Everything You Could Ever Need To Make A Killing At Auction | Why People Sell At Auctions

Everything You Could Ever Need To Make A Killing At Auction | Why People Sell At Auctions


Goods Are Sold at Auctions For Any Number of Reasons … Now YOU Can Cash in!

“One Man’s Loss is Another’s Gain so Now’s The Time to Grab a Great Deal at Auction”

How to make a killing by buying heavily discounted goods at auction …


There are probably as many reasons why people sell at auction as there are auctions.

Everyone’s circumstances are different. The reasons why goods and property are put up for auction rather than being sold through a private sale vary enormously. It’s very rare indeed for the real reason why something is being put up for auction to be disclosed. However, trying to understand why people sell at auction can help you enormously when it comes to picking up a bargain.

While we were preparing this guide we contacted a wide range of auctioneers as well as traders who make their living buying and selling at auction. Here’s a list what they consider to be the top ten reasons why people sell at auction:

- A property being sold at auction may have belonged to someone who died in testate.

- The property has been repossessed by a bank or building society — such repossessions occur at all levels of the property spectrum, and while they are at their highest levels during recessions, they happen all the time.

- Disposable property — commonly an old barn on a farm, or painting, or antique — is often put up for auction when times are hard and cash is needed urgently.

- Anonymous disposal — a company that made a mistake and bought too much stock; they want to sell something quietly without advertising the fact through a private sale. An auction is the perfect vehicle.

- Quick disposal — if you want to sell something quickly (especially antiques and collectibles) — and you want your money fast without having to wait months to make a potentially better private sale — then an auction is the way to go.

- Auctions are the favoured way for large companies and government agencies and departments, for example the Ministry of Defence, to dispose of unwanted assets quickly.

- Some people believe (wrongly) that they will always get a higher price at auction.

- Many people don’t want the bother of placing an advertisement and dealing with potential purchasers involved with a private sale. For them an auction is much less trouble.

- Auctions are perfect places to dispose of goods taken in part exchange or demonstration models.

- Goods that are approaching the end of their useful lives — such as high mileage vehicles — and whose faults and deficiencies quickly show up at a private sale, are usually sent for auction.

Different Auction Types

Make a Killing at Auctions: Different Auction Types

Get familiar with the different types of auctions selling a vast array of auction lots…


The range of auctions that take place is extremely wide and you can buy almost anything, from a house to an endowment policy and everything in-between. Indeed some of the more interesting recent developments have been the use of the Internet both as a means of disseminating information about various auctions and as a vehicle for hosting auctions themselves.

Here’s a short description of the most common types of auction. We will look at the first four of these in more detail in the second part of this book.

Government, Bankruptcy and General Auctions

Government and General Auctions are amongst the most common auctions to be found today.

Here you find a vast range of materials that have to be sold by various government bodies, for example: HM Customs & Excise, the Official Receiver, the Ministry of Defence, local councils and authorities, liquidators, as well as material put up for auction by companies and members of the public.

Also in this group you will find auctions ordered by executors who are entering the assets of individuals who have perhaps died in testate (those who have died without leaving a will), or in debt.

One of the most interesting bodies to look out for at auction is HM Customs & Excise who may be entering at auction various items seized from smugglers, fraudsters and racketeers.

Motor Vehicle and Car Auctions

Here you can buy anything from a clapped out banger to a brand new top-of-the-range model; from a run-of-the-mill family saloon to a rare collector’s item. Not only are motor auctions an ideal place to pick up a bargain — if you know what to look for (and we will explain this in detail) — but they can often be an entertaining evening out.

Land & Property Auctions

For the ordinary person land and property auctions can be quite daunting as they are places where they can see literally tens of thousands of pounds of hard-earned cash change hands in a few minutes.

However, knowing the ropes at land and property auctions can allow you to pick up residential and investment properties at knock-down prices. In this guide we explain how they work.

Antiques and Collectibles Auctions

Auctions of antiques and collectibles are fascinating places and hold the opportunity for making serious money. If through your knowledge (and luck) you can spot a bargain at one auction, snap it up, and sell it on at another.

Internet Auctions

With a potential audience of 300 million people who are already on-line, the Internet is the most exciting part of the auction world at the moment. Led by sites in the United States but closely followed by UK auction houses, specialist Internet auctions are springing up all over the place, selling everything from antiques and collectibles to holidays, air travel, brand new computers, and household equipment.


If you fancy being the Lord of the Manor then you can buy a hereditary title at auction. Every year several of these specialist auctions take place and quite apart from the value to someone who wants to be addressed as Baron or M’Lord, they are enormously entertaining for anyone interested in people watching.

Insurance Policies

For anyone with a keen eye for a bargain, auctions of second-hand endowment policies can be an excellent place to pick up a bargain. The attraction is that someone else has already paid substantially to set up the policy in the first place, and you will be able (with the help of your trusty financial calculator) to calculate its real worth and decide whether it’s worth your while snapping it up.

On-Site Auctions

Sometimes when the stock or assets of a company are simply too vast or too bulky for an auction house to transport to their own premises and store, they will hold an auction within the confines of the bankrupt company itself.

You could find yourself bidding for items which are still plugged in, and the great advantage of these auctions taking place on the premises is that you have the opportunity to view the goods as they were being used, and you may be able to try them out. You can also avoid the possibility of goods being damaged whilst they are being removed as you can do it yourself or at least supervise the activity.

Private Treaty Sales

Occasionally, when you are looking at an auction catalogue, you will note that some of the items have been withdrawn. Usually these goods have been sold by ‘private treaty’.

This means that the goods have already been sold off, usually to a trader or dealer on a private, behind-the-scenes basis before they have had a chance to be offered at the auction sale.

These goods are rarely in single lots — photocopiers or fax machines would generally be sold in bulk lots for instance. Occasionally lots might include the contents of a ladies’ fashion store, a newsagents or even a fleet of cars or dump trucks.

If you are interested in private treaty sales then it is essential to make yourself known to the various auctioneers and act fast. Usually dealers and traders who are interested in private treaty auction sales will be on an auctioneer’s mailing list, and as soon as the auction catalogue is published they will be on the scene putting in their bid for large lots of stock.



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