A Novice's Guid To Auctions

Getting Started

Auctions are the fun way to get great deals on beautiful antiques and art! Some even call it an addiction - the Tuesday night habit you won't want to break, we hope. But for those who haven't yet experienced the excitement of a live auction, the idea of putting your hand in the air that first time to bid can be intimidating. Not to worry - once you know the basics, you'll be ready to confidently join in on the fun too!

The Basics

1. Preview  When you come to Vogt Auction Gallery, you may already have something in mind you're looking for, such as a dining room table, or stained glass windows. Or you may just be interested in art and antiques in general. Either way, you'll want to spend some time previewing a sale. We are open from 11am until sale time at 7pm every Tuesday for previewing. It is your chance to really take a close look at the items, take measurements, call a friend for their opinion, and so on. Remember to ask other browsers too - antiquers are friendly, talkative people. As you look at the pieces, make a list of their lot numbers and decide on range of what you'd pay for it in the auction later that night. It is also a good idea to come up with a maximum price limit above which you will no longer bid. With that number in mind, you can protect yourself from bidding higher than you would've liked during the heat of the auction. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you with price estimates.

2. Sale Check-in  Before sale time at 7pm, you'll want to sign in at the front desk. Check-in is free for both dealers and the general public. We will give you a bid card with your buyer number on the front. This is the card you'll hold up during the auction when you'd like to bid. With this card, and your list of items from preview, you're ready to take your seat and get ready for the action to begin.

3. The Auction / Bidding  When the auction begins, watch and listen to the auctioneer and the people bidding on the items up for sale. There are no "secret codes" or insider methods to bidding, and you'll quickly see that the action is easy to follow: A new item comes up for bid (usually held up for the crowd by auction staff), the auctioneer will briefly describe the item, then ask for or suggest an opening bid. Once an opening bid is found, the bidding will continue up in dollar increments called out by the auctioneer. For example, "I have 100 dollars, now 110 ..." where $110 is the next bid. If you would like to bid $110 for that item, then you would simply hold up your bid card. The auctioneer will continue to call for bids until no higher bid can be found. The auctioneer will then call "sold!" If you are holding the high bid when the item is sold, then you are the winning bidder. Remember to refer to your list of items and bid limits you put together during the preview period, and above all don't be intimidated to bid - if you ever have a question about bidding, we are happy to stop the sale and explain exactly where your bid and any others are at. Vogt sales are designed to be the fun and non-intimidating way to consistently get high quality antiques and art at great prices.

4. Check-out  If you are a winning bidder, our staff will help you check-out before you leave. Purchases can be paid for by cash, check, credit card, or by a combination of those. You will receive a printed invoice listing your items. You can pickup your items the night of the sale, or the next day (Wednesday) between 12 noon and 6pm. If you would like your items delivered, we can refer you to a professional service [learn more].

That's about it! If you'd like to learn more, we hold informal seminars on buying at auction - call us at 210-822-6155 to find out when the next one will be held. Of course, our staff is always happy to answer any and all questions you may have about the auction process, an individual item or anything else. Come to one of our sales soon and see for yourself how easy and fun a Vogt Auction is!

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