Auction Philippines: Etiquette Lessons for First-Timers

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What are the most basic etiquette rules for auctions that everyone must follow?

  1. Bid on items you want
  2. Leave lots as they are
  3. Converse quietly
  4. Don’t spout insults
  5. Don’t interrupt the auctioneer
  6. Don’t steal

Auctions in the Philippines can be pretty overwhelming. There’s that initial excitement you feel as you walk through the doors and see the lots. Then you feel a bit of stress and pressure because of your desire to acquire a good deal. Under these conditions, people, especially first-timers, tend to forget their manners or leave it by the door. Although understandable, it is still unacceptable.

Auction attendees are expected to behave a certain way regardless of whether it’s their first time or not. People will hold you to a standard that you must be able to meet. If you don’t, then you’re bound to make enemies or get chastised. At best, you’ll get by with a warning. But if you’re actions were grave and inexcusable, then you may find yourself banned or blacklisted from auctions.

Punishments and dismissals are the things you want to avoid during an auction. What you want instead is to have a good time, make a few friends, and snag some cheap deals. Quite frankly, it’s not hard to achieve these things. You need only to act appropriately and respectable. The ways to do so are listed below so just keep on reading!



Bid on Items You Want

Bidding on items you have no interest in unnecessarily raises the price for the people who actually want them. Some people do this for fun. They think it makes the event more exciting and enjoyable, especially when it comes to seeing people emptying their wallets for items. What’s irritating is that others would even sell the items to the people who originally wanted them, making the auction process pointless.

Auction-goers want to leave the event happy knowing they got good and cheap deals, but they won’t be able to do this if someone continues to artificially push the bids up. So, if you don’t want to make enemies, stick to the items you truly want and only bid on those.

Leave Lots as They Are

Some auctions put items together and sell them in lots. Auctioneers assemble these lots for a reason and your only job as a prospective bidder is to respect that. You can’t pick items from certain lots and collect them into another like a treasure box. Not only is this bad etiquette, it also delays the auction because then auctioneers have to prioritize re-organizing the lots.

If the items you want are in multiple separate lots, then bid on all of them. You may end up with things you don’t really want, but that’s a problem for you to solve. You can make deals with other bidders who may want items you don’t want from lots you acquired. Or simply sell them at a different shop later on.


Converse Quietly

Auctioneers are required to talk through the entire auction and it won’t help if they have to shout over the voices of chatty bidders. Loud conversations that have are completely unrelated to the event only makes the auctioneer’s job harder. If you really intend to take part in a conversation you have three choices: keep your voice low, take it somewhere else or don’t talk at all if you can’t follow the first two.

The only time you’re allowed to speak is when you’re making a bid or asking about the lots. Other than that, stay patient and quiet for the sake of the auctioneer and your fellow bidders.

Don’t Spout Insults

One of the easiest ways to make enemies and get reprimanded in an auction house is to talk badly about the people and/or the items. Doing one of the two is guaranteed to earn you hate and anger. Despite the consequences, however, some people still love to do it.

They insult the items and point out how worthless they are without any concern for the thoughts of the auctioneer and the bidders who want them. They’re also rude to bidders who overly bid on items that they see no worth in like it’s any of their business. People who act this way ruin the fun for everybody, so don’t be one of them.

Don’t Interrupt the Auctioneer

Auctions can draw on for hours on end and bidders do get bored waiting for the items/lots they want to bid on. But this isn’t a reason to interrupt the auctioneer and demand him/her to hurry along.

Everything in an auction is planned out perfectly from the way lots are put together to the order in which they are put up for auction. It’s bad etiquette to ask the host to speed up and get to what you want and disregards the feelings of other bidders who want to bid on the current lots.

Don’t Steal

It’s a little absurd that this has to be said, but the reality is it needs to. You will be surprised at the number of people who steal items from lots prior to the start of the auction. Or those that steal from other bidders at the end of it. Stealing isn’t just bad etiquette, it’s against the law and is sure to come with dire consequences.

You’re lucky if you only get banned from the auction house because there are worst things that could happen – trust us.

Key Takeaway

Auctions in the Philippines aren’t that different from auctions in foreign countries. These etiquette rules are universal and applicable to all kinds of auctions. Following the things listed above will allow you to build rapport with auctioneers and bidders who you may see again in the future. And even if you have no intention of making friends, it’s still best to avoid making enemies.

Moreover, acting appropriately during actions earns you respect. People will treat you better and take you more seriously. It’s the perfect way to conceal the fact that you are a beginner who actually doesn’t know entirely what he/she is doing.