Getting Started With Live Tractor Auctions


Anybody looking to buy a tractor will tell you that they’re looking to get the best deal they can find. For some, this means searching for used equipment, and in cases looking for a diamond in the rough in places where others may not be looking. One of the places buyers can search for that deal is at an auction. No, we’re not talking about buying a tractor on eBay (though that is an option), we’re talking about good old real world live auctions. In addition to opening up a whole world of potential deals,  live auctions can provide quite a bit of entertainment!

Today, it is easier than ever to find items at upcoming live and simulcast auctions. But for some, there is still a level of apprehension on what you may be able or required to do at the event. So we’ve put together this article to help you get started in the world of live auctions. Lets start with pre-sale research and registration.


Searching for an item is straight forward, using a site like can help you seek out a specific item or model number and locate the upcoming events that match your interests. Browsing your local state can also give you some idea on what is available in your area, and perhaps give you an opportunity to attend a local sale to get a feel of what happens at a live auction without the pressure of getting the item that you have been waiting for.


Like all businesses, when you register the auction company wants to know who you are and how you are going to pay. Usually a drivers license is all you need to register, but if you are a new bidder planning a large purchase of items worth 10’s of thousands of dollars, it is best that you contact the auction company in advance to confirm their policies. The more comfortable you and the auctioneer are with each other in advance, the smoother the day will go for everyone. Upon registration you will be provided with a bidding card with your own unique bidding number on it.

You might find just what you're looking for at a live auction. Tractors and equipment of all sizes can be found if you keep your eyes on local auction listings.
You might find just what you’re looking for at a live auction. Tractors and equipment of all sizes can be found if you keep your eyes on local auction listings.


The auctioneer chant can be very mesmerizing and entertaining at the same time. Be sure to listen carefully and understand exactly what item is selling and at what price. If you are looking to buy a major item first time out , you maybe should buy a few small items from the rack or smalls trailer earlier on just to be more comfortable with the process. Winning a dollar item is better than losing your shirt overbidding on a major item.

Bidding is done as simply as raising your bidding card if the price is at a point where you want to pay. Usually the auctioneer will start at a level where he thinks it will end up, and then keep dropping his asking price until he gets someone to place the first bid. Once he has that first bid he will then ask for a higher bid in a preset increment and continue this until there is no one still interested in bidding again. The high bidder at this point will then be the buyer of this item. At any point in the bidding process you can raise your card and place a bid.

Buyers Premiums and Fees

Be sure you understand if there are any additional fees that will increase the true cost more than your bidding price. These can sometimes include a credit card fee, online bidding fee, or just a straight buyers premium on every item. The buyers fee can seem like an extra amount that the auctioneer is making, but in many cases it is the entire amount of his commission that has to cover all his expenses. Be sure to set a bidding limit for yourself that includes all these fees so you don’t pay more than you thought you would.


If you are done buying at the sale, you can go to the payment window at anytime and pay for your items. Most auctioneers take cash, credit/debit cards and good checks, but be sure you inquire beforehand. This is not the time to have a problem.

Pickup / Shipping

Usually once you have paid for the item, you should be able to immediately pickup that item and head home with it. If you need to return with a trailer be sure to confirm when that is and if loading services are available if required.

Simulcast Events

Many live auctions have the ability for buyers to attend virtually, allowing you to sit at home and hear, sometimes watch video, and most importantly you are able to bid on that item from the comfort of your pajamas in real time against bidders in attendance at the live auction.

Timed Online Only Auctions

Many auction companies now host regularly scheduled timed auctions, which are the same format as an Ebay sale. The only thing different is that most companies use what is referred to as a soft close. This means that if there is a bid in the last few minutes of a sale, the bidding on that item is extended for an extra period of time. Sniping is not a common bidding strategy in the real world.

Once you have that tractor or accessory bought and brought home, the only thing left is to take a picture and post on TractorByNet to share your experience with other auction rookies!

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