Antique auction houses aren’t as available or even as appreciated as they once were. However, when people are looking for the ‘real deal’, visiting an actual auction proves to be much more enjoyable than shopping online.
There are plenty of local neighborhood shops around the world as well as some big-name auction houses The trick to success is knowing how things work and how you can avoid getting played by the system.
Typically, art & collectible auction houses have a buyer premium that they charge to each seller that comes out of the auction price. For example, if you go and sell an antique at auction that sells for $5,000, the auctioneer will get a certain percentage of that money as their fee for hosting the auction and taking care of the sale.
If you are a buyer, you don’t have to worry about this fee but it will come out of what you pay for an item. Many items are there on consignment, which means that they take them from people and instead of paying them upfront, they take the item to auctions
If it sells, they give the seller a portion of the profits and keep the rest for themselves. Typically, the commission percentage will be around 10% at most venues, but you need to verify what is charged before you list just to be certain.