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Buying at Auction

Finding UK auctions

If you're looking to purchase industrial, commercial or agricultural plant, machinery and equipment, high street goods or a new vehicle, buying at auction could be a great way to find a terrific deal.

However, finding these auctions can sometimes be challenging if you don't know where to look. Here are some tips on how to find industrial auctions in the UK.

The good news is you’ve already found Auction News, the leading listing site for UK auctions. Simply create an account and you can then browse our site and use our comprehensive filtering to find the auctions you are looking for. From there you can link straight through to the auctioneer’s bidding platform, register your details and once approved, start bidding.

In the “My Account” dashboard, you can save your searches and set up your preferences to automatically receive e-alerts as soon as an auction you’re interested in is uploaded to the site, whether that be by keyword match, a particular category of goods or within a specified distance of your location.  

If you are a social media fan, you can follow our Facebook page here:

or join one of our Facebook groups to see relevant auctions pop up in your Facebook feed in different categories of auction, for instance:

You can also follow us on Twitter and Linkedin

Of course, Auction News cannot guarantee to cover every auction you might be interested in, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on specialist trade publications related to your industry, local newspapers and other online resources such as individual auctioneer websites and online bidding platforms.

Do your research

When it comes to getting the best deal at a UK auction, doing your research beforehand is crucial. By taking the time to learn the ins and outs of the auction process, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that you walk away with the item you really want at a price you’re comfortable with. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Do your homework. Not all auctioneers are created equal. Some specialise in certain types of items, while others are open to anything and everything. A specialist auctioneer is more likely to be knowledgeable on the goods he is selling and answer any queries you might have before you make a bid.

  • Pay attention to the details, particularly the auction terms and conditions. Make sure you read all the fine print before placing a bid as additional charges like buyer's premiums and shipping costs can add up quickly, so you need to be aware of them before making any commitments.

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you're not sure about something, don't hesitate to ask one of the auction staff members for clarification. They're there to help and they want you to have a positive experience.

  • Make sure everything is set before the auction begins - this includes filling out all necessary forms, gaining auctioneer approval to bid (which may include paying a deposit) and having the correct method of payment and available funds.

Inspect Before You Buy

Inspecting goods before you buy at auction is a vital part of the purchasing process. Many auctions offer buyers the chance to inspect items prior to bidding, and it's important to take advantage of this opportunity. Here are some tips for inspecting goods before you buy at auctions:

  • Familiarise Yourself with the Item: Before attending an auction, familiarise yourself with the item you’re interested in buying. This can help you assess its condition and make sure it is suitable for your needs.

  • Get Advice from Experts: If there is any doubt about an item's authenticity or condition, get advice from experts who specialise in that field. This can help ensure that the item meets all your requirements and be aware of any potential issues.

  • Check for Damage: Visually inspect any items for signs of damage or wear-and-tear, as these could affect their value and functionality in the long run. If possible, ask an experienced person in that field to assist with inspecting for damage as they may spot subtle issues that can't be seen with the naked eye.

  • Test Functionality: If applicable, take the time to test out any electronics or machinery in person to make sure they are functioning correctly and without issue before bidding on them at auction. This can save time, money and effort if there are hidden problems that need fixing later on after purchase.

  • Check Documentation: Make sure all relevant documentation such as warranties and user manuals are included when inspecting goods before you buy at auction, as this may affect their value over time should something go wrong further down the line.

Inspecting goods before you buy at auction offers a great opportunity to identify potential issues with items prior to purchase and ensure that everything meets your needs and expectations before bidding starts. Knowing what you're looking for when inspecting goods will greatly reduce the risk of future issues or disappointment should something go wrong after purchase.

Know your Budget

Setting a budget before you bid at auctions is essential. Bidding can be exciting and make it easy to get carried away and forget about how much money you were prepared to spend, leading to potential overspending. Here are some tips on setting your budget before you bid at auctions:

  • Research Prices: It's important to research prices of the items you're interested in beforehand, so you can get an idea of what they're worth and what other people have paid for them. This will also help you arrive at an estimate of the amount that you should be willing to pay for any given item.

  • Determine Maximum Price: Once you have established the cost of the auction items, decide the maximum amount that you are comfortable spending on said items. Don't go any higher than this figure as it could lead to financial difficulties later on if it turns out to be a bad purchase.

  • Consider Extras: When setting a budget, remember to allow for any additional costs such as the buyer’s premium, VAT and shipping costs when calculating the total price of your desired items. These extra costs will vary depending on where you live and the individual auctioneer’s terms and conditions.

Follow these tips to make sure you stay within your limits and don’t end up with buyers’ remorse. Knowing your budget before bidding at auctions will help take away much of the stress associated with making a purchase and make sure you get a good deal every time you attend an auction.

Bidding Strategy
  • Know your budget for every item you intend to bid on. Especially at a live auction, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the bidding and end up spending more than you intended.

  • Be Patient: Patience is key when bidding at auctions! Being patient and not letting your emotions drive your bidding decisions will help ensure that you don't go over budget and end up paying more than necessary.

  • Automated Bidding: At online auctions, taking advantage of automated bidding systems can help reduce the time spent manually entering bids throughout the process while simultaneously ensuring that you only ever pay one increment above the competitors highest bid.

  • Know When To Walk Away: Don't hesitate to stop bidding if the price exceeds your predetermined limits - once that limit has been reached, you won't win without overspending and ultimately regretting your purchase

  • Sniping: This is a strategy that involves placing bids at the very last moment of an auction in order to outbid other prospective buyers. This tactic can be effective at a live auction, as the surprise element of a new bidder coming in at last minute can derail the other active bidders. However, many online auctions use anti-sniping software which prevents users from gaining an advantage from last minute bids, by extending the auction by anything between one and ten minutes after the last bid is submitted.

Completing your purchase

Once the bidding is over and the item is yours, there are still some steps to complete in order to finish the transaction. Here are some tips on completing the purchase after buying at auction:

  • Payment Forms: Before you bid on any item, remember that if you are the winning bidder, you are legally bound to pay for it. It's therefore important to establish what methods of payment are acceptable for paying for goods purchased at auction. Acceptable forms of payment will vary from one auctioneer to another but may include cash, cheque, debit or credit card.

  • Get Receipts: Ensure you get receipts for all purchases made at auction as this could help protect you should there be any issues with the product further down the line. Keep these receipts safe as they could serve as evidence when dealing with warranty claims or other legal matters related to your purchase.

Delivery and Collection: Be sure to ask about delivery options and associated costs, especially for larger items. If the auctioneers don’t provide a delivery service themselves, they may be able to recommend a reputable shipping agent and advise what arrangements need to be made.

Still not clear?

If you can't find the answer to your query above, get in touch using the below link we'll do our best to help.

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