by Rob Weiman
So, you want to go to auctions, …
but you can’t find any.
Here is how to find auctions in your area.
Auctions are everywhere, and nowhere, if you know how to find them they are all over, if you don’t know where to look they can almost be like a unicorn, you have heard lots of stories about them but you have never seen one yourself.
I wrote this guide to help teach you how to find auctions
in your local area.
The auction portals in this guide appear in no particular order. All have pluses and minuses, I will try to show you both.
You can’t hardly turn on cable TV and not see an auction show, there’s Storage Wars, Storage Wars Texas, Storage Wars New York, Storage Wars Canada, Barry’d Treasure, Married to the Job on A&E, Auction Kings on Discovery, The Barrett–Jackson car auction on Speed, Auction Hunters, and Auction Hunters Pawn Shop Edition on Spike, Cash in the Attic on HGTV, Baggage Battles on Travel, Container Wars, and Storage Hunters on truTV, Hollywood Treasure on SyFy. Then there were the shows about auctions that came and went so fast you might have missed them, Money Brarn and Salvage City on Discovery, The Real Deal on History, Ready Aim Sold!, and Sold! on History, Auctioneer$ on TLC, Auction Packed on Nat Geo.
All of these shows were about auctions in one form or another, storage auctions, container auctions, gun auctions, collectibles auctions, baggage auctions, movie and TV auctions, and consignment auctions. The public seems to want to see more about auctions. As an auctioneer in the business I started wondering if the pubic really has any idea just how many auctions are going on every single day in every single asset class everywhere in the World? I also wonder if they know just how easy it is to get themselves plugged in to this sub-culture and develop a money making hobby or a new job.
There are several auction portals that can lead you to auctions, here are my favorites:
How to find Auctions by members of
The National Auctioneers Association: auctioneers.org
The National Auctioneers Association has a portal for you to find auctions by their members. You can search by keyword, by auction, item, and real estate, by date, or by auction company.
How to find Auctions by members of
State Auction Associations:
Most states have auctioneers associations have a web site. To find these sites search on your states name and the words auctioneers association, in Missouri you might search on Missouri Auctioneers Association which will return the website of the Missouri Professional Auctioneers Association. What you want to look for there is the Find an Auction link. These links will point you to auctions by auctioneers from you local state auctioneers association.
How to find Auctions on Bidopia
(from Ocala, Florida) lists auctions all over the US. Bidopia (also known as Auctionflex) features all types of auctions (which the list by categories on their front page. from collectibles, coins, guns, farm equipment, real estate (residential, land, commercial, condos, farms, and timberland, and more).
You will only find auctions on Bidopia, in-person auctions (they call these live auctions), Live auctions with internet absentee bidding, Live auctions with webcast bidding, and Internet-only (timed) auctions. These auctions show up on Bidopia as different color pins on the front page map. You can filter the results on the map by time by using the slider, or by type of auction by using the selection buttons or by both. Zoom in and out to find your area by using the + and- signs on the left side of the map. Bidopia features a responsive website, and is known in the auction industry as being one of the industry high tech leaders. To find auctions by your favorite auctioneer in Bidopia you might have to do some serious searching as they do not support this function yet (I am told it will be supported in an upcoming release.)
Bidopia returns it’s search results in a list format, and it does support Boolean searches.
For instance on Bidopia: “comic book” – will search for that exact phrase
comic book – will search for comic and book
comic or book – will search for comic or book
You can’t search for multiple exact phrases simultaneously “comic book” or “post card”
I will have more on Boolean searches in an upcoming post.
Here is a list of the main categories from their site:
Antiques & Collectibles (7121)
Business & Industrial (1878)
Cars & Trucks (425)
Coins & Paper Money (3124)
Computers & Networking (27)
Consumer Electronics (220)
Estate & Personal Property (3895)
Farm & Ranch (563)
Heavy Equipment (240)
Jewelry & Watches (834)
Musical Instruments (32)
Other Vehicles (38)
Pottery & Glass (224)
Real Estate (125)
Sporting Goods (963)
Sports Cards & Memorabilia (175)
Toys & Hobbies (277)
How to find Auctions on EstateSales.net
This site features both estate sales and auction listings. If you are looking for estate sales (known in parts of the country as Tag Sales) look for the little price tag icon. Estatesales.net identifies auctions and auction listings by a gavel icon. Estatesales.net also lists on-line only auctions denoted by a small globe icon.
You can search for the item you want nationwide by using the search box in the top right of the home page. Say you want to find coins, simply type that into the box in the top right corner. You can also click on the map and automatically see the auctions and estate sales in your area. Once you click on a state you can further refine you search by entering a zip code or by selecting a city.
There are a lot of auctions on EstateSales.net and due to the name, it is a place many people would not think to look for an auction. EstateSales.net also allows auctioneers to list auctions with direct links to their online bidding platform (many other sites do not allow auctioneers to do this). This is causing a rush of auctioneers to their platform away from sites like auctionzip.
EstateSales.net returns it’s search results in a list format, and it does support Boolean searches.
How to find Auctions on Auctionguy.com
Most auction sites stop at the border, not auctionguy. This site will help you find auctions in both the US, and in Canada.
Auctionguy has an auction map to let you drill down to your area, it will also let you browse by location, auction company or date. There is also a search feature that will let you find auctions by item (eg. Ford F150).
Auctionguy returns it’s search results in a list format, and it does not support Boolean searches.
How to find Auctions on Auctionzip.com
Auctionzip is one of the first auction aggragator sites. They are centered around finding local auctions by zip code, hence their name.
They do not have a map interface but instead let the user put in a zip code, and how far to look for auctions from that zip code (30, 50,100, 150, 250, 500, any miles) and let the user either search for all auctions in that range or limit the results to only auctions with a particular keyword in them. For example you could look for auctions centered on my zip code 63042 and then say within 30 miles which would find all the auction within 30 miles of my zip code. If I wanted to find a particular item you would simply type it into the search bar when you did your search.
Auctionzip returns it’s search results in a calendar format, and it does not support Boolean searches.
Here is a list of auctionzip’s category Home Pages
How to find Auctions on Lotnut
Lotnut is a website that aggregates lots. According to the site “LotNut is NOT an online bidding platform. LotNut is an advanced item level search site that makes it easy for you to find items offered for sale at online auctions. It is a showcase for items that an auctioneer has for sale, no matter what bidding platform they are sold on.”
Lotnut brings auctions from different auction sites together in one place and allows you to search for the lots you are interested in. Give it a spin, you will like it.