Buy at auction, for the newcomer this may seem complicated and reserved for the initiated.
Are- there fees? Should I be present? What is a absentee bid? How will I know if I bought the lot? Is it possible to bid by telephone? And the internet? are questions we hear frequently in the auction rooms in London, Paris, Drouot as well as in Province.
Authenticite offers a quick overview of different methods to bid and buy the object you covet.
The buyer premium
Before we look at how to buy, it is important to note that the buyer at auction will support in addition to its bids a buyer premium that is set by the auctioneer. These fees are calculated as a percentage of the last bid and vary from 16% to 30% VAT incl. It is therefore important for the buyer to find out the amount of these fees before bidding to avoid any unpleasant surprises upon payment of the purchase. Fees are listed in the conditions of sale at the end of the catalog.
In the room
It is certain that being present to bid is best and probably the one that provides the most fun, when you are the last bidder, and disappointment when the coveted table or piece of furniture is purchased by another person. Furthermore, unless you want to buy one of the first Lots, it helps to be familiar with the place and atmosphere.
But it is often impossible for the amateur or collector to be physically present in the room during the sale, by personal or professional obligation.
Several opportunities to participate and buy at a distance exist.
Absentee bid form
The absentee bid form is probably the oldest way to buy at auction without being present. This is a form available during public viewing prior to the sale and in the end catalog in which the bidder provides contact details, name, address, email and phone and the number of the lot they want buy and for each it gives the maximum bid he is willing to put for the lot.
During the auction, the auctioneer will bid on your behalf respecting your absentee bid. The evening or the next day you will be notified if you won the bids.
This is a safe method which requires knowing in advance the price that you are willing to pay for a piece.
This method combines the absentee bid form and purchase live in the room. You fill out a telephone phone bid form and a staff member of the auctioneer calls you one to three lots before the one you want to buy. Two major inconveniences being reachable at the time and be ready to bid.
The popularity of the telephone explains that often the auction rooms are almost empty.
This new way of bidding is developing very rapidly and is expected to replace the absentee bid and the telephone bid in the medium term. Indeed, bid online has many advantages. You follow from your living room on your computer the sale in direct as if you were in the room and you are free to place a bid. Only one constraint to register before.
Note also that the internet bids involve additional expenses to the auctioneer and that there is a slight overhead in the cost of buyer.
There you are now ready to buy at auction; we look forward to meeting you at our upcoming auctions in London, Paris, Drouot or Province.
Fine Art Specialist