This may seem a little late, to be putting up a blog about entering items in an auction when you’ve already found our website and presumably answered a lot of these questions yourself…but there’s no harm in running over them again just in case, right? So here’s a little round up of the most commonly asked questions and assumptions people make about an auction house, or at least our auction house.
Do you buy items?
No, we don’t buy and then sell items, that would make us dealers. We do take your items, photograph, catalogue and advertise them in one of our sales to hopefully attract a number of bidders which will get you the best price possible for the item.
How do I go about entering something into a sale?
The best place to start is to either send in a few photographs or pop in with the piece, if small enough to be manageable. That way the auctioneer or one of our colleagues will be able to tell you if its suitable for our saleroom, as we do specialise in certain periods etc, and will also likely be able to give you a rough estimate as to what we think it would bring.
Once this has happened and you’ve decided to sell the piece with us, you can take a step back and let us do the work. We will catalogue, photograph and lot the item, entering it into an appropriate sale (period oak or fine furniture etc) and start advertising the piece/sale. The details and image (s) go into a hard copy catalogue which is sold to interested parties as well as being sent to current subscribers and interested parties. Adverts are taken out in a number of publications, as well as through social media and the internet.
The sale will take place on a Sunday, you will have been sent details of this as well as a catalogue as soon as they are available, approx. 2 weeks prior to the sale date. Estimates, reserves etc will have all been agreed prior to the catalogue being published, but can be adjusted online etc afterwards if necessary.
Fingers crossed the sale goes well, the item will be sold, paid for and two weeks (approx.) after this date you will be sent a statement and your bank will receive a BACS payment for the hammer price, minus any appropriate fees.
The sales in 2 weeks, why cant you still take my item?
This is often something that occurs, people see the advertising for the next sale in the aforementioned magazines and think they have something suitable, wanting us to enter the piece as a last minute entry. Although this is possible, in some instances, its not something we recommend as the piece would miss the hard copy catalogue which a lot of our customers rely on. It would also mean the cataloguing and photography was rushed and would likely not be up to our normal high standards.
When do pieces have to be in by?
Generally 5-6 weeks before the next Period Oak or Fine Furniture sale, earlier is better. This allows us to research the piece, contact relevant parties who might be interested and really give your piece the best possible shot at achieving a great price.
What happens after a sale? Or if my item doesn’t sell?
Once the sale is over we’ll get in touch and discuss the next steps, whether you would like the piece back or if you’d rather enter it again in future with a lower reserve etc.
We hope this makes things a little clearer but if you have any specific questions please feel free to contact us and we will endeavour to help.