Ways of Selling at Auctions

There are usually three ways of selling items at an auction – individually, as a lot, and choice. These are the typical variations on selling that are used for a wide range of items.

Paying close attention to how things are sold can have an effect on your bottom line as well as your opportunity to win what you want at an auction.

If you are engaged in frugal living, then you'll want to be mindful of what is being sold, and how it's being sold. With all the auction jabber, it's easy to get confused if you're not paying attention.

Here are the three ways that things are typically sold at an auction:

  1. Individually is like how you would expect most things to be sold. An item is held up or pointed to and that item is sold to the highest bidder. This is typical when there is only one item to sell that isn’t related to anything else at the auction. For example, a car, a piano or a snow blower at an estate sale – there will likely only be one offered.

  2. Presenting items as a “lot” might mean a box of glasses, a trunk full of things, a set of chairs, or anything else where multiple items are sold for one price. You need to be careful that you understand that they are offering the "lot", and not taking bids on each item in the lot. If you have questions, speak up and ask the auctioneer for clarification.

  3. Choice is another popular way of offering items at auctions. This is simply a group of items up for bid, and the highest bidder gets first choice on which of the items he wants. As an example, the items for sale might be 20 different knives. The high bidder has his choice of which knife or knives he wants to take.

    If the high bid is $35, then he can take one knife for $35, two for $70 and so forth. The auctioneer will call out how many knives have been selected by the high bidder, so the clerk will record the appropriate charge for that bid number.

    After the high bidder has selected his items, the remaining items can be sold again by choice, or sold as a lot. How the remaining items are sold is up to the auctioneer, but if you want a particular knife from the remaining knives, you need to speak up and ask for the remaining knives to once again be sold by choice.

    An alternative to a second round of selling by choice is to offer other bidders their choice for what was the high bid. For example, if the winning choice bid was $35, the auctioneer might ask if anyone else wants any of the remaining knives for $35 each.

    If you aren’t too particular about getting choice, you might want to wait until the remaining items sell as a lot. For example, there was a choice sale of antique irons at an auction that I attended. The winning bid was $5, and that was a good price for a nice antique iron. Since there were many of these irons, everyone else was offered a chance to select for the same $5 bid. I chose two for myself.

    The remaining 3 irons weren’t as nice, as they didn’t have handles, but they sold for $3 as a lot after the choice bids were taken. Apparently the bidder wanted the irons and wasn’t concerned about the handles, so he got them for $1 each.

    If part of your approach to frugal living is getting the best deal on things you wish to acquire at auctions, then be mindful of what is being sold, and how they are selling it.

    Done with Selling, take me back to Auctions

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.