I have been running our online live bidding system since we introduced it in May of 2007. In that time, I have spent more than 350 hours at our last 47 auctions, sitting at the screen, one hand on the mouse and the other hand on a plastic paddle waiting for your bids to arrive. I have seen what works with our system and what does not. Drawing on these experiences, I have come up with a list of simple things that I think will make your bidding experience better.
- Use a quality broad-band connection and a recommended browser: Our auctions move at a brisk pace (about 150-160 lots per hour) and the internet connections we use in the auction room are FAST. If you are using Wi-Fi, make sure your signal is strong. Better yet (if possible), use a wired connection. As for browsers, I am told that Safari will work but I would stick to one of the Big Three — Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.
- Bid Your Maximum As Soon As Possible: If you know what your maximum bid is for a given lot, bid it right away. Do not wait. If your max is $2,000 and the lot opens at $1,200, bid the $2,000 immediately. If there are no under-bidders, you’ll still get the lot at the lowest increment. The advantage is that you essentially freeze out any other internet bidders until someone outbids you and no other online bidder can beat you to $2,000. It also allows the HDH Live operator some room to help you get your price. When there is a lot of activity on a lot, we can better gauge where the increments are landing and get your bid in at the right time.
- The HDH Live Operator Wants You To Win: The day of an HDH live operator is a lonely one. There is no socializing, no walking the room, no food from the TRU buffet. It is just you and the screen. The only excitement in our day comes from your bids. We want you to win because it makes us feel like we win too!
- The Chat Function Is Almost Powerless: The HDH Live operators are limited in what we can do about bidding issues. Generally speaking, you probably want to contact our bid department if you (a) have issue with a bid you placed, (b) did not mean to place a bid (c) want to leave absentee bids, or (d) want to find out if you won or lost a lot. Our bid department can be reached at 312.854.0100 or firstname.lastname@example.org. That is almost always what we are going to tell you. You’ll get faster results by going directly to the source.
- “Winning” Lots Awarded To Another Paddle Is Not A Mistake: Do not be discouraged if you lose a lot for the same amount you bid. Our internet interface does not distinguish between bids that are absentee, telephone, or in the room. It is only internet bids or non-internet bids. For example, you may have bid $2,000 on a lot and your screen may say you are winning. However, if the auctioneer has an absentee bid of $2,000 in the book it will take it away from you (absentee bids always take priority in tie situations). Additionally, the other situation that could happen is if there are other live bids in the room all wanting $2,000 and the auctioneer takes the bid from a different bidder.
- Retracting Bids is Sometimes Necessary But Always Evil: Please try not to do this. I realize that sometimes it is required. At our fast pace, often the increment buttons change rapidly and bids are placed at the wrong amounts (another reason lesson #2 is so important). On our end, a withdrawn bid often results in re-opening the lot and starting the bidding process over again. The auctioneers do not like to do this. We want the auctioneers to be happy. They seem to see our paddle better when they are smiling.
- The Audio Feed Is On a Delay: Depending on the quality of your connection, there is the possibility of a slight delay when listening to the live sale audio. When bidding, we suggest taking your cues from the screen, not the audio.
Remember these lessons and I promise you will have a great experience bidding remotely via HDH Live. If you have any additional questions about bidding on HDH Live (other than registration) I’d be happy to talk with you personally. My direct line is 312.573.5594 or you can email me at email@example.com.