Do you require a paddle to bid at Auction?
You may have seen paddles used on celebrity auctions such as The Block or at auctions in NSW, however, in Victoria (the auction capital of Australia) we do not need to register to bid at auction.
This makes using a paddle an unnecessary accessory. Typically a paddle is used to easily identify a bidder. In Victoria our hands seem to work just as well.
Yet one agency (who seems to lead the charge as far as ingenious tactics are concerned to get buyers to pay more for a property) has come up with a new initiative which is to offer bidders a “paddle” for the Auction.
How does this happen and why?
The week prior to an Auction the selling agent will phone each person who has inspected the property in an attempt to determine how many “interested” parties will be in attendance at the weekends auction (and also answer any questions about the property, auction, or contract of sale). But mostly the objective is to determine how successful the sales campaign has been. The results of this process are then used to guide the vendor in setting a realistic reserve price come auction day.
Low interest in a property results in a low reserve and higher interest usually determines a higher reserve price. If the outcome of this ring-around alerts the agent to a lack of interest the agent will employ strategies to encourage bidders to show up and bid on auction day. (We will discuss these strategies in a later article.) Buyers are wise not to share their intentions to bid with the agent, however one clever agency has come up with a new way to find out whether you will be bidding by asking “Will you require a paddle for this week’s auction?”.
The natural conclusion for new buyers is that if they do intend to bid they need a paddle and therefore need to inform the agent during the pre-auction ring-around. The answer is no. You do not need a paddle to bid in Victoria.
This new initiative is just a clever way for the agent to work our how many punters they can expect come auction day.
What to do when asked if you would like a paddle
Simply decline. Unless the auction rules state that you require a paddle to bid you are within your right to attend the auction and bid whether you have a paddle or not.
You can arrive at the auction without anyone knowing your intention to bid and it would be wise to keep your intentions to yourself because the selling agent will use your feedback to guide the vendors expectations.
If you are a buyer bidding at auction keep your bidding intentions to yourself. If you find it challenging to know how to deal with agents and often not know what to say or what not to say, a buyer’s advocate can help guide you through the process removing a lot of the stress and potentially save you additional money also.