What is a Furniture Auction?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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A furniture auction is an auction at which items of furniture are sold. Like other auctions, a furniture auction can be an excellent place to pick up decent products at a fair price, for savvy buyers. People who are interested in attending furniture auctions can usually find them listed in newspapers and magazines. Online auction houses also regularly list furniture for people to bid on, and occasionally furniture comes up in auctions of fine art, antiques, and unusual household goods at auction houses like Sotheby's, in which case attendees should be sure to have deep pockets.

Furniture is often sold separately from other goods at events like government surplus auctions and estate auctions because it is a specialty item. Furniture tends to be heavy and cumbersome, and it fetches lower prices when it is sold in mixed auctions. As a result, auctioneers tend to list furniture separately, and may have a furniture sales expert supervise the auction with the goal of getting the best price.


One type of furniture auction is an auction of government surplus furniture, which can include furniture from schools, prisons, government offices, and the military. Typically higher value items such as antiques are sold separately from lower value items like large lots of school desks, but occasionally items of interest to collectors are mixed in with a general auction. Government surplus furniture tends to be visually uninteresting, but it can be cheap and sturdy, and sometimes resellers attend government surplus furniture auctions to pick up items cheaply.

Estate auctions of furniture may include a mixture of furnishings from multiple estates, or items from a single large estate. People are more likely to find items of visual interest or value at such auctions. In the case of estate auctions used to liquidate the estates of furniture collectors, sometimes the items may attract broad general interest.

Fine art auctions may also sometimes feature furniture. A furniture auction with fine art may include antiques, collectible items, and furniture which doubles as works of art. Such pieces usually sell for high prices, and they can be unique and highly unusual. To bid in a fine art auction, people usually need to demonstrate ability to pay in the form of evidence that they have sufficient funds to actually participate in the furniture auction. People may be required to pay a buy in, or to present funds at the time of registration, with the funds being held and released after the auction.


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Post 3

@talentryto- Though it is tempting to buy furniture from an online auction when the prices are low, I prefer furniture auctions that I can go to in person. Reading details about furniture and looking at pictures of it can not compare to seeing what you are buying in person in my opinion.

Before you try an online furniture auction, you should find out what furniture auctions are available in your area. You may be surprised at the deals you can find close to home.

Post 2

@talentryto- Though buying furniture from an online auction can be risky, it is worth the risk when you find nice pieces at low prices. I think that the best rule of thumb to follow when shopping at an online auctions is to look for those that provide a lot of pictures and clean details of the furniture that is up for bids.

You should also consider an online furniture auction's return policy and warranty. If you don't have any recourse if you are not satisfied with your purchase, then you should probably skip that auction.

Post 1

I found some furniture on an online auction that I would like to buy, but I am concerned about not being able to see it in person first. Should I trust the furniture auction listing and place a bid, or is it best to buy furniture at a local auction where I can look at what I'm buying first?

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