7 Questions to Ask When of When Working with an Auction


If you are interested in selling your antiques at an auction, it is important to choose the right auction house. On your quest to find the best place to sell your valuables, make sure you are asking the right questions.

What Do You Charge for Pick Up?

If you have antique furniture or another large item that you would like to auction off, it might not be easy for you to get it to the auction house. Some companies provide a pick-up service for a fee, so you’ll want to know about the cost and any stipulations about what the company will – or will not – haul.

Picture of movers carrying a large piece of furniture

What is Your Commission?

Auction houses will charge a commission in order to receive payment for selling your piece. Different businesses charge different rates, so this is certainly something to research on your search for the right auction house.

Do You Have a Listing Fee?

In addition to the commission, some auctions may charge a listing fee before your item ever sells. Check with potential auctions about these and any other applicable fees.

What is a Reserve? Do You Put Reserves on Items that You Are Selling?

A reserve price is the hidden, minimum price that you are willing to accept for an item. In an auction with a reserve price, the seller will only be obligated to sell an item if the winning bid meets or exceeds the reserve price. As the seller, you can lower the reserve price later, but you can’t raise it. You’ll want to know if a potential auction house offers this type of auction before you sign any contracts.

What Happens if the Item Does Not Sell?

When you attempt to sell your items an auction, there is always the chance that your antiques won’t receive a bid. This is disappointing, but it is important to know what happens if this occurs. Many auction houses or online sites will provide credit for any fees that you paid, while others may not be as generous. Make sure you are comfortable about what happens with your money – as well as your items – if a sale isn’t made.

Pictures of people bidding on items at an auction

Are Your Sales Online, or Just In-House?

When it comes to selling your antiques, valuables, and collectibles, the more visible the auction is, the better your chances of getting a big payday will be. Online auctions can extend your visibility and may reach prospective buyers that aren’t in your city. Talk to any potential auction house about where your sale will be conducted and who is likely to attend.

How Long Before I Get My Money?

After your auction, you’ll likely be itching to get the money from your sale in your hand as quickly as possible. For this reason, you’ll want to know what the turnaround process is. Will you get your earnings that day, later in the week, or several weeks later? This can be a major factor when you choose an auctioneer, especially if you need the money right away.

If you need more information about what your items would sell for at an auction, contact us at Sarasota Antique Buyers today.

We offer FREE Antique Evaluations & Antique Appraisals.

Please send us an email at alansattic@aol.com

In your e-mail, please include as much of the following as possible.

A High-Quality photo of your item (taken under natural light is best.)

A Description of the item/items. Include a physical description, and any historical knowledge you may have of it along with any information you can share about the item that will help us provide you an accurate evaluation/price of the item.

Please include your Phone number, City where the items are located, Your Zip Code.

We will reach out to you ASAP with more details.

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