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. Personal Finance

    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. Personal Finance

    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. Entrepreneurship & Small Business

    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 Finance

    How To Cash In Your Heirlooms

    Learn how to make the most money from your family treasures without getting ripped off.
  5. Managing Wealth

    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.
  6. Personal Finance

    Should You Buy A House At Auction?

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

    Auction Rate Securities: Bidding On The Long Run

    These investments do better with a long-term horizon. Should you buy them before they're going, going, gone?
  8. Managing Wealth

    6 Tips for Investing in Antiques

    Historically, antiques are highly appreciating assets, but be prepared for a long-term investment.
  9. Markets

    Explaining Dutch Auction

    A Dutch auction is a public offering auction.
  10. Personal Finance

    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.
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 would be the cheapest way to deal with a debt collector?

    I owe $2,500 to a debt collector. My main question is should I try to tackle the collection agency myself or hire a credit ... Read Answer >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Quantitative Trading

    Trading strategies based on quantitative analysis which rely on mathematical computations and number crunching to identify ...
  2. Bond Ladder

    A portfolio of fixed-income securities in which each security has a significantly different maturity date. The purpose of ...
  3. Duration

    A measure of the sensitivity of the price (the value of principal) of a fixed-income investment to a change in interest rates. ...
  4. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  5. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  6. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
Trading Center