DEFINITION of 'Auction House'

A company that facilitates the buying and selling of assets, such as works of art and collectibles. An auction house may sometimes refer to the facility that an auction is taking place in, most commonly refers to the company running the auction.

BREAKING DOWN 'Auction House'

Historically, auctions have been used both to sell the assets of those looking to dispose of them, as well as to liquidate the assets of debtors. Auctions took place in many different facilities, as well as in the open air public spaces. Enclosed showroom auction houses began in the 17th century. The oldest auction house is the Stockholms Auktionsverk in Stockholm, Sweden. It was founded in 1674.

Some of the most famous auction houses are Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and focus almost exclusively on high end art and collectibles. While most often associated with the sale of famous works of art, auction houses can be used in the sale of all sorts of assets, including commodities.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Call Auction

    Where participants buy or sell units of a good. At a call auction, ...
  2. Reverse Auction

    A type of auction in which sellers bid for the prices at which ...
  3. Auction Rate

    The interest rate that will be paid on a specific security as ...
  4. Reserve Price

    A minimum dollar amount that the owner of an item up for auction ...
  5. Absolute Auction

    A type of auction where the sale is awarded to the highest bidder. ...
  6. Chandelier Bid

    A bid that is announced by an auctioneer during an auction that ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Should You Buy a House At Auction?

    The traditional real estate market isn't the only place to conduct your home search. Auctions also bring many buying opportunities.
  2. Investing

    Should You Buy A House At Auction?

    In theory, many of the best properties are auctioned. But auctioned properties aren’t always hidden gems.
  3. Investing

    Explaining Dutch Auction

    A Dutch auction is a public offering auction.
  4. Managing Wealth

    3 Reasons To Buy Government Surplus for Your Small Business

    Learn why it's wise to access government surplus auctions to buy furnishings, equipment and other items to start a new business or expand an existing business.
  5. Investing

    eBay vs. DealDash: Comparing Auction Sites (EBAY, PYPL)

    Learn how the bidding process works at DealDash and eBay, and discover the potential pitfalls when making bids at these auction sites.
  6. Managing Wealth

    Top Ways To Profit From Storage Auctions

    Here are some extremely valuable tips to help you become an expert at finding deals at storage auctions.
  7. Personal Finance

    How The Auction Market Works

    Here's a look into the online auction market and how to get yourself the best value possible on sites like eBay and Quibids.
  8. Investing

    Gulf Of Mexico Still A Hotspot

    A recent auction proves that oil companies are still making moves in the Gulf of Mexico. Find out which companies are making the big plays.
  9. Investing

    The Auction Method: How NYSE Stock Prices are Set

    The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), sometimes referred to as “the big board,” is the oldest and largest stock exchange in the United States. NYSE is the place investors think of when ...
  10. Personal Finance

    The Top 3 Women-Owned Businesses in Phoenix

    Learn about several of the top companies owned by women in the Phoenix metro area, and discover how these firms are succeeding in Arizona and around the world.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does it mean when my broker says that shares are for auction?

    An auction market is one in which stock buyers enter competitive bids and stock sellers enter competitive offers at the same ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the maturity terms for Treasury bonds?

    Learn how treasury bonds pay interest, when they reach maturity and the differences between terms for treasury bonds and ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is an odd-lot buyback?

    An odd-lot buyback occurs when a company offers to purchase shares of its stock back from people who hold less than 100 shares. ... Read Answer >>
  4. How are treasury bill interest rates determined?

    Find out why interest rates for U.S. Treasury bills are determined at auction and how so-called "competitive" bidders impact ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is meant by off-the-run treasuries?

    Understand what is meant by off-the-run Treasuries, along with the key differences in yield that commonly occur between on- ... Read Answer >>
  6. How can I invest in tax liens?

    Find out about the steps an investor must take to invest in tax liens, along with the potential benefits of doing so. Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
  2. Portfolio Investment

    A holding of an asset in a portfolio. A portfolio investment is made with the expectation of earning a return on it. This ...
  3. Treynor Ratio

    A ratio developed by Jack Treynor that measures returns earned in excess of that which could have been earned on a riskless ...
  4. Buyback

    The repurchase of outstanding shares (repurchase) by a company in order to reduce the number of shares on the market. Companies ...
  5. Tax Refund

    A tax refund is a refund on taxes paid to an individual or household when the actual tax liability is less than the amount ...
  6. Gross Domestic Product - GDP

    The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, ...
Trading Center