Auction personnel are usually on hand to assist you in any way possible but the following advice will help get you started in the exciting and potentially profitable world of auctions.
Masses of unusual and interesting items turn up at auctions. Antiques are good value and will generally maintain or increase their value over the long run if well cared for.
It is often possible to furnish your home with good quality antique items at a big saving relative to the price of new items which will not retain their value.
Good quality second-hand, household furniture and effects can always be a wonderful bargain from Horners’ weekly general auction on a Thursday.
Buying at auction is easy and fun.
Read the Catalogue
Usually auctions will have a printed catalogue. All the Horners auctions of antiques, fine art and collectables are fully catalogued. You should always obtain a copy either printed or a fully illustrated and free on-line version (www.horners.co.uk). The detailed terms and conditions are always published in the catalogue. Study the catalogue carefully before attending to bid, or bidding as an absentee. If any description or detail is unclear to you, ask auction personnel. Absentee bidders who are unable to inspect the lots should be aware of the following: Horners are unable to offer condition reports. We are pleased to provide e-mail images of items for your assessment. If required, we will give an honest opinion in writing as to any damage or restoration which is immediately apparent. We do not hold ourselves to be experts and accept no responsibility for any oral opinion which may be given. We give no guarantee on authenticity, completeness or concealed restoration. We strongly recommend your personal viewing of the item. If purchase is subsequently effected – viewed or not viewed – full liability as to the price, condition, authenticity and suitability is that of the purchaser. Remember it is your responsibility to make all enquiries possible and assure yourself as to condition and description of any lot.
View the Sale
If at all possible you should attend the auction viewing well in advance of the sale. Carefully examine each lot and satisfy yourself that it is an item you want and fix a maximum price to which you consider bidding. Saleroom personnel will be on hand to help and advise you.
Absentee Bidders Viewing Rules
Absentee bidders who are unable to inspect the lots should be aware of the following: Horners are unable to offer condition reports. We are pleased to provide e-mail images of items for your assessment. If required, we will give an honest opinion in writing as to any damage or restoration which is immediately apparent. We do not hold ourselves to be experts and accept no responsibility for any oral opinion which may be given. We give no guarantee on authenticity, completeness or concealed restoration. We strongly recommend your personal viewing of the item. If purchase is subsequently effected – viewed or not viewed – full liability as to the price, condition, authenticity and suitability is that of the purchaser. Remember the catalogue description may not identify faults in all cases.
Attending the Auction
Always aim to arrive in good time in case of a queue or traffic hold up. On arrival register at the sale office for a bidding number (often called a bat or paddle). You will need to give your name, address, and telephone number plus other confirmation of identity.
Bidding in the Saleroom
You should always decide on your maximum bid limit before the auction and try to stick to it, you can easily be carried away in the heat of a competitive atmosphere.
Bid clearly with your bat number card and if you are successful, hold up your card for the auctioneer to record. The lot is sold when the hammer falls and the auctioneer records your bat number. If there is any mistake or dispute you must immediately raise your hand and tell the auctioneer. In cases of dispute, the auctioneer’s decision is final. You have now entered into a binding contract to purchase the lot.
All absentee bidders must pre-register. We do not accept any card payments from absentee overseas buyers. Payment to be made by Bank Transfer or Bankers Draft. Remember bids in the saleroom always take precedence over any absentee bid and Horners cannot be held liable for any failure to execute any abesentee bid.
Live online Bidding
All Horners Antique, Fine Art and Collectable Auctions offer this facility. This is the next best thing to attending the auction. A bidder can pre-register on line (www.the-saleroom.com) and bid on their own computer from anywhere in the world where there is an internet link. A bidder sees a photograph of the lot being offered and hears and sees the auctioneer and saleroom live. The screen indicates the level of bidding and the next bid required. The system is very exciting and gives you the feeling of actually being present. The system is provided by the Antiques Trade Gazette Company who offer other relevant services to bidders. This ATG service is subject to an additional premium of 5% + VAT
Again a bidder must pre-register. A member of the saleroom team will ring you a few lots before your item is to be sold. They will clearly indicate to you the level of bidding and you may instruct them to bid further if required. This system does restrict the bidder to only bidding on the lots pre-indicated, as the telephone operator will have to move on to the next telephone bidder. This facility is not available on lower value lots.This service is subject to an additional premium of 5% + VAT.
Leaving a written bid
Horners auctioneers have a pre-printed form for this purpose. The bidder indicates the maximum hammer price they wish to bid and the auctioneer will bid on their behalf up to the maximum figure, but will buy as cheaply as possible against other bids or reserve price. All bids will remain strictly confidential. The hammer price will be subject to the additional charges as noted. Horners cannot accept any liability for failing to execute any written bid.
Guide prices, reserves and buyers premium
The guide price is the auctioneer’s estimate of what he considers the hammer price could be. This is always a rough range and items can make more or less than this range of prices. A reserve price is generally confidential information and will not be disclosed to bidders, it is in fact the minimum price which the seller is prepared to accept for the lot.
The buyers premium is a charge to the buyer which is a percentage of the hammer price and will be added to the buyers account. Buyers should always take account of this additional cost when calculating their maximum bid. The rate of premium may vary from sale to sale so always check the rate before bidding. The charge is retained by the auctioneer for their own benefit and will be subject to value added tax.
Purchase price and payment
The purchase price is normally the total of the hammer price plus buyers premium plus VAT on the buyers premium. (this element of VAT is not re-claimable)
In certain circumstances which will always be clearly notified to you before the auction the purchase price itself could be subject to VAT. This would be very unusual in sales of antiques and household goods.
Ensure that you have the means and funds available to pay immediately as payment for all goods must be made on the sale day. This could be by cash, debit card, bankers order, pre-cleared cheque or transfer. We do not accept card payments from absentee overseas buyers. Payment must be made by Bank Transfer or Bankers Draft. Goods cannot be released until full payment is cleared for every lot purchased by the bidder.
You do not have title to the lot until it is paid for in full, but it is at the risk of the buyer from the fall of the hammer.
Artists Resale Rights
On certain Lots, which are marked AR and which are sold for a Hammer Price of €1000 or greater (converted into GB£ using the European Central Bank Reference rate prevailing at the time of the Sale), an Additional Premium will be payable to us by the Buyer to cover our expenses relating to the payment of royalties under the Artists Resale Right Regulations 2006 as amended from 1st January 2012. The Additional Premium will be a percentage of the amount of the Hammer Price calculated in accordance with the table below, and shall not exceed €12,500 (converted into GB£ using the European Central Bank exchange rate prevailing at the time of the sale).
|Amount of the Hammer Price||
|From €0 to €50,000||
|From €50,000.01 to €200,000||
|From €200,000.01 to €350,000||
|From €350,000.01 to €500,000||