Before you can sell an item at an auction, you need to find an auction company. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide who has the best chance of getting a high price for your item.
Here are some questions to ask before you hire an auction company:
1. What Kinds of Items Can Your Auction Company Help With?
First, you need to find out whether the auction house or company can help with the item(s) you are selling. Some auction companies specialize in a particular type of item.
If the auction company does not sell items like yours, don’t give up! They may be able to recommend another company that does or suggest alternative selling methods like consignment. We encourage you to reach out to the Fruitcocktail Collectables team if you need advice about how to sell your art, jewelry, antiques, or other valuable items.
2. Does Your Auction Company Have an In-House Appraiser?
If you are unsure of the value or origin of your item, you may wish to have it appraised. Some auction companies have in-house appraisers who can help determine the value of the item(s) you are selling. Others may be able to recommend an appraiser.
Ideally, you want to get your item(s) appraised by someone who holds membership in the International Society of Appraisers (ISA), American Society of Appraisers (ASA), or another well-known appraisal association. These associations require proof of expertise and hold appraisers to a strict code of ethics.
Keep in mind that items do not always sell for their appraised value, whether at an auction or in another setting.
3. Do You Have Experience Selling Items Like Mine?
The more experience the auction company has with items like yours, the more you can trust them to come up with a good opening bid and help you get the highest possible price for your items.
With in-person auctions, it may help to choose an auction company that is familiar with buyers in your area. An item that is popular in one area may sell for a much higher price than it would somewhere else, and setting the right opening bid can help. However, most auctions are now online with in-person previews due to COVID and the way people shop, which opens up the market for your item.
With online auctions, you want to choose an auction company that has experience with online selling processes. You do not want to lose out on a sale because of a technical error that kept people from bidding successfully on your item.
4. Do you hold Auctions Online or Only in Person?
Online auctions open your item(s) up to a wider range of buyers, sometimes even an international market. An online auction is often preferable, especially for people selling a niche product with potential buyers that are geographically spread out.
5. What is your Auction Company Fee Structure?
Finally, be sure to discuss the auction company’s fee structure before signing an agreement. Many auctioneers charge a percentage of the auction’s gross sale, and that percentage may vary depending on the sale amount.
Ready to Sell Something?
Fruitcocktail Collectables can help you host an online auction and get the best price for your items. Reach out to our team today for more information about our auction process and fee structure.