Once the bidding starts, the noise and tension can often be intimidating, especially auction newbies.
Attending one of these events is often a necessity for any company using heavy equipment as so much money can be saved.
Before jumping right into the bidding, there are a number of things that should be known in order to have a successful outcome.
Allergies - or Bids? Tales about situations where someone accidentally bids on an expensive item simply by scratching their nose are usually just that - tales.
Dealers at heavy equipment auctions are trained to know the difference between someone rubbing their nose and someone actually raising a bid, so such an occurrence is highly unlikely although admittedly certainly not impossible.
So any participant should be certain that the auctioneer is aware of their interest before the sale starts as well as during it by knowing what cues a caller relies upon to indicate an interested bidder.
There are a few ways to be noticed by an auctioneer.
Before the auction actually begins and while the item is being described, make eye contact with the caller.
If a bidder follows the caller's eyes until they meet and maintains that eye contact or makes some other type of positive gesture before the sale starts, such action indicates an interest in the item up being sold.
It is more likely that the auctioneer will look toward that person frequently throughout the process because of an apparent expressed interest in the item.
Active Communication Once the sale is in full swing, things move fast and interested parties must be ready to act quickly to gain the caller's attention.
It is generally accepted that a raised hand, a bidding card, or even an auction program in the air is a positive interested signal to the auctioneer, who will then look to that person as the sale continues.
Late arrivals will find it a little harder to get the caller's attention of the caller and may need to call out, whistle or make some other obvious sound to catch the attention of the caller to show an interest in the active bidding process.
When it has been established that someone is actively bidding, maintaining eye contact or even just a nod is usually enough to signal acceptance of the raised amount.
This is where the most care must be given; a statement of interest has been established and an accidental signal could very well be understood as a bid.
Dropping Out Active participants who want to drop out of the activity can usually do so very easily by shaking their head to signal "No" when the auctioneer turns to them looking for a reply.
From that point on, intentional eye contact with the caller should be avoided to avoid confusion and accidentally end up back in the bidding.
Heavy equipment sales can be loud, fast and very exciting events; however, there is no reason for to not get involved in the sales action.
Observing one of these events prior to participating is a great way to watch the action as it happens and learn the techniques used, understanding that avoiding eye contact with the caller is essential if just watching.
Observing the cues that others use and remembering eye contact when the time comes will allow even newcomers to walk away from an auction feeling like a pro!