The meaning of a scratch on your nose and other myths
There are many written and unwritten rules when attending auctions, but there are also myths that we want to debunk.
If you scratch your nose are you making a bid?
No! You either bid by clearly showing your hand or by holding up a special bidder’s card. There is always eye contact between the bidder and the auctioneer, so you need not be afraid that an inadvertent nod, sneeze or scratch on the nose will be seen as a bid. In the whole of Bruun Rasmussen’s history nobody has ever bid for something by mistake. That only happens in the movies.
Can I just watch?
Everybody is welcome to come and watch an auction. An auction is both exciting and entertaining even when it is not your intention to buy anything.
Can I just walk in from the street?
You are welcome to walk into any of Bruun Rasmussen’s auction houses during an auction. It does not cost anything and nobody will ask you for a ticket.
Can I leave in the middle of an auction?
You can come and go as you like. An auction often lasts several hours.
Several different categories of items are auctioned on the same day. If you are only interested in carpets, you do not need to arrive before the carpets come under the hammer.
The times at which the various categories will be sold can be found in the catalogue and also here on our website.
Must I be as quiet as a mouse?
Most people at auctions are concentrating on the auctioneer and the bids he is getting from the room, but this does not mean you have to be absolutely silent. At most auctions you will here a low buzz of conversation, people exchanging opinions and discussing prices.
However, you ought to switch off your mobile phone.
How do I bid?
At several of Bruun Rasmussen's auctions you must fill out a registration card and you will be given a bidder’s card with a number. The card must be put up when you want to bid.
At other Bruun Rasmussen auctions, bids are made by raising your hand. If you are successful in your bid, an auction house employee will approach you immediately after the hammer has fallen to take your name and address.
Does the auctioneer decide the bids?
The auctioneer sets the initial price.
You might be lucky and make a killing, but sometimes the price will rise above the original estimate.
How do I know what I should bid?
The auctioneer manages the bids by pointing and stating a new price. As a principal rule the auctioneer raises the bidding price in relation to the size of the amount.
What does the auctioneer do when something is sold?
When an article is sold, the auctioneer looks out into the auction room and repeats the price a couple of times to make sure that everyone has heard it.
Often he will also point out the highest bidder with the hammer to show who the bidder is. If there are no higher bids, he will look at the bidder and say, “Going once, going twice, sold” and bring down the hammer on the table.
What does it mean when the auctioneer lays down the hammer?
Sometimes items are not sold. This is usually because Bruun Rasmussen has agreed a reserve price with the seller, or if there is no interest in the item. The auctioneer lays down the hammer without bringing it down and moves on to the next lot.
Who is bidding at the telephones?
At all of Bruun Rasmussen’s auctions, telephone bids are submitted from Denmark and abroad.
Under special circumstances, you can make an arrangement for Bruun Rasmussen to call you immediately before a certain item comes under the hammer. In this way you can participate in the auction without actually being physically present in the auction rooms.
Who sits beside the auctioneer?
The person standing next to the auctioneer keeps a check on who buys what item and at what price. This protocol is directly transferred to the website where you can follow the progress.
Do I need to put on my best bib and tucker?
There is no dress code at Bruun Rasmussen’s auctions. Some guests come in shirt and tie and others come in jeans and flip-flops.