One of the questions we often get asked is “but why should I consider buying at auction?” Well here we give you our 5 reasons why you should consider buying at auction – as opposed to shops or other auction sites.
You can buy from around the world!
It really doesn’t matter where in the world the auction is, with online bidding you can be anywhere. As long as you are mindful of shipping costs you can buy that one thing you have always wanted from the other side of the world without even leaving the house! Most auction houses will have downloadable catalogues available beforehand so you can keep an eye out in advance.
Viewing before the auction
If you are local to the auction house you can of course visit and view items before the sale. When placing your bid, it is assumed that you have satisfied yourself in advance about the condition and description of the lot and the conditions of sale. Buyers are encouraged to view the items in person wherever possible, and request additional condition reports to satisfy themselves if necessary.
The description will be objective
The description for the item will be objective. It won’t have been written with emotion (“this was my granny’s favourite tea cup”) and should list any damage, if appropriate. It will also be photographed properly meaning you will have a very good idea of the item’s true condition.
There is some really useful information written in this article from the Antiques Trade Gazette about terminology, viewing and bidding that is well worth a read.
Provenance will have been checked
You will have an assurance that any claims of provenance relating to an item’s history will have been checked, and verified where possible. The article linked above explains how we will state something is original, attributed to or in the style of (though this is more usual for art rather than our collectibles and memorabilia)
The value is set by the market
Buying at auction rather than from an antique shop ensures the price has been set by the market, meaning you could get a bargain. The estimate is generally what we feel is a fair starting point and what happens after that is down to you and the other potential bidders!
At auction you don’t have to worry about haggling or worrying that you are possibly being charged over the odds. You are in control. If the bidding starts to climb higher than you wish to pay you can bow out, but at least you know the price it finally ends at will be fair.
As always if you want to discuss buying at auction, or come along to the next sale, dates and lots are all listed on the website or you can contact us here.