How to buy an object ?
How does an auction work?
Auctions, organised by auctioneers, are public, everyone can come and watch the sale take place. Every major person, responsible and solvent, can bid and purchase.
The bidder has to be aware of the sale conditions. Always displayed prior and during the sale, they are meant to complete the general applicable conditions of a public sale. They stipulate the particular points of a determined auction: means and methods to bid, limiting responsibility clauses regarding the condition of lots, buyer’s premium and payment methods, pick-up and delivery conditions of purchased items, etc. The conditions can vary from a sale to another; this is the reason why one should always read them carefully, as bidding means the acceptance of the said conditions.
An auction always starts by a reading of the sale conditions. Then the first lot is put up for sale. Each lot is presented through its description. After the starting price is announced by either the auctioneer or the specialist, bidding can start.
How can I bid during an auction?
To bid during an auction, there are various ways:
Bidding in person: You are in the room where the sale is taking place. To participate, a clear sign (i.e. waving your hand for example) is enough to show the auctioneer you want to place a superior bid. In this case, the amount of your bid is left to his appreciation. If you wish to place a specific bid, it is recommended that you say it loud enough, but the auctioneer can refuse it.
Telephon bidding: You can ask the auction house to bid through a telephone line, in real time, for objects of a certain amount of money (contacting the auction house is requested in this case). You will be asked for a manuscript and signed document, accompanied by bank references. This service is free of charge and left at the appreciation of the auctioneer.
Leave an absentee bid: If you cannot or do not want to assist the sale, you still have the possibility to leave an absentee bid to the auctioneer, to one of its collaborator or to the sale’s specialist telling what your maximum bid is. The auctioneer will place your bids, following the instructions written on the absentee bid form, aiming to get you the objects you wish to acquire at the lowest price, but never exceeding your maximum price.
On this form must figure:
1) The sale’s details (auctioneer’s name, place, date and time of the sale)
2) Your personal details (name, surname, telephone number, etc.)
3) A brief description of the lot (lot’s number, type of item, etc.)
4) Maximum bid (excluding buyer’s premium)
5) Your IBAN (eventually name and phone number of your counsellor)
6) And finally the date and your signature
Live bidding: Live sales are now available through www.drouotonline.com
How to sell an object ?
To sell a good at auction, all one need is to do is to get in touch with Coutau-Bégarie Auction House. After scheduling an appointment, at our premises or at your place, the auctioneer will give you a first, and free, valuation and will give you advices regarding the opportunity of putting your item up for sale, according to your needs and the current state of the market. You can also ask for a reserve price (i.e. a minimum price below which your item will not be sold). However, this reserve price cannot be superior to the lower estimate.
Once the estimate are agreed, the object authentified, the type of sale defined, you have to fill out a sale agreement form. It is a mandate contract by which you authorize the auction house to sell your object(s) on your behalf. This contract is dismissible at any moment, but a break that would be detrimental to the auctioneer can lead to payment of damages. The sale agreement must include your identity, a description of all the objects you are put up for sale, the date and place of the sale if already known, an estimate, and a reserve price if applicable. It also includes your selling fees. Those are free and sometimes negotiable. They include the auction house’s remuneration, and also expenditures linked to the sale organization: catalogues, advertisement, specialist’s remuneration, shipping fees, stocking fees, etc.