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An expert guide from the UK's leading online auction house about the key questions you should be asking before bidding and buying at auction.
3 Mins

Important questions to ask before buying

Jacob Margiotta
Jacob Margiotta

If you’re thinking about buying from auction, you want to do it with your eyes open. It’s all about informed decision making.

Here, William George give you a list of the questions you need to ask to take the fear out of bidding and help you pick out those hidden gems!

First and foremost, take your time to familiarise yourself with the website. We recommend watching an auction that is closing without bidding so you can get to grips with the look and feel. That way, when you come to take part you will feel that much more comfortable.

Know what you’re bidding on!

We do our best to ensure items are listed with all of the relevant details you would expect, but of course there may be additional details that you want to be sure of. If that’s the case, then jump onto our live chat or submit an enquiry. Hold off from bidding until you’re satisfied you know all you need to know and then bid with confidence.

What will my total bill look like?

We charge a buyer’s premium which is a percent of your winning bid. This can vary from as low as 10% for high value items, up to 25% in some cases. Fees of this nature are standard in the auction industry. Where we differ is that we don’t charge our sellers any commission! This means they can afford to offer lower reserve prices than our competitors and it means you can pick up a bargain. Other auctioneers will charge the seller and the buyer.

We are transparent about our fees and they are clearly signposted right next to where you enter your bid. When you set your budget, don’t forget to account for this fee, and look at each lot to see if VAT is applicable to the goods as well.

Your final bill will include:

  • Your winning bid
  • The buyer’s premium + VAT
  • Potentially VAT on the goods.

An example would be a winning bid of £100, with a buyer’s premium of 20% + VAT. Your total invoice would be £124. If there was VAT on the goods, then it will be £144. If you are a VAT registered business then you can reclaim the VAT on the goods from HMRC, otherwise you will need to account for that, just as you would in a normal retail shop.

Familiarise yourself with the fees associated with the lot you are bidding on and do the maths beforehand to set yourself a clear budget. Remember, it’s all about informed decision making.

How will I get the items I’ve won?

If you are lucky enough to have made the winning bid, we will email you a payment request within an hour of the hammer falling on the final lot from that catalogue. You can pay by card for invoices up to £1000, or by bank transfer if it’s more than that.

Each lot will have information to say whether it is available for collection or delivery, and the associated requirements. Make yourself aware of any stipulations around collection deadlines or if it’s delivery you want then consider the cost implications and timings.

What do I do if I’m still unsure?

We want your bidding and buying experience to be a pleasurable and successful one. We recognise the value in building long term sustainable relationships with reliable vendors and satisfied customers.

If you aren’t sure about something, or if you haven’t bid before, get in touch! We’re here to help so before you bid drop us a line and we will guide you through!

Take a look around and see what you fancy bidding on today.