house or auctioneer, which often requires a driver’s license or some other type of identification. The auction house will not allow you to bid until you register. Once you do, you are assigned a number and supplied with a paddle.

Make sure to check out the items up close and inspect them yourself before the bidding starts. This window of time is referred to as a “preview,” and allows you to familiarize yourself with the overall quality and general expectation of the item you may make a bid on. An in-person examination should supplement what you gather about the item from the catalog, which is a listing of every item or collection that is to be sold.

How Do You Bid?

Armed with your bid number and paddleboard, you are ready to move on to the next step of the process. You take your seat, and the auctioneer will start with an intentionally low opening bid to the audience, someone will raise their paddleboard, and the bidding process begins until the item sells.

Auctioning off items often follows the standard practice of incremental bidding, which refers to the minimum amount the auction bid must raise each time the most recent highest bid is exceeded. For example, an opening bid of $100 is often followed with a bid of $125, then $150, and so on. The item will eventually go to the highest bidder. The opening bid and increment vary depending on the nature of the item and auction house practices. 

The Auction House For You

As the largest auction house in New Jersey, the experts at Bodnar’s understand the thrill of a live auction and want to help you get started. Whether you are looking for estate sales in NJ or are on the hunt for a bargain, contact us today.

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