You see an item you like in an auction.
You look at the pictures of the item and it looks highly valuable.
Then you look at the current highest bid. You think to yourself, Wow! Nobody is bidding on this! The highest bid is only a few dollars. How can that be?
You immediately place a bid because…why not? Suddenly you’re in a bidding war with another buyer. Next thing you know the item is getting higher and higher.
What’s wrong with this way of bidding? What is the one important step that was missed?
What happened is that you didn’t read the description. What you thought was one thing is actually something totally different. It looked highly similar to something that you value and collect.
Here’s an example to illustrate this mistake:
If you look at the first picture, you’d think that there were collectible coins available in this lot. Maybe in the second picture, you would have caught on that these coins are not the correct size. You didn’t read the description, though, which said that these are just paperweights that look like coins. You then end up paying thousands of dollars for something that was actually only worth $10.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. You will be surprised how often people make this costly mistake. We felt the need to write a whole article on this topic because so many people overlook the auction descriptions. It’s important that you know exactly what you’re bidding on.
Another part of the description you should also pay attention to is the size dimensions of items. What might look big in the pictures can actually be small or vice versa.
While we’re here emphasizing the importance of reading descriptions, it should also be said that reading the Terms and Conditions of each auction is a must. You’ll find the link to the Terms and Conditions on the left side of each auction catalog. In general, it’s important to become familiar with an auction house’s procedures and how it operates before doing any business with it.
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