ArtsÉtoile Greatest Hits: The Secret Art of the Post-Sale Offer

15May09

Originally posted July 8, 2008

By Emily Waldorf

Seasoned collectors and dealers are well-versed in the game of making post-sale offers on unsold or “bought-in” lots.  At an average auction, it is not uncommon for up to 30% of lots to go unsold. The trick to making a successful post-sale offer is getting as close to the secret reserve price as possible. If the offer is lower than the reserve, the consigner must approve the sale. Bought-in lots can be potentially acquired for as little as 50% of the low estimate. Post-sale offers are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Therefore, it is crucial to approach the auction house as soon as possible after the sale and generally wise to have a relationship already in place with a specialist in your collecting area of interest.

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