If you have ever seen a movie or TV show scene with an auction, you may remember how fun they look. While not all auctions happen in a giant museum with numbers flying everywhere, that doesn’t mean what is going on isn’t just as exciting. Selling a cool, old maybe even antique item that you have can be a pain if you don’t know where to start. More often than not, if not placed in an auction or sold directly, they end up sitting in our homes, getting passed onto new generations who might just pawn it for some bills. If you want to get your antiques, fine art or even aged wines sold at a good price, your best bet is to find an auction house that is going to help you sell it for the best price.
If you have been looking around to find some auction houses to participate in selling but you have no idea where, to begin with, we have gathered some lingo for you to know and ask the right questions when you are ready to sell.
A chandelier bid is when the auctioneer pretends that there are clients in the back raising their boards, to stimulate interest and raise the price if your item does not look like it will meet the minimum price. This act might sound shady, but it is completely legal, as long as the phantom bidding is under the minimum price of the valuable item. Since the bidders might be disheartened to pay more if they know how little the seller is willing to settle for, it is done to protect the seller from not getting burned.
When an auction house guarantees a third-party-buyer, it means, even if the item doesn’t sell during the auction, there is a third party person, company or auction house that has signed to buy the item for its minimum price. On average, $2.1 billion worth of art was sold in New York last year and about half of that was bought by third-party-guarantors. This lets the seller know that even if no one that attends the auction wanted to buy the item, they won’t leave the auction house empty handed. The fact that a third party has signed on is usually mentioned in the auction booklet and some of the third party buyers even attend the auction to simulate more interest for the item.
This is an easy one. The estimate is an amount of money that the art or antique is predicted to sell for. It is given to sellers prior to the auction by the auction house to let them know how much their clientele usually spend on similar items.