The first step in buying works of art is to know the history of the artist. In art, works of art are often created in an edition or a limited edition. These editions vary in size and number, and are often associated with specific artists and works. Additionally, artists sometimes duplicate impressions on different types of paper or in different color states. These are often characteristics that appraisers consider in determining the value of the works.
The condition of a work can have a huge impact on its price. Many auction houses conduct a preview, so that prospective buyers can examine the works before they are sold. Additionally, some buyers may request condition reports, which auction houses will disclose in advance. It is best to examine lots closely, before buying.
On the day of the auction, works of art will be available for live bidding. The bidding will take place sequentially, with a minimum three-minute window for viewing each item. The winning bidder is the last registered user to bid. The winning bidder receives a paddle, which is a confidential account number.
Many collectors prefer purchasing works of art at auctions over purchasing them privately. They prefer this process because of its simplicity and transparency. Additionally, they can get access to highly sought-after works and purchase them at reasonable prices. Hong Kong restaurateur Alan Lo is an avid collector. He missed the opportunity to buy a painting by Nigerian artist John Madu in the primary market, but managed to buy it at auction instead.