Everything you ever wanted to know about Auction Bingo. I mean Lingo…
I remember one of the first auctions I ever went to. I was an adult. It was cold. It was drizzly. I was pregnant. I was tired of waiting. My husband was buying things that I saw no purpose for at all while waiting for the one thing he (note, he, not me) really came to the auction for. (“But it will look neat hanging up on the wall” he said…”Not in MY house”, I said”…)
And then there was the lingo…
Sometimes it did feel like playing Bingo…Unless you know what B2, N34, free space, horizontal, diagonal, black out, and four corners mean, you can’t play Bingo. At least not well. Same with auctions. You know, the auctioneer calls out a lot and people start pulling out their bid cards. Instead of marking their cards with the item, they start raising their hands, nodding their heads, or yelling “Yep!” as the auctioneer rattles off a bunch of mumbly gobbledygook. And then, when someone finally wins the item, it’s almost as if they got “Bingo!”. Some of them are so excited you would think they forgot they had to pay for the item later on. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment.
So anyway, in the next couple of blogs, I’m going to help try make some sense out of some common auction lingo terminology, so that you, too, can play the game. Please note, that like in Bingo, these terms have been drawn and explained in no particular order.
Bid: While this should be obvious, a bid is the amount of money you are willing to pay for an item. You will let the auctioneer know you are bidding by holding up your hand, number, nodding, or some other form of obvious communication. And I mean obvious. Because if the auctioneer doesn’t know you are bidding, how is he going to know to acknowledge your bid?
Absentee Bid/Absentee Bidder: Ok, you know what a bid is, and you know what it means to be absent, right? It means you’re not there. So an absentee bid is when you give the auction company the maximum amount you are willing to bid (and ultimately pay) for an item. Then someone from their staff bids on your behalf for that item, up to your max bid if necessary. So you’re bidding, but you’re absent. It’s like having a friend bid for you. We have a video here explaining more about absentee bids.
Bid Increment: This is the amount that a bid is raised after one bid has been accepted. The auctioneer has set increments in her head that she will jump to as a matter of course. Obviously, she could change her mind and jump the next bid a smaller amount ($5 instead of a $10 jump) depending on the audience and how the bidding on the floor is going.
Bid Card/Bid Number: When you check in to the auction (giving them your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address), you will be given a bid card with a number on it. This is your Bingo card, so to speak. Whenever you see something you want to bid on, you’ll raise this card (or some other obvious to the auctioneer signal) that you are bidding. When you win, the auctioneer needs to be able to see your number so the clerk can record that you won that item. Often people will bring along a pen or pencil and write on their bid cards the item they won and how much they paid for it. This helps them to keep track of how many things they bought, and what their grand total will come close to being.
Appraisal: When something has been appraised, you are given an estimated value for the item. Keep in mind that the price an item has been appraised at, might not be what it fetches at an auction. For example, an auctioneer might say that he has seen a specific item go for upwards of $100, but depending on the auction, the item might only sell for $50. On the other hand, it might sell for $150. It all depends on who wants it, and how badly they want it.
Auction Price: This is the actual price an item sells for at an auction.
Chant: This is when the auctioneer really gets going and lets numbers and words roll off his tongue as a part of the bidding process. Usually, you will hear the current bid price and the next bid increment being asked for (along with a few other words…real or otherwise…). Don’t worry if you can’t understand all the words. Just listen for the prices and for the all-important, “Going once, going twice, GONE (or SOLD!)!”. Then you know you (or someone else) just won the Bingo game for that round.
As Is: Often as part of terms, you need to know that you are buying something “as is”, with no warranties or guarantees. This means simply that you are purchasing the item for the bid price in whatever condition it currently is in. You can’t come back later and say, “Hey, I thought it was in perfect condition. I didn’t notice that crack there,” and expect to get your money back. Kind of like saying “Bingo!” when you hear B7 but thought B11 was called. You aren’t guaranteed a Bingo…
Well, at this point, it’s time to take a short break to allow you to go get some food from the concession vendor (they’re the people selling food and drink at the auction). If you’re reading this at home, the vendor is your fridge. Stay tuned to our next blog for a few more terms that you can mark off on your Bingo Auction Lingo Card.