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: