Whether buying or selling at auction, you should always find out how much your item is valued at. The rate in which someone is willing to pay for something may not necessarily be the price that a seller is hoping to get from the sale.

Evaluating costs at auctions is not always easy. However, regular research will often help you determine what most items are selling for at auctions—and how much you will most likely have to pay for your item. If researching online auctions, be sure you look at the ending price to see what the item actually sold for. Another way to research the value of an item is by checking search engines such as Google.  Search for chat topics about the item you are thinking about bidding on, or for sale listings. Check local dealers, antique shops, and specialty shops as they can often help you find values of certain items.

A quick visit to your local library can also help you find prices of certain items and evaluating costs at auctions. Look in the antiques and collectibles section and see if there are recent pricing books—just be sure the books are not more than a few years old. In fact, anything more than five years can be scrapped altogether. Outdated prices won’t help you much. If you need help, librarians are always willing to lend a hand.

There are numerous tools online that can also help estimate the value of an item. EBay uses its Item Price Estimator to calculate the best possible price for its customers’ listings. This will also help buyers in evaluating cost and how much they should expect to pay.

Sometimes, it’s just nearly impossible to put a dollar sign on an item. Some items are just so rare that you may never discover what the reasonable value is in advance. Most importantly you have to remember, if it is something you really want, decide in advance what you are willing to pay to get it. If you set your number ahead of time, you will be successful no matter how the auction turns out.