Mistakes To Avoid When Attending A Nautical Antique Auction

This is Part Two in our series on successful bidding (both in-person, and online) at nautical antique auctions. Part One may be read here.

There are many people all over the world who adore nautical items. Heading to an auction is a great way to add to your collection. Before you grab your wallet and head to an auction house, make sure that you are well prepared. Here are several mistakes you should try your best to avoid along the way.


Bidding Erroneously

You should never bid on an item unless you are absolutely sure that you want it. There are many people who like items, yet they are unsure if they actually want to go through with the purchase. If you bid on an item and you are the winner, you will be expected to pay. You will not be allowed to change your mind after you have heard the bang of the gavel.

Leaving Items Around

Once you have bid on an item and it is yours to keep, you should take it to your vehicle and secure it as soon as you can. You will have no recourse if you leave your things unattended and someone helps themselves. It may seem like a hassle to run outside every time you buy something, but this is better than buying some items and having someone else walk away with them.

Bidding Too High

If you are locked in a bidding war with another buyer, try your best not to bid more than necessary. For example, if you have your eye on a boat and it was estimated to sell for $60,000, you should not bid $50,000 if the last bid was $30,000. While you may see this as a way to ensure you end up with the item in question, it actually increases the chances that you will miss out on securing it for a much lower price. Also, remember the extra fee you will pay as the winner of any lot you bid on successfully- read more on the buyer’s premium here.

Being Too Competitive

There are some auction attendees who get so caught up in the idea of beating the competition that they lose their minds. The idea of bidding is to help you secure something that you actually want. The last thing you want to do is become so competitive that you bid on things that you really do not have a strong desire for. You may end up winning the item and regretting it later; be careful. Again, set the highest price you want to pay for a particular item, and stick with that number.

Forgetting A Chair

Sometimes auctions are so filled that there are no seats left. While it is possible to stand, this can make you tired and sour your mood when it comes to bidding on the items you want. The best way to avoid this issue is to bring a folding chair with you to the auction. Once you head in and it is clear that it is standing room only, head back to your car and grab your chair. You want to ensure that you have as much energy as possible when it comes to the bidding.

Failing To Double-Check Boxes

In the event that you are bidding on an entire box of nautical items, you need to verify that everything is actually in the box. Unfortunately, there are some sellers that will remove items after you people have attended the preview. As a result, buyers end up with lots that are missing desirable items. (A Lot is the term for a single item, or a group of items sold together at an auction.) Take a quick glance into any boxes you plan to bid on before the auction gets started.


Attending an auction can be very exciting and result in procuring items that you may not have had access to otherwise. With that said, make sure that you avoid making any of these mistakes if you want to have a positive experience and walk away with a smile on your face.

Thank you for reading our second post in this series. Article Three can be read at this link

For a few more tips on bidding at auction, we recommend this video on the subject:

How To Buy At Maritime Auctions – Some Tips

Auctions are a popular topic: from online services like eBay, to in-person establishments such as Christie’s, millions of dollars are spent per year on purchases made at auctions. Auctions can be general– meaning that all types of items are bought and sold at a particular one- as well as themed. Themed auctions center on specific types of items, such as cars, coins, or the particular estates or sales originating from an individual or group.

In our next article series, we will focus on a specific type of auction: the maritime auction. In addition to discussing the basics of this type, we will introduce tips on bidding, as well as mistakes to avoid.

ship lightAntique Ship’s Light

Before we get into the detailed tips on how you should buy items at a maritime auction, let us first take a look at the different auction houses that sell maritime pieces.

If you search for it online, you will see that there are major maritime auction houses in the United States and the United Kingdom that offer antique flags, scuba diving helmets and other pieces used at sea at least 50 years or so before. Many of them also sell maritime art.

The major maritime auction houses include Bonhams, Charles Miller, among others. How do you buy at these auction houses? Well, the first thing you need to do is to look at the items in their lot. Is there something that you want to have? Remember that things bought at auction cost you money. You don’t want to regret your decision bidding for things in the heat of the moment and not truly asking yourself BEFORE the bidding if you want the item in question.
If you do find something that you absolutely want, do more research on it. Ask about its history and its value in the maritime industry. Some auction houses do allow you to inspect the item before the bidding starts. You should take advantage of this fact by paying these houses a visit. If you’re not able to make personal visit, ask for more pictures on top of the ones you see on the website. One good place to begin researching those potential purchases is the National Maritime Historical Society website.

Once bidding starts, go ahead and place your bid. Please take note, the price that closes at the banging of the gavel is just the price of the item. Auction houses typically charge commissions of 10% to 15%, sometimes more. Also, in the case of online auctions, they charge you for using their website on top of the commission. You can avoid paying this charge by being there when the auction happens, and if you can’t make it, by phoning in your bids.  If you want to buy at the lowest possible bid, you could also ask the auction house to bid on your behalf.

When you win the bid, pay as soon as you can. Pay within five days because after that, you will often be charged a storage fee by some houses.

What items can you buy at a maritime auction house? All sorts of items. While maritime art,  diving masks, flags, and ship models are common, there are other items that you can get at auction: Naval and Nelson memorabilia, rowing-related objects, and nautical instruments, among others. You can also bid on mariner’s craftwork, like dioramas.

People have different reasons for buying a specific item at auction. Some do it for sentimental reasons, while others do it to gain a trophy prize. Whatever reason for choosing a particular maritime item for bidding, you are not excluded from determining whether or not that item is really what your heart desires. It also does not exempt you from doing due diligence on the item in question.

If you want to sell your item to an auction house, you can do so. But prepared though because the price that you want may not be the price that the item will be sold for. It all depends on the valuation done by the auction house. Aside from selling directly to the auction house, you could also put your item on consignment, which means that it will stay with the auction house until someone bids on it and wins it.

Aside from the official valuation, demand for your item will also determine its closing price. Typically, you will know what the final price is within two hours before the auction closes, although this can vary.

Thank you for reading Part One in our series on Maritime Auctions; Part Two can be read at this link

Diction of Flight – Taking Writing Higher

It is very common: you have a need for a service, you do not know where to turn for good information, and so you begin your search online.

You may have begun by asking a friend for a referral or review of the offering in question. Either way, in modern life we invariably begin such a search by looking to “trusted” sources for reviews of goods and services. Such sources may be good, useful and trustworthy; others may steer us in the wrong direction.

We aim higher. Period. We at PHP Roger aim to earn the trust necessary of a good article and review site. Not only that, after looking through the best of the best, we expect to offer excellent items for sale here on the site. If we love a product or service, we expect you to love it too. Thus we will offer value to you, our readers.

Please check back often, and thank you again.