Auctioneers make an inventory of the items submitted to them: furniture, paintings, objets d'art, jewellery, etc., establishing their provenance and signature, or stamp, if known. They then estimate the value of these objects to set their starting price at the sale.
A sale date is fixed depending on the nature of the object and its quality. The object is then photographed and added to the catalogue, and advertisements are placed in appropriate publications in order to reach as many potential buyers as possible. The lots can be viewed in a public exhibition before the sale.
The bids represent the final outcome of the auctioneers' work, and reveal their talent. They demonstrate auctioneers' ability and skill in presenting the objects, and their expertise in raising bids in the interests of the seller.