Jewelry auctions fall into a couple of major categories, each one of which has its own quirks. The first type of auction is an overstock auction. This means that the auction company has acquired their jewelry items from retail stores that ordered too much of a given product. At this type of auction, you can literally purchase the exact same pieces you would find in a store, for up to 80 percent less than the retail price. Overstock auctions are typically very trustworthy in their jewelry descriptions, because they have a deep knowledge of the jewelry industry, and because their pieces come from retail stores with documentation.
The next type of auction is a seized property auction. In this type of auction, the jewelry comes from the collection of an individual or business that has lost their property due to legal action of some sort. They may have declared bankruptcy, or they may be liquidating their assets in order to pay a fine. This type of jewelry auction also offers excellent deals, because there is usually an “everything must go” attitude in effect.
One last type of auction is a private sale. This could be an estate sale, or an auction of individual pieces on a site like eBay. Private auctions often have higher prices, because the individual selling the jewelry is trying to make a bigger profit, and they usually don’t feel much pressure to sell at a low price. Private auctions can be risky, because you are relying on the word of the seller as to the quality and value of the piece. Ideally, you should avoid private auctions of items that do not carry an official appraisal from a third party.