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How to Bid at an Auction

Preparation and Registration

  • 1). Get a catalog from the auction house that lists items available at the auction. It will include photographs, brief descriptions and estimated presale values.

  • 2). Note the lot numbers of items that interest you.

  • 3). Inspect the items you're interested in before the auction. Many auction houses host presale viewings that are open to the public. Prospective buyers are encouraged to touch as well as view items.

  • 4). Take comparison catalogs along to see what the prices might be on the open market.

  • 5). Go to the auction house and fill out a registration form. Registration usually requires at least one form of identification and a credit card or bank reference.

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