To bid at a live antiques auction, register with the auction house by filling out a registration form and providing identification and a credit card or bank reference. When approved, the auction house provides a numbered paddle for use during the auction to place or raise a bid.
Auction houses proved a catalog for each auction held that lists the items up for bid. Items are displayed with a picture, a description, an estimated value and a lot number. Make note of the items that interest you by writing down the lot number and listen for that number during the auction. Many auction houses also make the items available to inspect and handle before the auction begins.
To open a bid, raise your paddle after the auctioneer calls for bidding to begin at whatever price he states. If or when another person bids, the price of the item usually rises in increments of 10 percent of the initial bidding price. Continue to raise your paddle to bid on a desired item until it passes your maximum bid amount or you win the bid. To increase the bid by more than the predetermined amount, call out the amount when you next raise the paddle. After the bid ends, the auctioneer calls out the number of the bid winner and a descriptive detail about the person to eliminate any confusion about to whom the item belongs.