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Buying and Selling at Auction

Taught by Guy Vaissiere

Psychology is at the heart of all auction activity

Course Description

Bidding at auction can sometimes appear a little daunting. On this course, expert tutor Guy Vaissiere (ex Sotheby’s, Phillips) de-mystifies some of the more complicated aspects of dealing with auction houses. Together, you will examine the different categories of fine art and antiques auctions, and what pieces you are likely to find where. You will get to know some of the terminology involved, what to expect in terms of additional charges and, critically, get useful tips on how to bid with confidence and why this can so-easily affect the outcome of a sale. Guy also examines the legal framework which underpins the whole industry. When it comes to buying and selling traditional antiques and works of art, the live auction is still very much the beating heart of the industry; however, Guy will also touch on timed, online auctions. After completing this course you will have the confidence to go out and explore the world of auctions to find unique pieces for your home.

Course outline

  • Lesson 1

    In this first lesson you will learn about the different types of auction houses, the different types of sales that they run, and what you are likely to find in each so that you can ascertain which are most suitable for what you are looking for. You will get tips on what you should do ahead of the sale, to ensure you are going to the sale well-informed, such as how to assess the condition and provenance of the piece. Guy will then walk you through how to navigate the auction itself, he will highlight the critical information that is within the catalogue, and help you spot things that people often miss. Finally he shows you how to understand the fees involved so you know the full cost before you bid.
  • Lesson 2

    In the second lesson of his course, Guy gives advice on things to be mindful of when bidding in person, in order to give you the best chance of getting the best deal. He also covers other methods of bidding if you can’t be there. He then goes on to discuss the ins and outs of selling at auction, and unpicks the somewhat-complicated charges and costs involved. Lastly Guy touches on the legal issues surrounding buying and selling at auction, and looks at some of the Conditions of Business which are common to most auctioneers.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Guy Vaissiere

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 2 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 2 assignments marked by Guy Vaissiere
    • Certificate of completion from Guy Vaissiere
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 2 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 2 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 2 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more

How it works

About Guy Vaissiere

Guy Vaissiere is a seasoned professional from the world of antiques and auctions. He's held senior positions at Sotheby's and Phillips auction houses, and understands the world of art and antique dealing. Guy has held both commercially-oriented and advisory roles to some of the most senior influencers in the antiques and collectibles industry.

Having worked in the industry for over 20 years, Guy has witnessed some of the great sales of our generation and is a pro at the tactics needed to buy for resale and getting the most out of selling for the best price possible, at auctions and sales internationally.

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