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Buying At Auction V4

Buying at Auction



Buying preowned items at auction is becoming more popular as people look to sustainability and upcycling as a consumer choice. Auctions are a great way to obtain unique, unusual and beautiful items and is not as daunting as it may look. Whilst it can be an extremely vibrant and fast paced environment, the key points below will help you master the art of bidding and give you the knowledge you need to be successful.

How do I search for an item?

You can search for your favourite lots using the search field at the top of our website, and register below to be notified when particular items become available.

All our auctions have beautifully illustrated printed catalogues as well as an on-line version which can be found on our website in the weeks preceding each auction. You can sign up to receive notifications of upcoming auctions by email or to receive a hard copy of the catalogue in the post for a fee. If you would like to order a catalogue, please telephone our office. 

How do I view an item?

Our team of experts inspect, appraise and describe every lot in detail including an assessment of general condition. Along with the accompanying images you can be sure that we have represented every item to our outmost ability allowing you to buy with confidence. If you still have questions, you can request further details, full condition reports and additional images and we will be happy to provide these.

We encourage prospective buyers to come and view all lots in person in the days prior to each auction. Our experts will be on hand to answer any questions you have. Our viewing dates are detailed in the front of all our catalogues and will normally take place on the morning of the auction and two days prior.

How do I bid?

There are a number of ways to bid at an auction – these are covered in detail below. You can also place your maximum bid with the auctioneer before the auction starts either online or directly with our team.

What are the costs?

If successful with your bidding, the amount to pay will be the hammer price plus buyer’s premium of 23% + VAT (27.6% including VAT), in addition to any on-line bidding fees applicable, and any other additional fees such as ARR. Lots can be collected as soon as payment is made. We also offer an in-house packing and postal service for most non-fragile items or can otherwise suggest local shipping agents for both domestic and international delivery.

Live online bidding

Bidding online at one of our auctions is very easy and a great way to experience the fun of an auction remotely. Register on our website for an online account prior to the auction. On auction day, select the current auction from our auction listing to view and listen to the auction real-time. You will be able to see the current price and next bid of each lot as it is auctioned, allowing you to bid accordingly. The auctioneer will know the instant you have bid and is even aware if you are ‘hovering’ over the Bid button deciding whether to give it a go! You can also opt to leave a maximum bid online if you are unable to stay for the duration of the auction.

Bidding in person

Most of our auctions are open for buyers to attend and bid in person. It’s an exciting experience and one that we know you will enjoy. You will need to register on arrival (bring some identification such as a driving licence), when you will be allocated with a bidding number, or paddle, to hold up when bidding.

Absentee bidding

If you are unable to attend an auction, you can place commission bids, whereby the auctioneer will place bids on your behalf, up to an agreed maximum. The auctioneer will manage this process directly.

Telephone bidding

You can register beforehand as a phone bidder and arrange for us to call you so that you can bid over the telephone, as if you were in the auction room itself. Many of our auctions are very busy with telephone bidders so we ask that you register at least 24 hours beforehand. We do not allow telephone bids for single lots under £200.

Looking for a valuation? Speak to our friendly team today for a free online valuation.