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5 Things You Should Always Try to Buy at Online Auctions


Preview day for the online estate auction.

Online auctions are great for people looking for bargains on just about anything. We’re a little biased, of course, but we believe you should always shop online auctions before you pay retail.

That’s not always possible because sometimes it’s just easier and faster to run to the store and get what you need – like toilet paper, for instance. However, there are certain items you should always try to buy in online auctions because you’re almost guaranteed to get a great deal.

1) Cars

Most people are scared to purchase cars at online auctions because they don’t know if they’re going to get a lemon or not. They don’t know what to look for when inspecting a car, so they don’t even bother. However, if you know a good auto mechanic who can help you or you have some knowledge about cars, then you have a major advantage.

2) Furniture

What most people don’t know is that there is a HUGE markup on furniture purchased in regular retail stores. According to this article at WiseBread.com, you could be paying anywhere from 200-400% above cost.

In our monthly combined asset warehouse estate auctions, we always have furniture available. Sometimes we even have brand new furniture. Mid-century furniture is very popular right now, but in thrift stores or consignment shops, you may still pay premium prices for this style of furniture just because of demand. In our auctions, we’ve found that you can still find good deals on vintage and antique furniture.

3) Art

We’ve already talked about how online auctions are the best places to find great deals on art, so we won’t go into detail here.

4) Bulk Electronics

If you’re looking for a computer, monitor, laptop or other similar electronics, why not buy it in bulk? You could keep one and sell the rest for a profit. The money you make could more than cover the cost had you purchased just one. In our government surplus auctions, we often have Mac computers or laptop computers that are sold in bulk.

5) Clothing and Fashion Accessories

If you’re looking for vintage or designer clothing, not very many people think of shopping online auctions for these types of items. In past auctions, we’ve had vintage fashion accessories and designer pieces go for much less than other online marketplaces.

What are your thoughts about this list? Is there anything that you would add? Are there specific things that you only shop for at online auctions?