People are often intimidated from buying at auction, and we try to make the process as easy and straightforward as possible.
There are basically four ways to purchase items:
1) Attending the Sale – the traditional method by indicating to the auctioneer that you want to bid. Some people bid surreptitiously, others quite ostentatiously – it doesn’t really matter. It is exciting with a live adrenalin atmosphere and by this method you have the best chance of securing the items that you want. You have a ‘paddle’ or registration number that the auctioneer will make a note of. The bidding will go up in increments set by the auctioneer depending on what level the bidding is at.
2) Leaving a Bid – known as commission bidding. If you are unable to attend the event, we bid on your behalf up to the maximum level that you have set. This is a free service and we ask you to fill in a green commission bid form that gives us your details, the lot numbers that you wish to bid on, and the maximum amount you wish to spend on each lot. Or you can leave commission bids online. You can also phone the office to leave commission bids. These commission bids you leave, will be carried out as cheaply as possible, depending upon the other bids in the room, other commission bids, reserves, etc. Hopefully you will find that you have purchased the lots for less than your maximum bid, but sometimes two or more commission bids are left for the same amount on the same lot. If this happens, then the successful purchaser will be the first commission bid that we received on that specific lot.
Remember you can leave commission bids through our online catalogue. These go straight into the auctioneers book once you have registered on our site. Alternatively you can leave commission bids by phone, fax or in person by filling out a green commission form.
3) By Telephone – Providing that the lower estimate is over £100, you can book a telephone bid on a lot, or a number of lots. (We do not have telephone bids on low value items, as it slows down the sale; and if the bottom estimate is below £100, despite you potentially offering considerably more than the estimate, we have to draw the line somewhere.)
We will ring you at the appropriate time during the auction when the item(s) you are interested in are coming up. You will then have a direct live line to a clerk or porter, who will be in the room, and you should be able to hear the auctioneer on the rostrum. You will instruct the member of staff to bid or to stop, as you see fit.
A buyers premium of 20% of the hammer price plus VAT is charged on all lots purchased at the auction. Please note that there is a minimum charge of £1 per lot. There is no VAT payable on the hammer price amount, except in the most unusual circumstances.
You can pay by cash, cheque, bankers draft, debit card or credit card. On some cards we do add a 2.5% surcharge to cover the costs of processing. We request that all items are paid for before collection.
We are generally ‘on view’ for two days prior to an auction. With catalogue sales, the viewing is usually longer. However we are often available to view before the official open days, so if you are nearby or passing, please ring or call in. Providing we are set up and lotted up, you are welcome to look round.
Once items are paid for, we like to see the lots ‘away‘ to their new homes as quickly as possible.
You can collect during the auction, or during the days immediately following the sale. As our saleroom space is limited, we often have to remove items to our warehouse, so that we can set up the next sale.
We spend a great number of days packing and posting parcels after each auction, and this does take time, so please be patient. Once items are paid for, they go into a dispatch queue. If you wish to add the postage and packing cost to your purchase monies, that is acceptable. However please bear in mind that it takes quite a long time to carefully bubblewrap an object, find a suitable box, secure and label up clearly, and then take to a Post Office.
We pride ourselves on packing carefully and thoroughly and charge accordingly ‘at cost’. From glass to jewellery, ceramics to pictures – very rarely do items get damaged or go missing with our despatch department. However you must instruct us exactly what you wish to be done with your purchases, and how you want them to be sent.
We use a number of different carriers/couriers/removal firms/shippers for our deliveries, and we are able to supply quotations to any part of the UK or abroad.
So that you do not miss sales – please register on our website and you will automatically receive an email alert about forthcoming auctions. You will also receive news about valuation days, special events, previews, etc
Our main catalogue descriptions are deliberately short ‘one liners’. This is what appears in the printed catalogue alongside the illustration. On the website we also have the Auctioneers Report on each individual lot. This comments on the condition of the lot, where it has come from, age, colour, provenance, extra dimensions, etc.
Sometimes prospective buyers require further information and detail about lots, and we are delighted to supply this along with extra photographs, etc
For Estate sales we do not have such detail on the lots, but we are happy to supply as much information as we can do about individual lots. For example – “is a washing machine working?” “Are the curtains lined?” “Are there any chips on the Doulton dinner service”, etc.