How To - see an Auction working

You normally have to register if you want to bid, and sign an agreement. Make sure that you check this agreement first. It may contain some of the rules of the auction that you need to know before you buy.

Any terms of the sale must be made clear to buyers at the time of the sale or before the auction begins. If the auction house does not make their terms clear or does not make them at all, the buyer cannot be held to those terms.

Sometimes auction houses put their terms in the catalogue or on signs in the auction rooms.
The goods are sold by lot number. You bid on the lots that you want to buy. The highest bid is normally accepted. Sometimes goods will be ’passed in’. This means the bids did not meet the sale price or ’reserve’ put on the goods by the seller. If your bid was close to the reserve, the auctioneer may approach you to see if you want to make another offer to the seller.

When you make the final bid and that is accepted by the auctioneer, you have entered into a legal agreement to buy the goods. This means that the terms and conditions the auctioneer read out during the sale apply to you.

Examples of general terms and conditions...

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