Buying at Auction
Our aim is to make the buying process as simple and straightforward as possible. You may think you are the only nervous newcomer in the saleroom, but there are first time buyers every month, and our friendly staff are quite used to offering help and advice to novice buyers. There are several ways of bidding for lots.
Attending the Saleroom
Most people still like to attend the auction in person and bid for the lots in which they are interested. In order to place a bid at any of our auctions, you will need to complete a short form providing details of your name, address, telephone number and email address, if you have one. You will also be required to produce one form of identification (e.g. a driving licence or recent utility bill, not a passport), and in return you will be given a 'paddle' or buyer number to enable you to bid for any lot.
Absentee Commission Bidding
If you are unable to attend the auction, the auctioneer or another member of the Client Services team can bid on your behalf up to the maximum level that you have set. This is a free service; you simply complete an Absentee Commission Bid form available at the Auction Centre giving us your details, the lot numbers that you wish to bid on, and the maximum amount that you wish to spend on each lot. There is also a Commission Bid form on our website catalogue, or you may leave commission bids by phone or by email. We undertake to execute your bids as cheaply as is permitted by other bids or reserves up to, but not exceeding your maximum bids.
You can book a telephone bid on any lot where the lower guide price is over £80. A member of our Client Services team will phone you shortly before the lot becomes due, and will take your instructions and bid on your behalf within the saleroom. Furthermore, you should be able to hear the auctioneer at the rostrum.
Live Internet Bidding
All of our auctions are broadcast online, and you can follow proceedings with live audio feed from the comfort of your own home or office computer. You will then be able to place bids electronically direct to the Auction Centre during the course of the sale.
The golden rule for anyone hoping to buy at auction is to thoroughly inspect each lot you are interested in before bidding, as no warranty or guarantee is given with anything that is sold. For this reason the Auction Centre is open for viewing on the Friday immediately prior to each sale from 1pm to 7pm and on the morning of each sale from 8.00am. It is recommended that absentee bidders who are unable to attend a public viewing should request a free Condition Report as early as possible prior to the auction, and in any event no later than one day prior to the sale.
A buyer's premium of 16% plus VAT is charged on all lots purchased at auction (minimum charge £1).
All lots should ideally be paid for at the end of the sale, but in any event no later than close of business on the Tuesday immediately following each auction and difficulties will arise if you are unable to comply with this condition. We accept cash and all major debit and credit cards (there is a surcharge of 3.5% for credit cards).
Collection, Delivery and Shipping
Once you have paid for your purchases, you will be given two receipted invoices. One is for you to keep, and one will need to be handed to a porter at the Collection Point. He or she will then release your lots for you. The Auction Centre is also open for collections on the Sunday immediately after each sale from 11am to 1pm. Please always remember that the lots purchased are at your own risk from the fall of the hammer, and it is therefore in your own interests to remove your purchases as soon as possible.
We operate a local delivery service employing our own transport and porters (small charge applies), and we also have an in-house packaging department which ships goods anywhere in the UK or abroad.