In the series premiere episode of MARKET WARRIORS, our four pickers head out to, home to Renningers Adamstown — a large indoor/outdoor flea market where they must find Mid-Century modern items amid the Pennsylvania Dutch antiques. The winning picker is determined at in Los Angeles, California, where their chosen items go under the hammer. Abell has been a family owned and run business since 1916. Auctioneer Joe Baratta appears in the episode and shares some of his key tips for the auction novice.
Know your Auction House – You should only attend auctions held by reputable auction houses. How long has the auction house been in business? Do they have a knowledgeable staff? Do they have their own place of business or have they popped up in a temporary (hotels, etc.) location?
Preview Preview Preview – If you plan to buy, make sure you PREVIEW the item(s) beforehand. Avoid places that do not offer a preview at least a day before the sale; the key is allowing yourself the time to assess future purchases. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the auctioneer or staff.
Utilize the PROXY bid – If you cannot make the auction in person (a must-do for everyone at least once!), or if you can’t trust yourself to not over-bid, utilize the “Proxy” Bid. The “Proxy” bid (also called "Absentee" or "Left" bids) allows you to call in a maximum bid for an auction item without having to attend the auction itself. Then, if the item does not reach your proxy, you only pay what it hammered at, so you’re guaranteed the best price!
Know your Limits – After you preview the item in person, assess what the value of the item is to you, know your limit before the auctioneer starts the bidding and then, the hardest part, STICK TO IT! Knowing your limits will avoid disappointment or that guilty-shopper feeling.
Beware the Buyer’s Premium – All auction companies implement what’s known as a “buyer’s premium” – in short, it is an additional percentage added to the hammer price for any item, which is paid to the auction house. This premium varies greatly between auction houses and knowing what this is before you start bidding allows you to factor this additional cost into your bidding limit. Too many people who think they are getting a bargain get caught up by the buyer’s premium.