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There can be a significant difference between purchasing retail and buying at auction. It’s as much about the process, the subtleties of bidding and developing the expertise required for winkling out the hidden gems as the objects themselves. In short, the whole auction experience has a connoisseurial element you don’t get from general shopping. I suppose that at its best a parallel would be the difference between popping down to the supermarket for bottle of plonk and embarking on a wine-tasting evening with a view to acquiring a case or two of top quality burgundy.

Of course, it’s not all about mastering a process – getting a bargain and finding something unique or unusual are as attractive aspects of buying at auction as anything – but it’s amazing how the thrill of your first successful bid never leaves you and buying at auction, both online but especially in person in the room, can become almost a compulsion.

Why is this? Firstly, it’s a competitive sport and there is both art and science to the bidding process as you try to outwit the competition. Secondly, often bidders are competing for something unique; if they don’t win out against everyone else, they may not get another chance to acquire the piece in question. Thirdly, sometimes you can get a real bargain.

Even before the bidding starts, there is the thrill of the hunt, as you root through items at the view, looking for that elusive treasure. What’s not to like!