The Basics of Selling to an Auction

If you have an antique or other rare or valuable item that you’re thinking of giving to an auction for selling in Fort Lauderdale or other areas of the country, then you’ll want to know these key basics about what you can expect from the process and exactly how it works.

Picking Your Perfect Place 

When choosing to sell your item you want to make sure that the company you’re entrusting it to has a good performance record. In addition to checking their standard online reviews from both buyers and sellers, it’s a good idea to also find out their sell-through rate, which is the percentage of items that they successfully sell at each event. Any rating under 80 percent is generally considered a pretty unsuccessful event.

Before the Bidding

The process of getting your item in an auction begins long before the bidding does. The first thing you have to do is gather any ownership or authentication documents for the object so you can more easily prove that it isn’t a duplicate or knockoff. Then you will contact an auctioneer company that specializes in selling your type of item and meets the criteria previously mentioned.  

Once the item has been seen in person and is closely inspected, the appraiser will give you an estimate for how much they believe your item will garner when put up for bidding. Based on this amount you can choose to set a reserve, which is the minimum price that you are willing to part ways with your item for.

By this point, you should know what the company’s fee is that they’ll charge you for including your item in their event. These fees are usually either calculated by a percentage of the “hammer price” (the amount of the highest bid) or on a flat fee basis.

Heading on Stage

Once a contract has been signed and your item is officially in the hands of the company, it is then scheduled to become part of one of their events. If your particular item fits into a certain upcoming themed sale they’re having, then the company might want to postpone its sale so that it will garner a better price at the themed event.

Regardless, when it comes to the bidding part, the item is brought out on stage and the spectators begin the bidding war. If the highest bid meets or surpasses your reserve price then it becomes official property of the buyer. However, if the highest bid does not reach your reserve then the item becomes bought it, which means it remains your property. At this point, you can either attempt to sell it at another event or choose to hold onto it.