Tips for Buying Art at Auctions

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, March 4, 2024

Tips for Buying Art at Auctions

If you are an aspiring or new art collector, art auctions can give you an excellent point of entry into a semi-exclusive community. One thing to remember is that those auction salerooms are open to the public. With the existence of digital auction platforms today, bidding online becomes easier.

Buying art at auction offers a range of benefits to collectors. It is easier to find information through digital catalogues and other resources online. You can find the details about provenance, condition, price, and exhibition history. If you're planning to buy art online, it is critical to gather all the information you can find. Experts share their knowledge on how to buy art through auctions.

Know the art work you are buying
It's tempting to click the button to start a bid when you see something that you like or raise the paddle if you are attending a live auction. But it is important to resist temptation than regret your purchase later. While it is important to buy art that appeals to you, whether it is from an established or an emerging artist who recently found fame, it is also critical to understand the art piece you are looking at, and know how the artist arrived at the auction place, and how the auction house arrived at the price tag.

Make sure to read the fine print and ask for additional info when needed
Art that you see at auctions is offered on the secondary market, meaning that the art pieces were previously owned by someone else. The history and the prestige of the previous institution or collector add to the value of the art piece. An art piece that has an estimated value of less than a million pounds can end up being sold for a few million pounds as the bidding heats up. A reputable auction house researches and vets the artwork before they offer it, but you should research it as well. Slight damage to the work is not likely to show up in a photo.

The auction house usually includes a condition report if the artwork needs it. However, the buyer should read it. If you don't see it, you should ask for it. Historical works should have a collection of documents about it, so it is vital to know everything about the art, and understand the estimate and its authentication.

Act naturally
If it is your first time attending an art auction, the sight of veteran bidders may intimidate you. Remember that the auctioneer is a trained professional. If you mistakenly raised your hand higher than you should because you need to scratch your head, the auctioneer will confirm if you are making a bid.

Follow auction etiquette
Even if you are joining a live auction online, it is important to observe auction etiquette. Understand that auctioneers are monitoring the live auctions and the online bids, thus give them time. Likewise, it is vital to know the bidding increments. You can make a cut bid but you should not overdo it because it slows down the auction considerably.

Knowing everything you can about the art pieces that you are planning to collect will be a big help when you bid for them. However, it is also essential to expose yourself to different art styles.

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Tips for Buying Art at Auctions

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