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  • Writer's pictureJewellery Auctions Unlimited

Top Tips for Buying Jewellery at Auction

Jewellery auctions are a cost-effective and fun way to purchase beautiful jewellery that will almost always be cheaper than buying an equivalent piece from a retail jeweller. For the inexperienced however, buying jewellery at auction can be daunting, so we’ve put together our top tips that will help you bid confidently and successfully in no time.

How to buy Jewellery at Auction

Why is it so much cheaper to buy jewellery at auction?

Many people assume that auctions are only for antiques, however a lot of the jewellery sold at auction is brand new. And because vendors (sellers) don’t have to pay for retail space and overheads like a brick-and-mortar store, they can sell their items at a much lower price. In fact, most jewellery pieces are sold at auction at half or even one-third of their market value, so you can save a lot of money by purchasing them at an auction.

How can I be sure the jewellery is authentic?

Jewellery Auctions Unlimited are a licensed auctioneer, and the majority of our items sold at auction come with an industry certified valuation, which is available to view before you bid.

What is a reserve?

The reserve price is the minimum amount of money the vendor (seller) will accept for the item. Legally, we cannot reveal the reserve price of an item. If you are the highest bidder and your bid has not met reserve, you may still be contacted by a team member if the items’ vendor has deemed the bid high enough to accept. We call this an ‘after sale’.

What is an estimated price?

The estimated price is a guide for potential buyers, that indicates the price range in which the item is expected to sell, based on previous results and its market value.

What is a Buyer’s Premium?

The Buyer’s Premium is an administration fee in addition to the hammer price (winning bid) that covers our costs for hosting the auction. The winning bidder is required to pay both the hammer price and buyer’s premium. Jewellery Auctions Unlimited has one of the lowest buyer’s premiums in the industry - just 13% for items purchased on the Jewellery Auctions platform, and 16% for items purchased through the Invaluable platform.

How Does the online auction process work?

Jewellery Auctions Unlimited uses a timed auction model. Timed auctions are similar to live auctions, however, the auction takes place online, and without an auctioneer. The auction normally runs over a period of 1 or 2 weeks. This extended time-frame means you can re-submit bids mid-auction, should your initial maximum bid be beaten. In this event, you’ll be notified, allowing you to bid again.

How do I place a bid?

  1. Create your account and complete the registration details. This only takes a few minutes and you’re ready to start bidding.

  2. Browse the auction catalogues, and start bidding on items. You can ‘favourite’ items to keep an eye on them, place absentee bids, set maximum bids and keep up to date on new auctions.

  3. If you win an item at auction, you will be sent an invoice with payment details the next working day. Please note; if you are the successful bidder, you are obligated to pay the final bid price plus the fees and charges associated with that purchase, within two working days of the auction.

Tips for Buying at Auction

  1. Register to Bid in Advance: Registering to bid is best done a day or two in advance of the auction, to assure we have time to approve your registration. This will also give you plenty of time to study the auction catalogue beforehand, to preview the pieces and their estimated selling price.

  2. Know the Retail Price: Research the retail landscape to determine fair market value for similar pieces, to ensure you are not overpaying.

  3. Talk to Our Team: If you have any questions about a particular piece or would like us to provide additional images or video, our friendly customer service team will be happy to assist. Please email or phone us on 07 3924 2680 between 8.00am and 4.00pm AEST.

  4. Set your Limit: Before you bid or buy, make sure you set a budget for yourself. Write down the maximum amount you are willing to pay within the estimated price range and stick to it. Remember to include the buyer’s premium and any shipping costs when setting your limit. Good luck, and happy bidding!

View our current auctions to find your perfect jewellery piece.


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