Most people will never attend an auction so long as they live. Other people, however, are frequenters of these events for one reason or another! Very few people fall into the in-between: someone who might attend one or two auctions here and there.
If you’re someone who’s about to attend their first auction, it’s important to remember that there’s a certain set of rules and etiquette associated with these events, and that observing these guidelines means respecting the integrity of the auction. Take a quick look at the guidelines below and make sure you’re staying within them!
- First and foremost, when the auctioneer in Maryland is speaking, no one else should be! People bidding on items or listening to learn more about the item being auctioned off will need to hear the auctioneer loud and clear, and that’s not possible if you’re talking!
- A second tenant and just as important as the first is not to bid on items that you have no interest in buying. Driving up the price for fun is a great way to become unpopular at an auction event. In fact, this is such a frowned upon practice that you may be asked to leave if you’re caught doing it!
- Don’t ask an auctioneer in Maryland to start showcasing an item—instead, wait patiently for the item you’ve been eyeing to be announced. The auction has a predetermined route that it will take, with time slotted for each item being auctioned. Asking the auctioneer to divert from that route isn’t proper etiquette.
- Show up on time! If you know an item you’re interested in isn’t coming up until later, don’t just show up for that item—this is considered in bad taste. Show up when the auction starts and wait patiently for your item to come up. The only exception to this is auctions running more than a few hours or multi-day auctions.
- Do not haggle with a winner if you’re outbid for an item! This is, again, considered in poor taste. Chances are, that item was not one of a kind and something similar will come up again.
- If you win a bid, claim your lot quickly or have someone claim it for you while you continue to bid. This will facilitate the clearance of auction items and will ensure that items are not abandoned or misplaced while the event continues.
Really, much of the etiquette you need to observe at an auction is common sense. Being respectful of your fellow bidders and the auctioneer is paramount and having the courtesy to behave responsibly at the event means contributing to the auction in a positive way.
While there’s rules and courtesies to be followed at an auction, remember to have a little fun as well! Bid on something you like that you didn’t otherwise plan on buying or converse with people before and after to discuss your finds. An auction is just as much a social event as anything else!