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Tips for Buying Art at an Auction

At an art auction, it's possible to find a piece you love at an amazing bargain. Below are a few quick tips to ensure that your first auction is a smooth, successful experience:

Know which type of auction you're attending. There are three main categories. Estate auctions (an upscale version of a "moving sale") are held when a family or heir needs to liquidate everything in the house, regardless of price. Consignment auctions are usually held at an auctioneering house, with most sellers setting minimum reserves to ensure that their pieces don't sell too cheaply. Mixed auctions are a combination of the two.

You can also opt for art auctions in Australia where you will get many antique collections 

To find an auction, enter your location and "art auction" into a search engine. You can also check the newspaper and try calling antique dealers and auctioneer houses directly.

Once you've found an auction, call to make sure the location and time are accurate. Also, find out when the preview period starts — this allows you to come a few hours (or sometimes days) early and get a look at the items that will be up for bidding.

When registering to bid, find out if the auction house adds a premium to your bids. In some cases, this can increase the total selling amount by 10% or more. Also, find out what form of payment they accept.

At the auction, choose your seat carefully. Sitting toward the front will give you a close view of the items, but sitting or standing in the back will let you see who else is bidding on an item. Always have a maximum bid in mind for items you're interested in. Resist the temptation to exceed it, especially in the heat of the moment during the bidding process.

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