On The Square

Why Estate Auctions Online Are a Great Way to Find Rare & Unique Collectibles

By Bidsquare

Sep 06,2022 | 15:00 EDT

When you think of online auctions, it’s easy to imagine items going for tens of thousands of dollars all of the time. For many, million dollar auction headlines go well beyond what anyone would ever imagine spending on vintage or antique collectibles. Yet, we'll let you in on a little secret, estate auctions online happen to be a great way to find rare and unique collectibles at surprisingly decent prices.

Lot 158, The Pop-Up Pinocchio,  Blue Ribbon Books 1932 1st edition. Sold for $100

Estate auctions are treasure chests filled with unexpected items waiting to be explored. You can find collectibles ranging from first edition books, rare coins, and handbags to sports memorabilia and toys. Items you might otherwise spend a premium on in a store can be bought for a fraction of the price in estate auctions online. So, how do you manage to snag these items? Besides luck and a guardian auction angel, there are steps that can increase your odds for scooping up a win in any online estate auction!

Lot 1405, After Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Printed porcelain plate. Sold for $100

First, navigate your mouse to Bidsquare's top search bar and enter 'estate auction' - behold! A search page with over a thousand results will be available to you. Navigate helpful categories to refine your search if you have something specific in mind such as: Jewelry, Fine Art, Collectibles, Pop Culture, 20th Century, etc. Once you land on an item of interest, click the 'Register to Bid' button - you’ll be approved faster by auction houses if you're a repeat customer or if you've submitted background information for their review, when prompted, to participate in their events.

Lot 235, Four mid-century plastic butane lighters. Sold for $120

While you’re waiting for the estate auction to begin, scroll through the multitudes of catalogs and upcoming inventory to add favorites to your profile. Choose items that you'd like to keep an eye on so you don't have to go finding it all over again. This will come in handy when the bidding gets started - Bidsquare notifies you when an item you saved is about to come up on the auction block. 

Before the auction starts, ask yourself how much you're willing to spend. Once you bid on an item and win it’s yours! We advise that beginners never bid more than what their really willing to pay (beware of the thrill of the moment!). Use your earmarked Favorite's list to prepare your spend limit on each item - you can easily view and prioritize the items from first to last. This way, you have more money to spend on the items you really, really want to win.

Checking lot numbers will also help you understand what time your item will come up in the auction. Depending on the pace of the sale, some online estate auctions can last all day. The lower the lot number, the closer the item appears to the start of the sale and vice versa. If you want to increase your chances of winning, be sure to keep a clear schedule for live bidding time - you won't want any distractions while you’re busy competing online. When your item finally comes up, simply enter the amount you’d like to bid and press the 'bid now' button or wait for the automatic next bid increment to appear and click to enter the auction arena.

Lot 328h, Louis Vuitton Monogram Ellipse PM M51127 Women's Handbag. Sold for $648

Another pointer about bidding in online auctions is that they start slow and end quick. Bidding will get more hectic and rapid towards the end of a bidding war. If you really want to win that designer bag, wait until the last fair warning to submit your bid. Similar to any auction, estate auctions online can lead to a flurry of competition. However, every once in a blue moon, you might have zero competition to get an item you want and your bid will go unchallenged!

Online auctions are a great way to find rare and unique collectibles that you can get for a fraction of the price compared to what you'd normally spend. Just remember to prioritize your budget and don't forget to enjoy the adrenaline rush of bumping off someone else's bid to take home the cake!



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With new auctions added daily, we're always ripe for the picking. Be sure to check Bidsquare's monthly finds for little bits of wonderful from every catalog. 

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