The big day
Next comes the easy bit — the auction. You might have seen auctions on the television, where people accidentally make bids when they only meant to remove their hat or scratch their head — in reality, you'll probably need to wave your programme in the air, and sometimes even shout out before the auctioneer will take your bid. Once your first bid has been accepted, however, you can carry on bidding with a nod, and stop bidding by simply shaking your head. If you're unsure about anything at all, there will be plenty of staff around who will be able to answer your questions, but make sure you get there in plenty of time.
Easy come, easy go
Remember, there are no guarantees that you'll walk away the winner. Try not to become too attached to your chosen piece — if the bidding starts to climb above the limit you had set, you don't want to end up 'panic-bidding' yourself into bankruptcy! And if the thrill of the chase is just too much for you to bear, you can always leave instructions with the auction house to bid on your behalf, letting them know the highest price you're prepared to pay, and call them later to reveal your fate.