Tips, Tricks, and Jargon: terms heard at auction

Nellis Auction professional auctioneer, James Martinez.

Nellis Auction professional auctioneer, James Martinez.

Buying at auction can be similar to a good poker game.  Have a great strategy-play your hand just right-and you'll walk away winning big! 

Buying at auction can be similar to a good poker game.  Have a great strategy-play your hand just right-and you'll walk away winning big! 

     Talk to any auction buyer and they'll surely give you ten dozen tips and tricks that they’ve learned over the years on how to get a great deal when buying at auction.  They may even have some closely guarded secrets that they’ll never part with.  Like a great poker player, an auction buyer will always try to play the game.  As you get more comfortable buying at auction, you’ll come up with your own style of bidding and strategy for getting that prized item.

     Part of becoming a better auction buyer means learning the language. Let’s go over a couple of the basic terms that you might hear depending on the items up for bid.

"Choice Bids"

  • A "choice bid" gives the highest bidder choice of the items. They can pick a certain quantity or specific items and then the next bidder will have to take the rest. An example of this would be with a group of chairs: a high bidder may bid $20 per chair; they then can pick however many of the chairs they want out of the group, at that rate of $20 per chair. Then the Auctioneer will start the auction over again. This time, the new highest bidder may decide to bid $10 per chair, and will have to take the remaining chairs available.

"Times the Bid"

  •  This happens often on small bulk items.  It’s helpful when most bidders know the basic price for a single item but are purchasing in bulk.  An example would be with coins.  The bidder might bid $20. This bid is $20 per how many coins is in the lot.  If there were 10 coins, the total would be $200.

By learning these terms, you’ll keep on track on auction day and won’t miss getting a deal before the hammer drops!