There are a few tricks you need to learn to make the auction process profitable and enjoyable. Ready to start? Let’s go.

1. Before the auction starts.

a) Ensure you have sufficient cash or credit availability before you leave home. Bring a pen.

b) Arrive early. Buy a catalog. You can wander around and look at the items for sale more easily at a more leisurely pace. Mark the items that interest you.

c) Mentally, work out what you think you will spend on those items, or write this down on the catalog against the item number.

d) Ensure you find out what the extra fees and charges are that add to the total bid price.

e) Go back to the items you think you will bid on and check them out closely. Look for defects, authenticity and overall condition. Set your bid limit and stick to it. There will be other bargains.

f) Keep your personal belongings safe at all times. Don’t let your handbag, purse or wallet out of your possession at any time.

2. During the Auction.

a) Listen to the Auctioneer’s opening instructions. Take note of payment terms, pick-up and security conditions.

b) Don’t be too keen to always bid first. It’s best to leave your bidding towards the end when bidding is starting to slow.

c) Get to know how the auctioneer works and what attracts his attention.

d) If you feel you need to start with an opening bid, don’t start with a ridiculously low bid. This will irritate the auctioneer and slow down the auction process. Start with a sensible, but low bid, if you want to bid first.

e) If there are many lots and the auction is continuing for most of the day, you may find towards the end of the day people get a bit tired, bored or have left and there are bargains to be had.

f) If the winning bidder has responsibility for their items make sure you know where your items are or collect them and place them together so you can keep them secure as the auction progresses.

g) Don’t get carried away with the process. Keep your wits about you. Don’t get caught up in a bidding war – unless it is below your set limit. Let others bid it out. Come in towards the last with your bids.

h) Learn how quickly the Auctioneer shuts down the bidding process and moves to the next item. There isn’t much time usually.

3. After the Auction.

a) Guard your property, know what is yours. Put it all together in one place, if possible, so you can keep it safe, if this was not done during the auction.

b) Check your records closely against the Auction office records before you hand over that hard-earned cash or credit card.

c) If you lost out to someone for an item you really wanted, why not go up to them after the auction and see if they want to sell? Sometimes this will be successful.

These are just some tips and hints on how you can spend an enjoyable time at an auction, coming away with some bargains, hopefully and saving some real money.