Each item at auction is referred to as a lot. The description of each lot is of paramount concern for the online bidder. Some auction houses describe the condition of each lot, but most do not. In many cases, if there is no damage, the auction house does not add the condition of the lot, choosing only to communicate any damage. Other auction houses fail to disclose damages. This is a definite advantage to attending an auction and personally inspecting each lot and a serious disadvantage to the online bidder. In the event you are the successful bidder and the lot has damages not disclosed in the description, it is your misfortune. The terms and condition of each auction house clearly state that it is the responsibility of the bidder to assess the lot condition prior to bidding. Returns are rarely accepted.
TIP: Contact the auction house prior to bidding and request a condition report. The condition report typically states that the item is in good condition and notes and damage. Additional photos, often high-resolution, are frequently provided so that you can inspect the lot more carefully.