Sotheby's

DEFINITION of 'Sotheby's'

One of the world's most venerable auction houses. The company is largely known for holding auctions of very valuable and rare collectors' items such as jewelry, antiques and fine art.

BREAKING DOWN 'Sotheby's'

Sotheby's acts as a market for the exchange of rare and valuable pieces for which there are few other means of buying and selling. Because of the rarity of many of the items that go onto the auction block, the company provides a way for investors and collectors to liquidate their holdings in an otherwise illiquid market. However, huge swings in value tend to be common with much of what Sotheby's sells because items such as gemstones, fine art and antiques are worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for them at the time they are sold.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Auction House

    A company that facilitates the buying and selling of assets, ...
  2. Reverse Auction

    A type of auction in which sellers bid for the prices at which ...
  3. Reserve Price

    A minimum dollar amount that the owner of an item up for auction ...
  4. Call Auction

    Where participants buy or sell units of a good. At a call auction, ...
  5. Auction Rate

    The interest rate that will be paid on a specific security as ...
  6. Absolute Auction

    A type of auction where the sale is awarded to the highest bidder. ...
Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    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. Home & Auto

    Evaluating An Heirloom

    Whether it's jewelry, furniture or a book collection, once you inherit it you need to decide what to do with it. First, find out what it's worth.
  3. Budgeting

    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.
  4. Personal Wealth & Private Banking

    The Luxury Market: What's Cheaper Than Last Year

    A new report reveals that even the ultra rich have limits on how much they're willing to spend to enjoy the finer things in life.
  5. Home & Auto

    Should You Buy A House At Auction?

    In theory, many of the best properties are auctioned. But auctioned properties aren’t always hidden gems.
  6. Personal Finance

    6 Tips for Investing in Antiques

    Historically, antiques are highly appreciating assets, but be prepared for a long-term investment.
  7. Stock Analysis

    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.
  8. Investing Basics

    Fine Art Can Be A Fine Investment

    The art market is fickle, and there are no guarantees of profitability, but with a little legwork and forethought you can fill your home with images that may prove worthy investments down the ...
  9. Personal Finance

    Apple I Computer

    With the skyrocketing demand of anything Apple, many have profited off the demand by selling Apple merchandise on the auction block.
  10. Credit & Loans

    How to Push Back Against a Debt Collector

    Debt collectors can be professional or nasty beyond belief. Here's how to fight back – and what your rights and obligations are if one contacts you.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can debt collectors add fees to my debt?

    Find out when a debt collector is legally allowed to charge interest and fees on a past-due debt and if a debtor can contest ... Read Answer >>
  2. What's the average salary of a bill collector?

    Start a new career in bill collections, and you may have job security with the potential growth that is expected in this ... Read Answer >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. Are debt collectors allowed to call me at work?

    Find out if and when it is all right for a debt collector to call a debtor at work and how the debtor can make it stop under ... Read Answer >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. Can a debt collector contact me about a debt that's no longer on my credit report?

    Learn about the circumstances that allow a debt collector to contact a consumer about a past-due debt that is not on a credit ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Law Of Demand

    A microeconomic law that states that, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, consumer ...
  2. Cost Of Debt

    The effective rate that a company pays on its current debt. This can be measured in either before- or after-tax returns; ...
  3. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  4. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
  5. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
  6. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications ...

    A member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members. Established in 1973, the ...
Trading Center