Railtons offer a service to clients, so that they get the best possible price for their treasures.
We tell you what your things are worth, and then sell them for you – mainly through two different types of auctions.
Catalogue Sales are for higher value items where we photograph, market and promote your pieces. [For very specialised items we sometimes suggest transferring to a specialist auction – such as a marine sale, a coin auction for a valuable coin collection, a breweriana event for a rare pub jug, etc. ]
All items are pictured and listed on our website as well as other specialist search engines, and we carry out extensive local and national advertising for our catalogue sales to attract buyers from around the world.
Household Sales are more frequently held and contain everything from the kitchen sink to a sofa. Lower value items are entered into these house clearance sales when items are just “sold to the highest bidder”. We have no reserves or estimates in these auctions and they provide a service for people clearing houses, decluttering, as well as a means of disposing of unwanted chattels.
Charges – Jim Railton travels throughout the UK visiting clients and looking at their treasures, and does not make any charge for this service. For example, he has just picked up a collection of Scottish pottery in Kent and is clearing a house in Norfolk next month. Clients usually come to us as we have acted for them or their family before, or because we have been recommended by friends and professional advisors.
Our commission rates are highly competitive and one of the most reasonable in the North of England. Our standard selling rate is 20% of the hammer price, plus the dreaded VAT on this commission. For very high value items or volume (e.g. a complete mansion house clearance) we may occasionally apply a reduced concessionary commission rate. It all depends on what it is you have to sell.
Payment is normally made 35 days after a sale, providing we have been paid by the buyer.
ALL sales have an entry charge of £4/per lot, whether sold or unsold. In addition we charge 1% of the hammer price for insurance – to protect your chattels whilst they are in our hands, in case anything untoward should happen to them. Carriage, packing and removal of items is charged to vendors “at cost”, and we use a number of different local removal firms. [We try to store items up in an area so that we can sweep everything up in one van run, making it more economical from the sellers point of view.] Mr Railton doesn’t charge for anything he can collect himself in the back of his car!
Specialist Areas – We don’t know everything! Often we are asked about specialist items like golf clubs, stamps, fountain pens, football programmes, medical instruments, etc. We have contacts in all such esoteric fields and get advice from specialists in London and overseas. For example, we recently sold some tribal art in Paris and had some important seafaring historical items in a marine sale in London.
Marketing – We have the largest auction database in the North and advertise sales extensively nationally and locally. We also send out email alerts to all our registered buyers. We are also currently developing our own innovative online bidding platform. Buyers can purchase in four ways – by traditionally attending the auction and bidding, by telephone live on the day, by leaving a commission bid with us either by email/phone/fax, etc, and finally by the new online clicking of a mouse.
Prices – Railtons has a history of getting the best price for their sellers – much higher than other regional salerooms with larger attendances of private buyers at the weekend auctions. We liaise with vendors about placing suggested reserves on items.