Before you bid on your new piece you should satisfy yourself as to the condition and authenticity of the item. The best way to do this is to ensure that you inspect the item thoroughly. It's very good practise to request a detailed condition report, additional images and any other bits of information (such as the provenance of an item) from the auctioneer.
On every lot page, you'll see an 'Ask a question' link. Use this for requesting additional details about the item from the auction house.
It's also not a bad idea to do some research on the type of item to see what they usually go for. Our Price Guide is a great tool as it contains our entire database of sold prices going back to 2001! Click on the 'Price Guide' tab on our website to subscribe.