Builders' auctions are great places to shop for windows, doors, appliances, tile, cabinets, bathtubs, flooring and more! While there are deals literally everywhere, you have to be savvy to get the best savings.
Here are my top 5 recommendations for how to score big at an auction!
#1 Attend the preview day
Most auctions have a preview day where you can browse the selection. Go! This allows you to scope out what you want and do your research in advance.
# 2 Get there early
Some auctions indicate which items will be sold in various time blocks. This allows you to schedule your time to maximize your chances of winning your selected items when there are simultaneous auctions. If you missed preview day, your first order of business is to scope out the selection and quickly research each item you plan to bid on. Use the model number to check the price range to choose your target. Most items are sold as-is and "out of box" so you are shopping at your own risk. The price that you pay should reflect this.
#3 Leave emotion at home
Auctions can be adrenaline fueled. If you have selected your items and determined your max price, stick with it! You can give yourself a little wiggle room (10%?!), but don't bid over your max price. On several occasions, I have seen appliances sold for their retail sale prices. You don't want to buy a major appliance at an auction just to find out that you could've bought the exact same item at a big box retailer like Best Buy and purchased a warranty or service agreement.
# 4 Don't forget auction fees
Fees vary by auction but they can range from 5% to 15%. The auction fee is on top of the sales price and taxes. This can make a big dent in your savings so make sure that you are still happy with the sales price once additional fees are tacked on.
# 5 Don't buy anything that you can't transport (and factor the costs!)
Auctions typically give you a few days to pick up your items. If you purchase bulky items that won't fit in your car or truck, you'll have to rent a larger vehicle or a trailer. This rental will be between $49-$100. Make sure that the cost of renting the vehicle and securing help to move the items are factored into your overall costs.
Bonus tip! Don't be the first person to bid. You might unnecessarily bid the price of the item up if you enter the bidding too early. Be cool and give the bidding a little space to get your strike zone. Then, start your bidding.
So, those are my top 5 tips for scoring big at an auction. Good luck!