New to Auctions
Whether you are new to buying or selling we would like to welcome you and hope this simple guide may be of some help. Whether you choose to read all or none of it when you come to one of our events you can get all the support you need by approaching any member of staff and explaining that you are new to our auctions. Our team will gladly help you through the simple processes.
Buying Fine Art, Antiques & General Sale Items
We have weekly auctions of a range of items which you can make yourself familiar with by browsing through the website. Auctions are an exciting way of buying and we make the process as easy as possible. The following is a simple guide to getting the most from your visit to our saleroom.
Prior to attending a particular sale
The auction catalogue is where you will find the list of objects being offered for sale and these are known as lots, each lot having its own particular number. Sometimes the lots will be a collection of objects being sold under one lot number, look carefully at the descriptions against each entry.
Against each item will be the Auctioneers estimate of the likely selling price along with their opinion of the date and authenticity of a piece if it affects their value. Remember, estimates are only offered as a rough guide and objects may be sold for more or less on the day of the sale.
Do attend a sale preview. These take place Friday 2pm – 7pm and Saturday morning 9am – 11am up to the start of the Auction. Unfortunately some lots cannot be viewed once the Auction has commenced.
It is possible to bid just by inspecting a photograph and obtaining a condition report, but we do not recommend this for inexperienced buyers.
Should you view a sale and not be able to attend, you may leave a commission bid or request a telephone bid. Special forms are available for this and the lots will be purchased on your behalf at the lowest possible price, subject to other bids and reserves.
Check the buyer’s premium (this is a percentage added on to any successful bid made) and bear in mind that these rates are inclusive of VAT.
At the auction
In order to bid you will need to register prior to our sales. This is a simple process you need to call into our office and complete a registration form and you will then be allocated a buyer’s number (paddle) by which you will be identified during the auction.
Check the timing of the sale. Our auctioneer can auction between 200 and 250 lots per hour. Please enquire with our staff about when your lot number may come under the hammer (up for sale) but remember this is only a guide, so leave yourself some extra time. Our café is conveniently located adjacent to the sale hall and you can usually listen to the sale whilst waiting for your lot number and enjoying a cup of coffee!
If you are completely new to auctions, ensure you listen to other lots being sold so that you can get used to the bidding process. During the sale our auctioneer will call out the lot number and description of the item being sold and the bidding will usually start somewhere below the lower estimate. Our clients have many different ways of signaling a bid, some of which are more eccentric than others! The easy way is to clearly raise the paddle that you have been given with your buyer’s number on it.
Waving or nodding is fine for those who are slightly more confident. Don’t worry about the possibility of accidentally having a bid taken when it wasn’t intended, our auctioneer is very experienced and as well as the normal signal he is looking for eye contact.
In a busy auction room and particularly where the bids are progressing quickly, make sure your gestures are confident enough to attract the auctioneer’s attention. If the auctioneer is busy with two bidders, don’t worry, as soon as one of those two bidders’ drops out he will look round the room to check for other interested parties. If the bidding is still below your limit this will be your chance.
When the Auctioneer considers there will be no further bids he finalises the sale by striking the rostrum with his gavel and he will then confirm your buyer’s number if you are the successful bidder.
When you have successfully concluded bidding on your lot or lots, return to the office where you pay for your purchase and obtain the necessary release documentation to allow you to collect your purchase when the auction is finished. Items need to be collected by Tuesday following the auction in which they are purchased. We do offer a delivery service for larger items of furniture please speak to a member of staff in the office regarding charges.