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6 Things you should do before Buying

I hereby want to take the chance to forward some experience to new buyers.
I'm was frequently contacted buy clients asking for my opinion for others Lots.
I was thinking about it , and of course we all are in a new situation, and we have to draw our picture only by digital information when looking at art online.
Therefore I gave my clients a step by step plan how to proceed.

Setup the right technology

It is important to have a good computer with a big screen and adjusted colours. If you plan to invest or buy art, be sure that you really see what you want to buy. I often catch myself searching for lots on my I phone.

IT IS OK !!!
but be sure to check what you found later the day on your computer.

Get an overview of what is available

Now we are all caught at home, it is important to be updated what is available online. Get accounts on some platforms like:

and the spend some time to look around whether by section or you can actively search for Subjects. You then mark the objects you might like for later.

Get the information you need

Great , you managed to find some objects. Now the real work starts. Good auction houses will always offer you daylight pictures and movies.
Remember , the catalogue pictures are made to attract you first. But the Daylight pictures made by a simple phone will show you the object in natural environment. Nothing can stay hidden under natural light.

Start selecting

Now you have the most facts you will need to select. Start doing research. Were there comparable objects in auctions recently? What were the results? Where are the objects offered? Check the other lots too. During the last years we noticed that foreign auction houses just exit on the paper. Their head office might be in China. Be sure you know you are dealing with.
When you buy something in America, and you are asked to pay to Hong Kong and get the object shipped for low value from China, it is illegal. And it will cause trouble soon or later. A legal export for the full value is important, specially if you might want to change your collection later.

Keep an eye on the cost

Do you know the following cost after you won the Lot? Commission?  Live Bidding Fee? Shipping cost? Import tax? Credit card Payment Fees?
If you are insecure, better ask one time too much then being ripped off. We heard complaints that the shipping companies completely overcharged for their services. The auction house can offer inhouse shipping. They will get you a quote or tell you how the rate was calculated.
Don't save on the wrong side. A perfect packing preferably box in box is the key !!! You want to spend 10.000 Euro and save 100 Euro for the shipping?
That can't be smart!!!
FedEx or other value careers have their price , but they will do their best to ship your won object carefully. Don't worry, you can track your object online.

Comply with the Laws

of course it is not possible to know all laws for each country. But you can ask the auction house.
For example: In Germany Invoices over 1.000 Euro value leaving the EU will need an export document.
It is the law
Their might be cost to receive this document. But it is the proof that the object was legally exported to you, And for sure it will help for the import to your country too.

Enjoy your art

Congratulations, when you read these lines now , you well invested 5 minutes of your lifetime. I promise it will pay back soon.


Stay Good, and enjoy the catalogue

Tobias Hardt
Hardt Auctions