Know the Quarry You’re Working With
As a collector, you need to know what you’re bidding on and how much you’re willing to pay for it to be successful. If you aren’t confident in your understanding of the medium, seek the advice of a professional and go through everything with them in an art auction. Most dealers, specialists, and curators will be pleased to share their work advice if you sometimes involve them in a transaction. One of the most valuable tools is a pricing database, which allows you to search for similar items at auctions. All the free services have a limited number of records available, which might be confusing. Do not cut corners here; invest in a trustworthy database by paying an annual subscription.
Check with the Art Dealer First if You’re Buying an Edition.
Editioned paintings presently for sale at a gallery are often excluded from auctions. However, an auction house may make an exemption to this restriction or commit to an entire collection. Find out if the piece is already available on the secondary market by contacting the artist’s gallery. Even though a piece is currently on sale at the gallery, buyers are sometimes willing to spend two or three times the current selling price for it at auction. Consult the gallery’s sales records to determine when and at what price the final piece of an edition sold, even if they claim the item is sold out, which gives you an idea of how valuable the work is and how long it has been appreciated. Take into account additional fees while calculating how much to spend. You’ll also have to pay for the buyer’s commission and delivery.
The Absentee Bidder’s Magic
Hopefully, after a thorough investigation of the piece of art in question, you have a solid sense of what you’re willing to pay and what you can afford. What method of bidding do you use? People who attend auctions in person or over the phone sometimes end up paying more than they bargained for because of the excitement of the bidding. If a live bid and an absentee bid are tied, the absentee bidder has the advantage of bidding the exact amount they calculated. Selecting a top price barrier that is one increment bid higher than what you ordinarily decide is also recommended. A big win and a tie bid might be as slight as an additional cent for some people. There is a reserve price and an estimate for every property.
The Reserve Must Be Obeyed
Understanding the estimate and reserve of an artwork is essential before bidding begins. Unless the auction house thinks the item will sell for more than the lower estimate, they cannot set a reserve greater than that. Between $10,000 and $15,000, most projects require a $10,000 or less reserve fund. As long as you are the single bidder on a property, the auctioneer has no limit to how much he will bid against you. Chandelier bidding is the term for this method. The auctioneer may be attempting to extort more money from you at the time, but they cannot sell the art below the reserve price, which is a standard procedure at the auction, and you don’t have to worry about getting deceived.
If you’re confident in staying focused and not getting sucked into the bidding, you can attend the art auction. Bidding is generally kept low by dealers seated in the first few rows. When bidding begins, some people rush straight in and bid until they hit their limit, while others like to wait until the bidding has slowed before putting their bid.