If you discover that there is going to be a police or government auction in your area and you think you might like to attend, it's probably a good idea that you know a few things prior to going to one of these kinds of auctions. Knowing what to expect and how to handle yourself at any kind of auction is important to you in order for you to have a successful day. Below you will find a few tips on what to do while at this kind of auction.
The first thing you need to do is find out if they are going to allow for the public to have a preview of the items that they plan to auction off. The reason for this is so that you have time to figure out if there is something you want to bid on and it will give you time to research the item so that you will know when you should stop bidding. The last thing you want to do is to pay for something that is worth far less than what you paid for it. A preview will also let you inspect the item up for bid and you can tell if it's in good condition or not.
Make sure that you have a good idea of what a particular item might be selling for in the retail market before you even decide to bid for it at any kind of auction. The whole idea of going to auctions is to try and get yourself a bargain. If you know right off the bad you can buy something just like it for less at retail then there is no reason for you to even be bidding on it. You also need to come up with a budget before you go so that you won't go over that budget. Do your best to avoid bidding wars, no matter how exciting it might be. You could end up spending far more than your budget would have allowed you to had you not gotten into a bidding war.
If you happen to be a victim of theft, it might be a really good idea that you look very carefully at all of the items that they have up for bid. If you happen to think you have found an item that might be yours, you will need to go to the organizers of the auction and let them know. They will then be required by law to remove the item from the auction so that there can be an investigation. If it does turn out to be yours, you may get your property back right after the auction is over.
If you know the weather is going to be kind of bad for an outdoor auction, don't let that stop you from attending. In fact this is the best time to attend. Far too many people don't want to deal with the elements and this will give you a better shot at getting what you want at a cheaper price since there will be less competition.
Make sure that you know what kind of payments will be accepted before you go to the auction. You don't want to get there, win the bid only to find out that they won't accept your credit card that you brought with you. Also, if you are bidding for something big like a house, you are going to have to have proof that you have the money available and you may even need a credit letter before you can even be eligible to bid on something like this.
Another good way to get items cheap is to stay for the entire auction. A lot of people don't stay the entire time and here again your competition will be less and there might be something you really want that you might get for a lot less by hanging out for the entire length of the auction.
If it happens to be a house or a car that you might be bidding on, you really need to find out if there is any kind of debt still owed on these things. The last thing you want to do is think you got a steal on a house or a car only to find out you still have more money to dish out because of any outstanding loans there might be against the item.