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home auction terminology
Auction Terminology
Catalogue Only
This refers to a catalogue which does not feature live participation. Absentee or commission bids can be left on these catalogues ahead of the sale, but bidders cannot partake in real-time bidding.
Timed Auction
This refers to an auction which takes place without an auctioneer. Each lot in the sale is available to be bid on for a definite period of time. Once this period has ended, the highest bidder takes ownership of the lot provided they have exceeded the reserve price.
Live Auction
As well as leaving absentee or commission bids ahead of the sale, bidders can partake in real-time bidding as the auction happens. Autobids can also be left prior to or during the sale.
Commission Bid / Absentee Bid
A commission or absentee bid is a bid placed ahead of the sale. The bidder should pick the maximum amount they wish to spend and submit this via the bid form under their chosen lot(s) These bids are emailed directly to the auction house, who will confirm safe receipt of your bid with an email reply
Live Bid
A live bid is placed in real-time as the sale is happening.
If the bidder is away from the computer for all or some of the sale, an autobid can be placed and the system will then bid up to their top amount on their behalf. It acts exactly the same as a live bid; increasing in increments and the bid amount remains undisclosed to the auctioneer. If the bidder is at the computer whilst their autobid is running and they are outbid, they can jump in at any moment to start live bidding.

Autobids can also be placed before the sale day as soon as the catalogue becomes available.
Conditions of Sale
These are the terms set out by individual auction house partners determining the conditions under which a bidder bids for, and takes ownership of a lot. Each auction house is different so it is always advisable for bidders to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions set out by an auction house before bidding on lots in their sales.
Buyer's Premium
This is the percentage fee payable to the auction house on top on the final hammer price. Typically ranging between 15% and 20%, it is always advisable for bidders to familiarise themselves with the buyer's premium set out by an auction house before bidding on lots in their sales.
Condition Report
Buyer's can request to be sent further information on the condition of a lot before deciding to bid. The auctioneer will then provide the buyer with details of any imperfections, missing pieces, repair work etc that applies to the item in order to give them an accurate representation of the condition of the lot.
This tells the bidder the history of an item such as who owned it previously, where it has been stored, or where it may have been bought at auction before. An interesting provenance will often give greater value to an item.
A/F/As Found/Sold As Seen
This denotes that an item may require close inspection prior to bidding to ensure the bidder is happy with its condition. In an instance where an item is catalogues as 'sold as seen' or 'sold as found' the buyer may wish to request additional images from the auctioneer to see the object from different views and angles, or visit the saleroom themselves on a designated viewing day to ensure they are satisfied with the item.
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