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Choosing The Right Auction House For Your Antiques

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
antique auctions in the texas panhandle

There are a lot of auction houses out there that can help you sell your antiques, but they vary in their methods and rules. When you are looking to choose one for your needs, there are some questions to ask to make sure you will be working with the right one. You will want an auction house that knows how to deal with your specific items and understands their value. The following can help you know that you are choosing the right auction house to sell your antiques.

Types of auction houses

There are high-end, mid-range, and low-range auction houses that you can choose from. The high-end auction houses will only take items above a specific value. The list of high-end auction houses is small, so you should be able to find more mid-range to small companies. The mid-range auction houses handle more general sales. The low-range auction houses often offer specialty sales and sell more common items.

Choosing an auction house

Once you have gathered enough information about the auction houses you’d like to work with, begin comparing what each offers. You should look to see how much exposure your items will receive and the cost you will be charged for selling through them. The lowest price may not be the best choice in this matter, as it means your items might not be getting the attention they deserve. A low price could also indicate your antiques are not being exposed to the proper markets where more potential buyers will be looking. Choose an auction house that offers reasonable charges with extensive exposure to your antiques.

What fees will be charged?

One of the fees you will need to know about is the seller’s premium. This premium is what you will pay for the auction house to sell your antiques. The amount is either a percentage of the item’s value or a flat fee determined by the house. This price can be negotiated.

If your antiques are being advertised, you may have to pay a fee to cover catalog expenses, photographs, transportation, and buyback fees. The buyback fee results from the auction house having to buy back your items if they are not selling due to a high reserve price. This fee covers the costs the house has to pay for advertising and then relisting your antiques. You should ask if there will be any other charges or fees before settling with an auction house.

When will your antiques go to auction?

Once you have discussed the fees that will be charged, you need to know when your antiques will be sold. Auction houses set a schedule for the year and will add in more events as they are needed. This schedule means your antiques may wait anywhere from a month to a year to sell. The average waiting time is three months, so the auction house has time to advertise and catalog your items. One question to ask is whether your antiques will stay together or if they will be split into different sales. If you have collections of antiques, this could be an essential question.

What happens when you leave your antiques at the auction house?

Auction houses typically do not want to offer antiques in their catalog when they do not have possession of them. Most have insurance to cover these items, but you should check the amount of coverage and decide if you want to add more of your own.

Setting the reserve price for your antiques should be done after speaking with specialists. Find someone professional in the business to calculate an actual value and fix your reserve around 75% of the low end of that amount. The auction house can charge you a fee if you set the reserve higher than this or they could refuse to take the antiques at all.

Payouts vary between auction houses and take from thirty to thirty-five days to complete. Make an itemized list of the antiques you leave with them and understand that you can always remove an item if you decide. After the auction of your items, give the house about four days before checking if they have sold and for how much. You do not have to attend the auctions, but if you do, you are not allowed to bid on your own antiques. It is also not permitted to have others bid for you on your items.

Choose a professional auction house for your antiques

If you have questions on how to sell your antiques at auction, contact the experts High Plains Auctioneers today. You can call us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email for more information about Selling and Buying at auction. Don’t forget to check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we have available!