What Are Fine Art Auctions? How To Register, Bid, and Win!

fine art auctionsAs we’ve all started spending more time inside, adding art to our spaces has become an ever-increasing hobby for personalizing your decor. After all, every painting tells a story. If you buy from a fine art auction, you’ll have your own story to add!

Fine art auctions have been a staple of the art market for centuries. Before auctions were introduced, artists relied on patrons who commissioned specific pieces. When art auctions came around in the late 1500s, they were mostly reserved for wealthy members of the upper class.

Nowadays, fine art auctions are far less exclusive, making up an estimated 20% of art sales every year. With online auctions, everyday folks have access to art from all over the world that can reflect hundreds of different styles, mediums, and themes.

If you’re interested in dipping your toes into the art auction market, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll break down the basics of fine art auctions, how art bidding works, and our tips for winning online art auctions. 

egyptian fine art wall mural print for auction

What Is A Fine Art Auction?

A fine art auction is similar to any other type of auction; sellers put artwork up for bid and buyers bid on the items they want. When the time is up for a particular item, it will go to the buyer who has placed the highest bid. The buyer pays that amount, the seller ships the art, and that bidder gains a gorgeous conversation piece for their home!

There are numerous benefits to participating in fine art auctions. For one, you’ll be taking part in a historical tradition that’s been practiced by celebrities and royalty for centuries. 

Unlike the old days, however, you don’t have to be rolling in cash to take part. Here at Treasures Auctions, our items have bids starting at less than $10!

Another benefit to bidding at fine art auctions? The exciting experience! The thrill of competing with others at auctions is so widespread, psychologists have even studied the science behind “auction fever.” Essentially, it’s the excitement of being involved in an edge-of-your-seat auction. It’s difficult to describe the feeling; you simply have to experience it for yourself!

Anyone can experience the exhilaration of fine art auctions if they know how to get started. So, how does art bidding work?

David Willardso Disney Dumbo Serigraph fine art for auction

How Do Art Auctions Really Work?

If you’ve decided to take the leap into trying out fine art auctions, welcome! The first thing to do is register. Buyers and sellers both have to register so everyone can stay accountable avoid dodgy transactions. All you need for registration is an email, which you’ll use for tracking your bids later on.

After registering, you’re free to peruse through all the available artwork — whether that’s posters and prints, collectibles, home décor art pieces, or antiques. Clicking on one of our categories or using the search options bar can help you narrow down your search or find a specific item.

Found some art you love? Then it’s time to place a bid! Many items will have a reserve price, meaning your bid must be equal to or higher than that amount in order to count. Once you place your bid, we’ll help you keep track of it via email, so be sure to keep checking in before the auction closes!

If you’re outbid before the auction time runs out, you can increase your bid to try to secure the item. When time runs out, the buyer who placed the highest bid wins! If you’re the highest bidder, all that’s left is to coordinate payment and shipping with the seller.

Sounds pretty fun, right? If you’re still unsure, we’ve got you covered. Read on for some ace tips on how to buy art at auction.

ancient treasure map fine art canvas print for auction

Tips for Bidding At Fine Art Auctions

If you’re trying out fine art auctions for the first time, the best step to start with is familiarizing yourself with the process. If you made it this far in our guide, you can check that off your list!

Secondly, familiarize yourself with the art available. Also consider what kind of art you’re interested in buying. You can use the search tools to look for a specific piece or simply browse around. If a specific item catches your eye, we recommend looking through the entire description and comparing it to similar items before bidding.

Next, you’ll need to know the different types of auctions. Most of the art available will fall under one of two categories: reserve or no-reserve. 

Sellers will set a minimum price on reserve items, meaning any bid must be equal to or higher than the reserve price to count. If no one has placed a bid equal to or higher than the reserve amount, the item goes unsold and the auction typically restarts.

No-reserve items are where the fun really kicks in. No-reserve bids start at $1 and once the auction closes, the highest bidder will win the artwork. The chance for an amazing deal usually brings on competition, starting a race to the finish line for outbidding. 

Our last tip is to stay on top of your bids. You’ll get emails with updates about activity on items you’ve bid on, particularly if someone else has placed a higher bid. One method auction-goers use is to wait until just before the auction closes to outbid their opponent. The time crunch and anticipation waiting to see your art auction results is all part of the excitement!

Now that you’re ready to start bidding and winning, it’s time to look at the best online art auction sites.

walfrido swept by paradise fine art mixed media for auction

What Is The Best Online Auction Site?

So, you’re all set to bid on some fine art for sale online. First, you have to choose the right auction. 

If you search for an art auction online, you’ll be inundated with hundreds of options. Different auction websites usually specialize in something, often particular types of art or services. 

Here at Treasures Auctions, we have all sorts of items, but our clientele is what sets us apart. We are Australian-owned and exclusively serve Australian buyers and sellers. When you bid with us, you’re supporting over 4.7 million employees in your community and helping to keep money flowing in the Australian economy.

Our fine art auctions are accessible to Australians from all walks of life, not just high society elites. We carry art for varying tastes, from contemporary Walfrido seascapes to limited edition Disney Creations.

Plus, you’ll never have to worry about anyone pulling a fastie. All of our sellers go through a strict verification process so you can feel safe and confident making your bids. 

Join Our Fine Art Auctions Family!

Congratulations! You’re prepped and ready to start bidding on one of our many fine art auctions. 

Here, you’ll find artwork that’s perfect for dressing up your office space, home, or anywhere you like. Happy bidding and best of luck!

Ready to find some art? Start bidding today!

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