So you’ve been asked to take part in an auction or you are considering running your own, but what exactly are the advantages for artists to take part in auctions?
Every auction should have a marketing strategy that includes social media campaigns and press outreach (see here) - the more people viewing and bidding the more items sell and the higher the results. Your inclusion in the marketing for the auction will simultaneously help promote you as an individual artist and your artwork.
Content and Engagement
Whether online or in-person, auctions are a fun way to engage with new audiences and existing collectors.
Whether a fundraising or commercial event, the main purpose of an auction is to make sales.
Unlike an exhibition or group show, an auction is seen by all as a distinctly commercial moment that, combined with its deadline, helps focus people to buy artworks.
Focused Sales Drive
With a defined end date, auctions focus buyers to buy artwork by a specific deadline thus avoiding the heel dragging that can happen during a private sale.
No Upper Price Limit
As opposed to ‘fixed price sales’ where a buyer often negotiates the price down to make the sale, in an auction the bidding starts at the minimum price the artist is happy with and the negotiations go up (see How to set Estimates and Reserves).
With no upper price limit, auctions provide the perfect ground to test and discover the price of new and unique artwork. Unique artworks achieve the best results at auctions, and ‘unique’ can cover many areas such as last in the edition work, masterpiece objects, condition or most commonly uniquely priced with an attractive starting price.
Be they online or in-person, auctions are public events which means you are able to see the live sale of your artwork and have full transparency of the final price.
Auctions 'flush out' the latest market intelligence of buyers wanting your artwork – i.e. the underbidders who missed out on buying during the auction. With their consent, these people can be introduced to you and/or your gallery for further sales. The Auction Collective doesn’t take commission on these extra sales.
Why The Auction Collective?
Our auctions are followed by a number of collectors, arts institutions (see here) and industry professionals that are keen to buy directly from our artists and our gallery clients. We understand the importance of this in your growth and don’t get in the way of any direct approaches to you as a result of any auctions hosted with us.
Each artwork listed on The Auction Collective can have a catalogue note and accolade listing included for each artist with links to their websites and social media pages. After the auction has finished, these pages are kept live on the site to benefit from the ever-growing traffic to theauctioncollective.com (see here).
Over the last year (1st September 2020 – 31st August 2021) the site had over 70,000 unique visitors with over 360,000 page views. 65% of these users were from the UK, 12% from the USA and 2.5% from Russia.
The Auction Collective website attracts visitors from 186 different countries (95% of the world). There are active buyers from 20 different countries (UK, USA, Germany, France, Switzerland, Singapore, The Netherlands, Philippines, Australia, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Monaco, Canada, Ireland, Ukraine, Czech Republic) and bidders from 23 countries (the buyer countries plus Turkey, Bahrain, Ireland).
No published sale results
We took the decision not to publish sale results for two reasons.
To mitigate the risks of price fixing (see our Code of Conduct here).
To protect an artist’s reputation if an artwork doesn’t sell.
No Listing Fees
There are no listing fees, no unsold fees or additional marketing costs at The Auction Collective.
Why do collectors like our auctions?
The Auction Collective is the only auction platform with Own Art membership. Own Art is an Arts Council funded monthly payment scheme for buyers (see here).
With our team of entertaining yet professional auctioneers and gamification bidding software, our auctions are the only form of retail where negotiating a price upwards is enjoyable.
Our work is based around five core principles: impartiality, inclusivity, professionality, confidentiality and enjoyability (see here). As such we make sure all bidders are treated fairly, equally and with the same entitlement to own any artwork up for auction.
With people publicly bidding in the room or online, auctions enable buyers to see the ‘real time’ market demand and for an object. This helps them understand the pricing of artwork and gives them confidence to bid and buy artwork.
With a firm deadline to complete a sale, auctions help buyers avoid long negotiation periods and waiting lists.
VIP for everyone
We strive to give all artists and buyers the art world VIP treatment regardless of their transaction value.
For more auction advice and the latest lessons learnt from our sellers running auctions, join our monthly 'Auction Insights' newsletter.