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Graham Budd's Guide to Auction Terminology

Within the auction industry and during sales, there are a variety of terms and phrases that are commonly used, including a few that are specific to a sports memorabilia auction house.

Below are some examples of terms you’ll hear along with their descriptions:

Absentee Bid: Method of bidding for those who cannot attend an auction. Absentee bids are also called “commission or written” bids and may be placed by submitting an online Absentee Bid.

Autographed: An item that has been signed by a player or other relevant person.

Authentication: The process of determining the authenticity of an item.

Bid: The amount a prospective buyer indicates to the auctioneer they would pay to buy the lot during bidding.

Bid increment: The minimum amount by which bids must increase. In general 5-10% higher than previous bid. However, these are at auctioneers’ discretion.

Buyer's premium: An additional fee added to the hammer price that is paid by the buyer.

Consignor/Vendor: The person or entity who is offering an item(s) for auction.

Condition Report: A written description of the condition of a work, prepared by GBA specialists prior to an auction.

Estimate: Each lot is given a low and high estimate. This is based on the opinion of GBA specialists about the range in which the lot might sell at auction. These are published online and give prospective buyers a guide to value and a general pointer to reserve price if the lot has an active reserve.

Framed: An item that has been framed, usually with a photo or jersey.

Hammer price: The final bid price of an item at the end of an auction determining sale price, not including buyer’s premium.

Inscribed: An item that has been signed or written on by the player or other relevant person.

Lot: A single item or group of items offered for sale in an auction.

Match/Game-used: An item that has been used in an actual game or match.

Opening bid: The starting price for bidding on an item.

Passed/Unsold: If no bids are received on a lot, or if bidding does not reach the agreed reserve price, the lot is Passed/Unsold meaning it is left unsold and remains the property of the vendor.

Provenance: The history of ownership for an item, including information about previous owners and any significant events or uses the item has been a part of.

Reserve price: The confidential minimum price at which a consignor is willing to sell an item. Reserves are set at or below lower estimate.

Familiarising yourself with these terms and phrases can help with getting a better understanding of the process before you bid in one of our auctions and ultimately, will help you on your collector’s journey.

If you would like any further advice on the buying and selling process at Graham Budd Auctions, head to our guides below or contact

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