It’s Auction Time. Do You Know the Industry Schedule?


In the auction world, the year is divided into time periods, and most of the larger auction houses have their sales spaced throughout the year. There is a reason for that. Customers have come to expect the better items to be auctioned during these months, so the auction houses accumulate the better items especially for these sales. This draws a larger interest in the auction and creates bidding competitions for the offerings.With that in mind, I hope you have been filling your inventory with the treasures that will start this year off in the right direction.

The real auction time starts in the spring, after most sections of the country have gotten over the winter blues. March and April will be the time that most auction houses start to bring out their big guns, putting out their best merchandise for sale. Customers have been waiting to get back in the game, whether it is buying to further their own collection or increasing their inventories for later sale.

The second round of sales come in the summer months, May through July. But it is later in the year that the auction calendar really gets filled. September and October see their fair share of sales, and the calendar really gets loaded for the end of the year sales.

These schedules can be turned to your advantage. By buying on the off months at minor sales, cherry picking them, (buying the best out of each auction), then you will have merchandise to turn when the “real auction” starts. Don’t listen to those that say you can’t buy something and then sell it again sooner than five years time, because it won’t be fresh on the market. This definitely isn’t the case.

Jimmy, a dealer I know and I have written about in my book, purchased a painting for $40 at an auction house in Chicago this year and then took it to the other side of town to place it in another auction. You might have thought that putting this back in auction so soon wouldn’t have produced any interest. That’s what conventional wisdom would have told you. But, that painting brought Jimmy over $22,000. It saved him from waiting a long period of time and put his money to work that much earlier.

Years ago, I purchased a Rozenburg plaque from an auction in Florida for somewhere around $1500 and sold it within a few days for over $5,000. So much for waiting so that items are fresh on the market. if my memory s If you buy quality, it doesn’t matter how long you keep it, a day, a week or five years. There will always be people wanting to buy it from you. If the Harvey Joiner painting I sold at auction last week wasn’t purchased for a personal collection, I highly suspect it will be hitting the market again very soon. The buyer got an excellent price and can still double his money, at the very least.

Consigning an item for sale at an auction house is another area I’d like to give you some information about. When you consign an item for sale, be sure you feel confident that the reserve you have set is one you can live with and be satisfied, especially if it is an important piece. The reason I say this is because if your item doesn’t sell at that auction, this doesn’t mean that the value you established for it wasn’t valid, it just means that on that particular day, at that particular auction there wasn’t anyone who wanted to pay your price, or had an interest in it. So you gladly keep the piece for another time, and perhaps another place. Believe it or not, I’ve had this happen to me, only to receive twice what I thought the item would bring, originally, at another auction.

Too many times, I have seen people so disappointed that their treasures didn’t sell at what they thought it would, they’ve discounted it by up to 50% to get rid of it, only to see the new purchaser resell it for several times their purchase price, leaving the original owner’s self confidence destroyed.

Search out the local auction houses in your area and get their schedules. If you’re not familiar with auctions, plan on attending the preview and look around. Make note of items that catch your eye. Then, attend the auction and see what certain items are sold for. The best way to learn is by experiencing things for yourself.

I recommend everyone have subscriptions to the trade papers. Antique Trader, AntiqueWeek, Maine Antique Digest, and AntiquesTrade Gazette for those of you in the UK. These are excellent papers to keep you abreast of the industry, auction results, and where the antique shows and auctions are being held.

Discover how our book can be the tool that helps you build more personal wealth than you might have thought possible. And doing it in the Antiques, Collectibles, and Fine Art Markets rather than the traditional methods. You won’t find these kind of results with your bank or your stock broker!

Read more about The Million Dollar Challenge members are participating in.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to see what we’ve got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We’ve got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you’d like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us. Contact us here.

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