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Sotheby Raises Its Hammer Price.

Priceless art, jewelry and other unique artifacts can rarely be bought in a regular store. We normally find them changing hands only at auction houses. Christie and Sotheby are two big names that come to mind.

Buying art at Sotheby is going to get more expensive. Last week, the auction house announced that it plans to raise the buyer's premium - the rate it charges a successful bidder.

Going forward, anyone who purchases a work of art will have to pay 25% of the purchase value to the auction house. For prices above $200,000, the rate will be 20%, and if it is beyond $3 million, the fee will be 12% of the auction value.

So, What Is An Auction?

If you had something to sell, wouldn't you want to get the best possible price? But how do you know what you can get for your item or what somebody else is willing to pay for it? How about getting everybody interested to say how much they would like to pay - in other words bid. Enter, the process of auction.

Auction is the process of public sale of items to the person who is willing to pay the most. Unlike a regular sale where price is set by the seller or negotiated, in an auction, the sale price is discovered through the process of competitive and open bidding.

Traditional Auction Houses

Buying stuff at an auction house is truly fascinating. It all starts with the auction house providing a catalog of all the items that will be put up for bidding.

A pre-auction inspection lets interested persons preview their items closely. All interested bidders must register with the auction house and are given a paddle with a number to identify them.

For every successful auction, bids are important. Usually the starting price is specified in the catalog. Bidders can show their interest by raising their paddle. When there is nobody around to outbid the highest bidder, the auctioneer strikes the hammer with the words "Sold!" It changes the legal ownership of the item from the seller to the buyer.

Online auctions

Auctions these days are not confined just to fancy art work and hard to value items, but even everyday items. In today's internet world, auctions have become a truly open process where thousands of goods from books, trinkets and even services such as legal advice or airline tickets are offered to the highest bidder anywhere in the world. Sites such as eBay, uBid and Priceline are case in point.

What do think about auctions - would you rather buy your stuff at auctions? Think about what could be some of the problems with an auction house.

Courtesy : Reuters

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Title Annotation:Society/Arts
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 28, 2015
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