If you are just starting out or starting over, auctions offer a wide selection of necessary household items, furniture, and appliances.

The best part of bidding at an auction is you are able to bid your price on any furniture you desire. Have you just graduated high school or college and are getting your first place? Perhaps divorce or breakup has led to your need to establish a different residence. Maybe it’s time to throw out the old and begin with a new look. Regardless of the reason, the very best one-stop-shop for household wants and needs is your local auction. If you need “stuff” think auction first!

Whether you are participating in a live or online auction, here are four tips to make your auction shopping experience as successful as possible. 

Read and understand the terms and conditions

For live auctions, the terms will often be in print form when you register to bid. The auctioneer will go over the terms before bidding begins. At an online auction, the terms and conditions will be presented when you sign up for the auction. Terms and conditions often include concepts like “as-is, where-is,” payment types accepted, instructions for removal, and instructions for bidding. 

Have a plan for removal of the items

If you are bidding on large items, taking possession of the item might include borrowing or renting a truck. You can always ask the auctioneer if they have a preferred shipper or mover or know of someone who can help. Additionally, having some simple tools like screwdrivers, adjustable wrenches, pliers, and maybe even a hammer (a rubber mallet works great so you don’t damage your purchases) will make quick work if disassembly is required. 

Shop around at multiple auctions

It may take several different auctions to get everything you want and need at the price you want to pay. Auctions happen live and online almost every day of the week around your city and state. If you don’t find everything at one auction the good news is that there is likely another auction by that auctioneer or auction company coming up soon. 

Focus on function first, then look to the style

When looking for furniture or appliances, the newest and trendiest items often fetch the highest prices at auction. If you can make do with a bedroom set or refrigerator that still has a lot of life left but may be out of date in terms of style, you might get the deal you are looking for.

Auctions are a fast, fun and transparent way to buy everything from a lawnmower to a dining room table. Fair warning: paying your price for items at auction can be addicting, and you may never look at retail the same again! Once you start buying personal property at auction, you will be wanting to learn how buy your next house at auction!

Find an auction professional near you at auctioneers.org.