Auction Cataloging Guide

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Who you ask about the aims of classifying lots for sale depends on who you ask— but more on that later. In an ideal world, a thorough cataloguing effort for each particular object up for sale would contain the following:

Auction Cataloging Guide

The cataloguing of each object on offer is an important aspect of any auction. Cataloging, which appears to be nothing more than a description of the item on the surface, is actually a lot more difficult. The interests of the auction house, the consignor, and possible bidders must all be considered in transparent cataloguing. These don't always line up, and they can even compete with one another. Here, maintaining a sense of equilibrium is always a challenge. Let's take a look at what goes into professional auction catalog and the problems that catalogers confront in doing their duties effectively.

Who you ask about the aims of classifying lots for sale depends on who you ask— but more on that later. In an ideal world, a thorough cataloguing effort for each particular object up for sale would contain the following:


* This is the item's title.

* The year or epoch in which it was manufactured, created, or designed

* Its place of origin

* A general description, including the brand name if one is available.

* Its dimensions

* Its marks or identification numbers, if any

* Any unique characteristics, facts, or historical background

* Its origins, if any

* An accurate and truthful condition report that includes any signs of damage, restoration, or repair

* A value estimate made before to the auction.

When it comes to auction cataloguing, let's look at some of the goals and priorities of auctioneers, consignors, and possible buyers or buyer goals.

Auctioneer's Objectives

Auctioneers strive to make the most money each lot by selling nearly all of the things on offer (known as the sell-through rate), keeping the process as transactional as feasible, minimising staff handling or processing time per lot, and enticing new consignors with remarkable sales results. Meeting these objectives keeps the company afloat and growing, improves internal operations and efficiencies, improves the company's reputation, and encourages new consignments. Auction guide is yet another thing which will elaborate the matter.

Priorities for Auctioneer Cataloging

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, auction houses like to spend as little time as possible cataloguing, keeping things short and sweet and paying little attention to condition. As a result, prices are kept low, and condition evaluations, which are typically subjective, are left more open to interpretation. The auction estimates may be intentionally low in order to entice people to participate in the bidding.


Consignor Objectives

The goals of consignors appear to be divided into two groups. Some consignors view auctions as strictly transactional, with no emotional relationship to the objects they are selling. They want to sell their stuff for a high price and get paid as soon as feasible. This is a business transaction, and it will be handled accordingly.

Other consignors, particularly hobbyists deaccessioning a lifetime collection or families selling loved ones' estate collections, have a totally different perspective. They may adore or treasure the objects and want everyone who reads the auction catalog to share their feelings. In terms of the collection, the catalogue becomes a permanent homage or reference publication.

Priorities for Consignor Cataloging

Transactional consignors want their products described in the most positive light possible, in a brief, beautiful, and enticing manner. They don't want the condition report to deter people from bidding or requesting more information from the auction company. It's possible that these consignors are also dealers. Estimates made before to the auction, especially if they are based on a minimum or opening bid, are crucial. Dealers must account for the amount they spent for the goods in order to avoid incurring losses.

Living collectors deaccessioning a lifetime collection, or families selling estate collections, typically want their lots described in great detail, with emotional or dramatic references to their past. Condition is less of a concern for them, as the "meaning" of each thing outweighs any flaws it may have. To the collector or family member of blessed memory, pointing up condition flaws can be seen as critical or negative. As a result, auction estimates are less essential to certain estate sellers who value "finding decent new homes" for their belongings over price.

Buyer Objectives

At auction, buyers of all kinds are seeking for unique finds, unusual products, and "deals"— and they want to pay as little as possible for them! Collectors want these items to add to their collections, while dealers and businesspeople want to be able to resale them at a profit that covers their auction investment. Buyers avoid surprises by paying close attention to descriptions and condition reports as they plan their buying strategy.

Priorities for Buyer Cataloging

Buyers want as much information as possible about a particular item, including a detailed condition report. They value "substantial" provenance, such as the auction or ownership history of a valuable object going up for auction. They are particularly interested in finding "hidden diamonds," and they frequently do so via photographs. They also accept lesser initial bids, but they frequently regard them as merely placeholders to get the bidding going.

Media Source: AuctionDaily