Gone are the days when the auction room was a dilapidated, stuffy hovel presided over by a hammer-yielding dictator and frequented only by old age pensioners. Today, most auction rooms aren’t even physical; they exist on-line, and are entered via mobile or the internet, and are tapped into by individuals of all ages looking to bag a bargain. In recent years, auctions have enjoyed a long awaited re-surge in popularity and have emerged once again as a legitimate and respected means of obtaining classic, pre-loved pieces of art, furniture, and jewellery. Auction rooms provide consumers with a valuable opportunity to purchase novel and uncanny pieces that project vintage character and charm. In today’s modern world of technology and ease, buying from auction is extremely easy and efficient; bids can be placed on-line via bidding portals, and notifications detailing the progress of the auction and its sales can be sent via text or email.
What’s on offer?
Auctions are an ideal place to look for collectable items such as ornaments, toys and stamps that would otherwise be difficult to find. Having auctions online makes it even easier to quickly search and browse for specific collector’s items that would be otherwise difficult to find and buy. Many auction websites allow potential buyers to sign-up to online newsletters and receive personalised email alerts about newly acquired items that might compliment their collections. Auctions are also becoming a popular source of jewellery and, in particular, engagement rings. Auctions don’t have the same overheads as contemporary high-street jewellers and are therefore able to sell high-quality jewels at a significantly lower price than their mainstream counterparts. Jewels that are bought from auctions are often vintage and come imbued with their own unique history. Vintage decor themes are extremely popular and can be effortlessly complimented by antique furnishings procured at auction.
A potential concerning when buying items on-line is that the quality of the item may not be as good as suggested by the photographs or information available on the auction site. The positive of physical auction room is that you are at liberty to view the items from all angles – often during showings before the auction – and can evaluate their quality and authenticity first-hand in person. With on-line auctions, buyers have to rely on photographs and product descriptions only. Making the decision to take the plunge and buy an item based on this information alone can be daunting, but rest assured that the auctioneers co-ordinating the auction will have carried out their own thorough investigations into the quality and authenticity of the items on sale prior to putting them on-line. There are a range of auctions in Belfast and other major cities that will have strict quality control before anything goes up to sale.
Buying items at auction is a great way to recycle vintage, classic items that would otherwise be discarded and chucked in a tip. Over time, pieces bought at auction typically increase in value, particularly if they are of good quality and potentially antique at the time of purchase. Shopping at auction is a great way to bag a bargain, promote the preservation of items of heritage and upcycling.