Hot Tips for Buying Furniture From Auctions

Sarika Kabra asked:

Buying furniture from auction houses can both be fun as well as some intelligent shopping. But you always have to remain on your toes to avoid getting burned at the hands of dishonest auctioneers. The cheap furniture often available at hundreds of auction houses across America can be enticing. However, before getting involved in auction purchases, educate yourself about the pros and cons of buying furniture from bidding spots. This article aims at providing some useful tips that can make your auction-purchase experience a happy one. Read on if you are an auction purchaser or a potential candidate.

The most important step on your part before going ahead with making bids is to inspect the furniture items on sale. While inspecting, you need to check three things: (a) suitability of the furniture as to the dimensions required; (b) physical inspection by going through the article carefully and thoroughly to detect any kind of ***** or fracture in the body, protruding elements, dents, working condition of add-ons like drawers and normal wear and tear; & (c) inspecting about peculiar features of the furniture. For instance, if Amish furniture item is on sale, you must know the typical characteristics of Amish made furniture. Amish furniture is generally heavier than it appears. And the most vital distinguishing feature about Amish oak furniture is that the entire item is constituted of not more than 3-4 pieces. Similarly, if it’s branded furniture, look out for the signature or label for authenticity.

The second tip to remember is “when in doubt, leave out!” In other words, if you are not sure about the quality and authenticity of the item being sold, don’t bid for it.

Don’t get carried away by the reserve price being too low or too high. Always make a thorough market research to acquaint yourself with the price range of that particular piece of furniture. If you come across an expert on that particular furniture item in the auction house, nothing like it! Ask probing questions about the quality and suitability of the item on sale. No one evades from a friendly talk at a public place.

If there are lots of items on sale, insist on a catalogue if it’s available. Jot down the winning bid price for each item for future review. A catalogue will also assist you in arriving at a quick decision about the furniture item to purchase.

Make yourself aware of all the rules, regulations, terms and conditions regarding the auction sale. Payment options, reserve price, buyer’s premium, sales tax etc. are some of the important considerations before bidding.

Ideally, never be the first one to bid! It might just be possible that no one is actually interested in the item. So, you can expect a below reserve price cost for the item if the terms and conditions of the bid allow for such an arrangement.

If a person is repeatedly making counter-bids just to jack up the prices, beware and observe his movements and eye contact with the auctioneer to verify. He may be hands-in-glove with the auctioneer planted just to do exactly this kind of a job.

Auctions could be a great place to strike a good bargain, but remember! Here also, the rule is “Caveat Emptor!”

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