California Antique Auctioneer: Antiques Auctions – Do’s and Don’ts


Advice from a California Antique Auctioneer

It sounds simple doesn’t it? Get bunch of valuable items, rent a space send out invites and before you know you have an auction right? Wrong! There are so many facets and unpredictable situations when conducting an auction that even seasoned and experienced antique dealers and store owners wouldn’t know what to do. Do not worry. California Coast Auctions and California antique auctioneer Zack Krone are here to help!

California Antique Auctioneer

Here are some valuable tips of what to do when planning and executing an antiques auction:

  1. Know the crowd, know the town. The age, the income bracket and the general pace of the city will aide in determining not only the pace of the auction but what is considered appropriate humor and language. Also, did you know that most people move at the beginning and end of the month? Hold your auction in the middle of the month so you are fighting for attendee’s despite your best advertising efforts and you save on truck rentals if necessary
  2. Pre lot and catalogue: Before the item is even accepted, photographed, and inventoried assign the item a lot number. This will ensure that proper items are loaded and shipped to the auction venue, that they are placed in order upon arrival and save you valuable time and pain staking labor when setting up for the auction.
  3. The Internet: Test, Test and Test again. If you are going to be accepting internet bids along side a live audience make sure that the internet at the auction venue is working smoothly and the auction software is functioning to your needs and standards. This will ensure that you do not lose a good portion of your non attending audience at any point.
  4.  Reserves: If you know your crowd you will know what they came to spend. Don’t price yourself out by setting reserves too high.Too many items with reserve prices can ostracize and spawn contempt from your live crowd.
  5. Favor the live crowd: Tie bids shall always favor the person who is in the crowd versus those online. The auctioneer shall always tilt in favor to those sitting in front of them.
  6. Your Catalog: Do not put estimated values of items or any dollar amount next to an auction item in the catalog, this takes power and salesmanship away from the auctioneer and sets a psychological spending cap in the bidders mind. If the auctioneer announces that an item has a value of $300 and starts the bidding at $50 this generates excitement and leaves room for the crowd to get engaged in bidding wars. If an item is worth $40 do not start the item at $40, start it at $5 and you will surpass $40. Momentum and ego are enrapturing and infectious forces that matriculate through a crowd.

Include a picture of the item in the catalogue, and keep it simple. Mention the highlight and do not get too fancy.