Art Auctions of America

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ABOUT Online bidding and auctions

How to choose an art auction?

Art Auctions of America can help you find the right art auction for selling your art. The art auction choice will have a significant impact on the selling price of the art. Choosing the wrong art auction at the wrong time can result in no sale at all or a sale at a very disappointing price.

Generally speaking, the more prestigious the auction house, the higher the price you can expect to receive for your work. However, in order for Christie's or Sotheby's to have interest in handling the work, the piece must be a nationally-recognized artist with some auction history – especially history with the auction house. If the piece is not of this quality, then you will have to select a secondary auction house to handle its sale.

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About Online Auctions

The most significant development in art collecting in the past ten years has been the emergence of online auction bidding. Collectors can actively bid at hundreds of national and international auctions. Although there may be only a hundred bidders in the auction room, there may be thousands at their computer terminals.

Although the major international art auctions such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s maintain traditional live and telephone bidding, most of the secondary auction houses provide online bidding. Some of the online auctions have developed their own dedicated bidding technology, but most have subscribed to services offered by online bidding technology firms such as Live Auctioneers and ArtFact.

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Commissions, etc

The most obvious consideration in choosing an auction house is the commission they charge the seller, and to a certain degree the commission they charge the buyers. In most cases, the seller's commission will be between 10-25% depending on the sales price of the piece. The lower the price, the higher the commission rate. For very desirable pieces, selling well above six figures, the selling commission may be negotiated even lower, since the major auction houses charge substantial buyer's premiums. Obviously, the seller is more concerned with the seller's commission rather than the buyer's commission, but if a buyer knows that 25% is going to be tacked on to their cost, it has a constraining influence on their bidding decisions.

 


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Investing in Art in the Digital Age