Download the Guide in PDF format
Look through lots of catalogues online to get a feel for what is available, and what prices things might be going for (www.the-saleroom.com is a great place to start)
Once you’ve found something you’re interested in, go and have a look at what it is you would like to bid on – things often look better in the flesh than in a photograph and vice versa.
If you can’t attend the viewing day, check to see whether there is late night viewing – if not, call the auctioneer to see if you can make an appointment to view.
If you’re interested in buying furniture, don’t forget to measure the available space in your home – it isn’t unheard of for people to get something home and find that it doesn’t fit the intended gap!
If you’re buying online, or from a distance and really can’t get to the viewing day, make sure that you ask for a condition report and extra images which will help give you more information and the confidence to know that you really like the item before you leave a bid.
For major items, provenance - the item’s history, is extremely important. For instance, the pencil sketch that we sold by L S Lowry earlier this year for a record breaking £12,400 had impeccable provenance from the Halycon Gallery, therefore the buyer had the confidence to go the extra mile to acquire the picture as he knew without a doubt that the picture was right.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The auctioneer and staff are there to help you, and will be fully prepared to help you negotiate the world of auctions.
If attending the auction, make sure that you register as a buyer in plenty of time so that you don’t have to rush about on sale day.
When you bid in the room, ensure that your bid is clear to the auctioneer and if you don’t think you have been seen, make yourself known – no auctioneer I’ve ever met likes to miss a bid and we won’t take offence if you give a quick shout!
If you can’t bid in person, we do offer a free telephone bidding service where we will call a few lots in advance and you can bid live via the phone. This does need to be organised well in advance, so try and book a line the day before the auction at least. An alternative to live phone bidding is live bidding via the internet, but make sure you’re aware of any extra charges from the hosting company (usually around 3% plus VAT of the total hammer price in addition to the Buyer’s Premium).
Commission bids can also be left with the auctioneer, and there is no charge for doing so. The auctioneer will not go to your maximum bid unless he/she has to in order to acquire the item for you.
Last but not least – collection of goods. Most auction rooms have a very quick turnaround for goods so will need you to collect your items as soon as possible once payment has been made. If you aren’t able to transport your purchases yourself, make sure you have arrangements in place beforehand to avoid unnecessary delays.