Many people are familiar with the words “at auction,” especially if they have collectibles or watch Antiques Roadshow. That being said, most people don’t know what that really means. If you have something you want to sell, how exactly do you get it “to auction”?

You might be surprised that LAWSON & CO. has been auctioning collectibles, estates, real estate, business equipment, and more since 1964 – that’s more than 5 decades! Located in Danville, Indiana, LAWSON & CO., people come from many miles away to attend auctions either in the Danville auction house or at onsite auctions.

There are several ways to sell something at auction, but for this article, we want to talk about selling personal property on consignment. What that means, essentially, is that the auction house sells the item or property for the owner. There are fees for that service, but with LAWSON & CO., the item is advertised and marketed on behalf of the owner.

Here are 7 other bits of information about selling on consignment to know if you are considering selling a collection, a property, or other goods:

  1. Auction houses are known for the quality and quantity of goods at their auctions. They are always looking for consignments that will attract buyers and are desirable. Professional auctioneers will avoid “junk” when they sell household goods. You might find items for daily use at an estate sale, but there is a difference between practical household goods and junk.
  2. Some auction houses specialize in specific kinds of auctions. Others, like LAWSON & CO., have a variety of specialized themed auctions including guns, coins, or collectibles, as well as tractors, restaurant equipment, and mixed auctions of a variety of goods. Some specialized auctions, such as those for selling guns and firearms, require specialized licenses, which LAWSON & CO. has in place.
  3. About selling collectibles – A good auction house can help you if you are not knowledgeable about Great Aunt Mary’s collection or Grandpa’s antique tools. The collections might have great personal value and memories, but knowing if they are monetarily valuable will help you to set your expectations when selling the collection at auction.
  4. Make sure you have clear ownership of all items. Sometimes an item might have been loaned to the owner at the time they died, and no one, except the lender and your relative know that. Be sure to share any questions about ownership with the auctioneer. On the other hand, if you have documentation that outlines provenance of an item, include it when talking with the auctioneer and at the time of sale.
  5. Note any identifying marks or damage. This is most easily accomplished by simply taking photos of the items. This is one step in catching any reproductions or preventing the condition of an item to be misrepresented. Both marks and damage influences the value of an item.
  6. Be clear about charges, fees, and contract terms. A professional auction house will always prepare a contract that clearly outlines what is being sold, the terms, and all costs and fees. All terms should be established up front and fully understood.
  7. Determine if your items will be auctioned at a themed auction or in a general auction. If you want to get the highest price for an item, opt for a themed auction because buyers are more highly interested in the items. If you want to sell in more of a hurry, a general auction would be more expeditious.

People in the business generally conclude that selling a collection is best accomplished through auction. They say you will always net more money than by selling it any other way. For sure when you sell by auction at LAWSON & CO. we take care of everything after you bring the items to us. Or, if it is an auction best held onsite, we can bring our staff and everything to you including a mobile clerking unit, computerized bidder registration and clerking system, tables, chairs, display cases, and auction signs.

Whether it’s a few things from the attic, a collection from grandma or grandpa, or an entire estate, look no further than LAWSON & CO. Our years of experience and professional staff will make the entire process easy and stress-free. Contact us at 317-745-6404 to find out more and get answers to all the questions you might have.