The credit crunch has meant reduced circumstances for many of us, so venturing into the auction room may be something that we are experiencing for the first time in our lives and perhaps with a certain amount of trepidation.
Most large cities in the UK have local auction rooms where antique furniture and other items of value can be put into the sale. The first thing to do is to find out when the valuation days are. Ring the auction house and make an appointment with an expert who can give you an idea of what your items may fetch. There will usually be a reserve (with discretion) attached to your item so that it cannot be sold for less than that amount.
At this stage you will make the decision as to whether you want to attend the sale or not. If you do attend the sale and want to bid for anything, you will need to register your interest beforehand and will be given a paddle with a number on it. This is your unique bidding number for the day which you will hold aloft if you manage to outbid everyone else in the room. If you cannot catch the auctioneer’s eye initially, you can wait until the bidding slows down then put your hand up. It is always wise to give yourself a limit as there is a commission of usually 15% plus on top of the hammer price. The same applies to items being sold, where commission and also VAT will be deducted. These days you can register a bid with the auctioneer beforehand, or by phone or via the internet and they will do the bidding for you.
If you do not attend the auction, you will be notified by the auctioneer as to how well your items did. Then just sit back and wait for the cheque.
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