Machinery Pete: Auction Bidding Strategies

02:50PM Mar 31, 2020
Sullivan Auctioneers annual consignment sale
To listen to Greg discuss other machinery auction bidding strategies with Chip Flory on AgriTalk, visit AgWeb.com/MP- bidding-strategies
( Lindsey Pound )

For more than 30 years, I’ve been observing auction bidding. Here are just a few of my thoughts to share.

No Doesn’t Mean No

This happens at every sale. A bidder shakes his or her head, says no, physically turns and walks away. Around 75% of the time, that person bids again, usually at least twice more. The average distance they walk away is 10' to 15'.

Body Language is Powerful

If you are down to the last couple bidders on an item, and you know you’ve got some bidding room left, fire your bids back immediately after the other guy or gal bids. Stand up tall, with your eyes straight ahead and nod firmly. What you are physically conveying to everyone at the sale is: This thing is mine, and the other bidders are wasting their time.

Advanced Bidding Strategy

The No. 1 thing you need to know going into any auction you’ll be bidding at is what that item is actually worth. I’m talking hard cash, recent comparable auction pricing (not retail price comparisons). This is why I’ve been compiling auction data for 30-plus years — so you know what it’s worth.

Say you know a machine is worth $50,000. The auctioneer opens up the bid, and asks for $50,000. Then the auctioneer says: “Let’s everyone play, gimme $20,000.” What if you open the bidding high and hard at $40,000?

Guess what happens every time I’ve seen that done? Yep, the item quickly sells on the cheap side.

Why? Because you’ve told everyone there and online that this baby is mine. It sucks the oxygen out of the bidding process, so it won’t build momentum.

Just be aware you’ll have to be ready for your buddies to say: “What the *&^% were you doing?”

But you can just smile and say, “I’m just saving big money, boys.“

After all, isn't that the goal when bidding for machinery at auction?


To listen to Greg discuss other machinery auction bidding strategies with Chip Flory on AgriTalk, visit AgWeb.com/MP-bidding-strategies


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