Observe first and bid later

Know your auctioneer:

Know your auctioneer:

Whether buying or selling, ensure your auctioneer is a member of a recognized professional organisation such as the South African Institute of Auctioneers, where members are governed by a Code of Ethics.

Start by observing:

Choose an auction house dealing in items of interest to you, and attend an auction just to watch.

Know the difference:

All auctions are different. A vehicle auction proceeds differently from a fine art auction. Observe first, bid later.

Attend the preview:

Most auction houses have viewing date before an auction. Inspect items that interest you.

Know the rules:

Policies of each auction house are included in catalogues. This gives you general information on the auction, will there be "buyers' premiums" added to the final price, and so on. Ask questions at the preview.

Set a price limit:

Determine a price beforehand and stick to it. It is easy to get caught up in the bidding excitement.

Listen to the auctioneer:

Prior to the start of bidding on an item, the auctioneer will give information on the item - the lot number and description. Look for changes to the catalogue.

Dropping out:

If you do not wish to carry on bidding on an item, and the auctioneer looks at you for a bid, signal "No".

Finalise your purchase:

If you have successfully bid on an item, before you leave, you must complete payment and arrange for collections.