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Buying Tips for Arizona Auctions

Aug 15, 2008
Are you thinking about attending an Arizona auction? This article is designed to provide you with the details on what you can find at an Arizona auction and buying tips that will help you get what you want. Specifics may vary from auction to auction; however, the following information includes helpful and important guidelines from which everyone can benefit.

There are many different kinds of Arizona auctions. You can bid live and in-person, or you can bid online for things like seized property, police confiscated items, business liquidation items, bankruptcy assets and more. Items include everything from cars to tools, electronics to jewelry, sporting goods to coins.

Arizona auctions are conducted on a frequent basis (sometimes several times a week depending on the auction house) and are usually open to the public. You'll find surplus items, commercial machinery and heavy equipment, along with individual high-end estate auctions for trusts and lawyers, offering real estate, fine antiques, collectibles, guns, furniture and household goods. Business liquidation auctions feature overstocked products, industrial restaurant equipment and bankruptcy assets.

To make the most of your Arizona auction experience (they are a lot of fun!), you need to know what to do. Here are 10 auction buying tips that will help you out:

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #1: Do not mistake auctions for retail sales. The two have very little in common. Auctions are different from retail because auctions are governed by federal laws, state laws, Uniform Commercial Codes and city ordinances. When you bid at an auction you actually enter a legal contract.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #2: You must have a bidder's card in order to buy at the auction. To obtain a bidder's card, you must put down a deposit for a bid card. This insures that you will pay for all your purchases that you bid on. Once you pay for your items or decide to leave the auction without purchasing any items, your deposit is immediately returned to you. If you do bid and win, your deposit is applied to the purchases.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #3: Be careful about bidding on lots. Know how much you are bidding and exactly what you're bidding on. Although you can retract a bid while the bidding is open, you cannot retract it once the auctioneer has said "sold." Auctioneers expect you to take full responsibility for your bids.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #4: The moment the auctioneer says "sold," the ownership of the item being auctioned has changed hands. This is the law. If your merchandise is later stolen, you will still have to pay for it. It is no different than having your wallet or purse stolen while shopping at a store.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #5: Inspect each item before the auction. This is why an auction preview is offered. Use your own evaluation as your bidding guide, not the auctioneer's description or other bidders' comments. You are buying the merchandise "AS IS" with no guarantees of any kind from the seller or auctioneer. The risk of the item not being what you wanted should be factored into your bidding amount.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #6: A fast-moving auction benefits both buyers and sellers. Auctioneers have the right to reject any bid amount that would slow the bidding. Auctioneers cannot wait for slow bidders, so know in advance what to buy and how much to spend. Your inability to keep up with the bidding pace is not the auctioneers' concern.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #7: Don't be shy about bidding loud and large. Raise your bid card in the air if you want an item and keep it up until you are done bidding. Make certain the auctioneer is aware you are bidding because the auctioneer may be taking bids from someone in front of or behind you. Once the auctioneer says "sold," the item is gone even if you are willing to continue bidding. There are no do-overs in the auction business. Spotters or ringmen are there to help the auctioneer spot bids and will signal your bid to the auctioneer.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #8: When the auction starts, you will hear a ringman call out a lot number and give a brief description of the item. The auctioneer will begin selling the item and will ask for you to bid. The auctioneer continues to go up in increments until the item has been sold. Once the bidding has closed, the auctioneer will say "sold" and state the winning bidder's number and the final selling price.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #9: During the auction, clerks record the description of your items and your buyer number as well as the amount you paid for the item.

Arizona Auction Buyer Tip #10: Have fun!
About the Author
Deb Weidenhamer is President of Auction Systems, the Southwest's most active auction and appraisal company. Check out our website for the next scheduled arizona auctions or call 800-801-8880 for more information.
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