Going Once! Going Twice! Going… for the First Time?

The Enlightened Auction-Goer: The top local sales, first-timer strategies, and how to turn your junk into someone else’s treasure.

Learn To Talk Like The Pros

Like any business, auctions have specialized lingo, and knowing the vocabulary has its perks. Beyond utter basics like lot (the grouping of objects offered for sale as a single unit) and proxy bidding (letting an auctioneer bid up to a preset price in your stead), there’s all-out-battle slang. Bidding war you no doubt know, but what about sniping: placing a crushing, last-second bid to swoop in and steal an item? Also watch out for invisible sellers, auctioneers who covertly sell off their own belongings; deadbeat bidders, people who don’t pay for an item they win; and the most ominous of all, bid jumpers—experienced buyers who bid really high, really early not only to save time but also to scare off the newbies. -Alyson  Sheppard