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How to Buy:
Types of Auctions We Hold
Live Salesroom Auction
Our Live Salesroom Auctions are open to the public and held in front of a live audience in real time. Bidders participate in person as a floor bidder, via telephone, by submitting absentee bids, or bidding through a online bidding platform.
The catalogs for our Live Salesroom Auctions are posted on our website and also in a printed format.
Timed Online Auction
Similar to eBay timed auctions, bidding in our Timed Online Auctions are only available on our website. Our Timed Online Auctions typically run for ten (10) days. On the final day, the lots close sequentially, at 1-minute intervals.
Bidders receive an email to confirm a bid placed, if they are outbid, and if they are the winning bidder.
A bid placed within 30 minutes of the posted closing time will extend the bidding by 30 minutes. This continues until no more bids are placed.
Live Discovery Auction
Like our Live Salesroom Auction, the Discovery Auctions are open to the public and held in front of a live audience.
Floor bids are the primary form of bidding. Absentee bids are accepted from bidders who have previewed the items. Phone bidding and online bidding are not conducted for Discovery Auctions.
Condition reports for items in these auctions are not accepted; all lots are sold “As Is”.
The Discovery Auction feature a reduced Buyer’s Premium.
Cowan’s holds scheduled exhibition previews before each live auction. We encourage all interested buyers to inspect the lots, in person, at the auction gallery.
We make every effort to bring extremely rare or valuable property to serious buyers for inspection as needed.
Printed Auction Catalog
Cowan’s prints full-color catalogs for most salesroom auctions. Printed catalogs include descriptions, auction estimates, photographs, provenance information and exhibition history for each lot.
Online Auction Catalogs
Our Online catalogs include the same information as printed catalogs – with additional and enlarged photographs of each lot, often details. Live Saleroom Auction catalogs are posted to cowans.com 3-4 weeks prior to the auction.
Create an account with My Cowan’s to track lots, place absentee bids and request additional information.
Cowan’s provides condition reports upon request least 48 hours prior to the start of the auction. Please note that condition reports are given as a courtesy to any interested bidder and should not be treated as a statement of fact. The absence of a stated condition report does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free of imperfection, effects of aging or wear and tear.
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