If you are visiting your first auction house in Fort Lauderdale, you are no doubt intimidated by the process, the fellow attendees and by seeing impressive art by the likes of Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, and Alexander Calder. But with big things at stake and a lot on the line, going in as a novice, and appearing as if you don’t know what you are doing won’t work out well in getting you the coveted Warhol piece you are after. Follow these tips for helping you get the winning bid.
1) Do Your Research
Before you show up, make sure you know what the art is that is being sold. Research the pieces, the artist, the gallery selling item, and the history as related to all of these areas. Not only will this boost your confidence, but it will also give you an advantage over other attendees who have not done the same amount of research. For example, you may know more about the true value of the art piece and be able to avoid paying exorbitant prices, when someone else is there budding and thinking they are getting a good deal.
2) Enquire about Editions
Part of your research component should be to understand the editions of the art. Art is sometimes released in several editions, and each one has a different associated price point. The first edition, or original edition, for example, has a much higher price point than later releases. Finding out ahead of time what editions the sale will offer, the price of the sale of editions previous, and when the edition closed will prevent you from paying more than the edition is worth.
3) Be Absent
Well not in mind of course, but in presence. If you have attended previous bidding sales, you may have noticed that a lot of them seem to happen via people who aren’t there, and often, the winning bid doesn’t even have the actual winner there to take the prize. The bidding wars can get stressful and intense, and this can cause serious bidders to get off their game, be distracted or succumb to at the moment impulsive decisions which they otherwise would not have made. This is why many people will opt instead to bid on the phone and be absent from the event itself, sending someone on their behalf and simply relaying the phone conversation as relevant. If you tend to get overwhelmed easily or are prone to caving in stressful situations, this could be a good option.
Being at an auction is exciting and fun. And it is even better when you can walk away from it with a new piece of art that you have been dreaming of having in your house for many years. Do your research, plan ahead, and with some patience and reserve, you can have just that!