The Auction Consignment Process
Items are evaluated either in person or by photographs submitted on our Photo Submission Page for Consignment Review to determine if a worldwide auction is the most appropriate venue for a particular item given the current market. The items accepted for auction are listed on a consignment agreement and the seller and the auction house sign the consignment agreement.
Items are delivered by the seller or transported by truck (for a transport fee) to our gallery, where they are professionally photographed and cataloged. The cataloging process includes researching the item and fully describing it in writing (including measurements and condition). An auction estimate is assigned based on comparisons of multiple similar items that have sold for at our auctions and at other auctions around the world. Items (or groups of items) are assigned lot numbers.
Our online catalog is published approximately one month before the auction date. Each lot is pictured and fully described. We strive to lead the industry in quality and quantity of photographs as well as the detail in our item descriptions. The catalog is published on our website as well as on liveauctioneers.com and several other auction listing websites. LiveAuctioneers.com is a site that allows bidding via Internet absentee bid or live bidding against all other bidders on auction day.
Prior to each auction, we launch an international advertising campaign to attract bidders. This includes advertising in antique and art specialty publications, on television (Antiques Roadshow), on international art and antique websites, through email blasts, social media, a direct mail campaign, as well as multiple international auction platforms. We utilize more advertising resources and more auction platforms than other auction houses and reach over 100,000 potential buyers including collectors, dealers, interior designers, museums and other collecting institutions.
On auction week, we setup displays of all of the auction items (auction lots) for private previews as well as an open preview (currently limited due to COVID) that is held the day prior to the auction. We also provide private viewing by appointment. On auction day, the items are auctioned in order of their lot numbers to the highest bidder of in-person bidders, phone bidders, absentee bidders, and Internet bidders. The price at which the auctioneer calls “sold” is called the “hammer price.”
After the auction, we collect payments from the winning bidders and assist with pickup and shipping. Once payments have been processed, we mail each consignor their check (hammer price minus our commission and transport/cleaning fees) and a detailed report of the consigned items and their price(s).