Nate Berkus reveals the 3 things you should always do before bidding on an antique auction

The designer discusses how he navigates the online market – to mark his exclusive collection with 1stDibs

Nate Berkus for 1stDibs
(Image credit: Nate Berkus for 1stDibs)

The world of online auctions can be tricky to navigate, but designer Nate Berkus is here to change that. The HGTV star has curated a collection of 'handpicked' pieces for auction house 1stDibs that comprises a selection of pieces that will make a statement in your home. 

The collection, which launches today (January 19th), includes a Lina Bo Bardi Stool, a Turkish wall hanging, and a vintage Guglielmo Ulrich Bar Cabinet that is set to be the talking point of your next house party. However, before decorating with antiques, you need to know how to find the furniture that's right for you and make sure you're not overpaying for it during a heated auction. This is where Nate comes in to help. 

In celebration of his 1stDibs curation, Nate shared his interior design tips that will change how you shop for antiques at a virtual auction. This is what you need to know before getting online. 

3 things to remember before bidding on an antique auction

Nate Berkus for 1stDibs

(Image credit: Nate Berkus for 1stDibs)

1. Spell-check

The simple secret, Nate says, is in your spelling. 'Make sure you know the correct spelling of the creator that you're interested in so you can search accurately for things that may be coming up at auction,' Nate explains.  

Art Deco, Italian Exceptional Bar Cabinet by Guglielmo Ulrich, starting auction price XXX,

Art Deco, Italian Exceptional Bar Cabinet by Guglielmo Ulrich, Starting Bid: $11,102.26 /£8,154.56

(Image credit: 1stDibs)

2. Do your background research 

Learning the correct spelling is part of a pre-sale check that you should take before investing. However, the Nate and Jeremiah by Design star adds that the background check shouldn't end there. 

He explains that you should also 'do a little bit of research to gain some knowledge about pricing' to ensure you pick up a great deal. 

'The pre-sale auction estimate is the amount the site thinks an item is going to sell for. You should know how that compares to what the price would be at retail or in a store,' Nate says. 'Take the time to decide what you feel comfortable paying. Make sure you understand the terms of an auction, whether there are any fees above the sale price.'

Opticals Wall Hanging Intersection Handwoven Wool in Black and White In Stock, starting auction price X,

Opticals Wall Hanging Intersection Handwoven Wool in Black and White, Starting Bid: $260.06 /£191.01

(Image credit: 1stDibs)

3. Think ahead for post-purchase arrangements 

While it is easy to fall for a piece and reshape your bedroom and living room ideas appropriately, Nate reminds you not to neglect the delivery process. 

'Finally – and this is important – make sure you know how the item will be delivered or how you will pick it up,' Nate explains. 

This will allow you to bring your new favorite piece into your home seamlessly – so you can put your effort into your new decorating ideas

The collection is now live on1stDibs via this link

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.