3 Tips to Help Beginners With Their First Art Auctions

October 5, 2015

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auction houseGoing to an auction house for the first time can be intimidating, but don’t let your hesitation stop you. Here are a few tips to help you the first time you go.

Find Out the Lot Numbers
If there are pieces of art you’re interested in getting, find out what their lot numbers are. Knowing the name of the piece and the artist isn’t enough. If you know the pieces’ exact lot numbers, you’ll be able to know where in the auction each one will appear.

Ask For Condition Reports
Some art can be very old. Consider glass artwork, for example. The invention of glassblowing occurred at about the same time as the establishment of the Roman Empire in the first century BCE, and the “study glass movement” began more than 50 years ago in 1962 with Harvey Littleton, and Dominick Labino. Considering the fact that some art can be very, very old, it’s a good idea to request condition reports, as many auction houses have clauses stating that they’re selling works as they are. If there’s an issue with something you bought, you can’t return it. The condition report will let you know if there’s any damage you should be aware of.

Register to Bid
This sounds obvious, but it bears noting. You need to make sure you register to bid. Not all auction houses have the same procedures, after all. Some make it simple. All you have to do is fill out a form. Others, though, require you to submit banking information, and other prescient pieces of info.

These tips will not only help you when you go to auction houses, but also modern art auction sites as well, which have become quite popular. In fact, about 71% of art collectors have purchased some form of art online. Whether you’re in an auction house, or bidding online, you can use these tips to get the best deal possible.

If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.