Whitham's guide to auction bidding

James has bought all manner of odd things at bike auctions and is no stranger to how the game is played. here are his tips on how to bag the bargain of your dreams...

Get there early, have a look, know exactly what you’re buying and don’t go over your pre-set limit. Some of the best stuff I’ve got at auctions is when I didn’t know much about a lot, but seen it wasn’t going for as much as I thought and had a nibble. I bought a lovely RD250DX like that. But that’s risky. Always have a clear cut-off point in your head where you’re going to stop bidding, and stick to it.

Bike auctions tend to be quite specialised. In that room the collective knowledge is huge, and that’s what you’re up against. There’s a geek for every model in there. It’s mega exciting in an auction and that’s why people get right into it. It’s so easy to get into a bidding war.

Say you’ve set your limit at £1,500. Another bloke gets there, so you give 16 hundred, then he goes 17, now what you going to do? It’s only £200. It’s not real money when you’re in there, it’s just a wave of the finger. You’ve got to be careful of yourself in there.

I’ve cooled off to this auction, to be honest. Stuff’s going for too much money. The fact that stuff is rare says to me that it’s shit, so I’m more interested in classic Hondas, stuff like that, but that’s the kind of stuff that fetches good money at gigs like this.

I get bored really easily so I find staying until the end quite difficult, but I do know some people who stay all the way to the end and have bagged a bargain because there were only three people at the end...

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