How to Buy at Auction
This guide outlines the process of buying at auction at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.
The first step in buying at auction is to find out when they are!
We hold weekly sales alternating between our two saleroom sites, with fine and specialist
sales being held periodically at either site.
is available online or can be picked up at reception at either
in Devon. Alternatively, you can call us on (01392) 413100 or
If you are a registered web user, you can also sign up to receive reminders of upcoming
We also publish RSS feeds of all of our sales, so if your web browser supports this
innovation, you can be notified automatically about them.
The next step is to find out what is being offered in the sales that interest you
during the year. Our
are always available online.
If you are registered user on our web site, you can login and download the catalogue
for any sale.
Our fine and some specialist sales have fully-illustrated colour catalogues. These
are available from our offices for a fee (usually £10) or can be downloaded for
free in PDF format provided you are a registered web site user.
Once you have found a lot that interests you, you can obtain a condition report
from the specialist concerned. The specialist for each lot is listed online. You
can request a condition report by calling the specialist on (01392) 413100 or by
emailing them. If you are unsure who to contact,
who will make sure it is forwarded to the right person.
If you are a registered web site user, you can also login and very conveniently
use the links on each lot page to request a condition report.
Registering to Bid
If you want to bid for one or more items, you must register with Bearnes Hampton
& Littlewood in advance (if you have not done so previously). We use
a paddle system like many other auctioneers.
We will need your name and address in order to register you. If you are unknown
to us, we will also require proof of identity and residence (such as your passport
or driving licence). You can register online, by post or in person.
Remember that registration can take a few days to complete if you are not registering
If you will be attending the auction in person, you will be issued with a paddle
(usually a wooden 'bat' or a piece of card) with your unique number printed on it
on arrival at reception. You use this to bid in the saleroom.
You can bid at our auctions in a number of different ways.
Attending the Sale
If you are bidding in person at either of
you show that you want to bid by simply raising your paddle to catch the auctioneer's
eye. If you are successful in buying the lot, the auctioneer will record your number
as the buyer. When you have finished bidding for items, you can proceed to the Cashier's
Office to settle your account before collecting your purchases. You will be able
to take your items with you if you pay in cash. The same applies to credit or debit
card payments, although you will be liable to a surcharge. If you pay by cheque,
you will not be able to pick up your items until the payment has cleared.
Bidding by Telephone
If you have identified a high value lot, you can bid by telephone. You must register
to do this before the sale starts so you can reserve a telephone line and a member
of the saleroom staff to place your bid for you.
is particularly suitable if you are unable to attend a sale in person. Telephone
Bids are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and may be subject to a minimum
estimate value for the lot in question.
Commission (or Absentee) Bid
You can leave a
by completing a Commission Bid form and sending it back to us. You specify which
lots you wish to bid for and stipulate the maximum value you are prepared to pay
per lot on the form. This means that we can act on your written permission to secure
an item for you as your representative for the lowest possible price. If you are
a registered web user and have lready completed the proof of identity and residence
requirements, you can simply place commission bids for each lot by using the links
on the lot page.
Live Internet Bidding
We offer some of our more important sales using our
Live Internet Bidding
system. You will need to register to use this service at
www.the-saleroom.com. You will find tutorials,
videos and other guides at this site to help you bid online successfully. You should
be aware that this attracts an additional 3% buyer's premium (plus VAT).
After the Sale
If you were not present at the auction, you can check the hammer prices for any
lot by checking the
for the sale. We publish the results very shortly after the completion of each sale.
You can also subscribe to our RSS sales feed to receive result details.
If you are a registered web user, you can also elect to receive sale results by
Settling Your Account
The price you pay is the amount at which the auctioneer's hammer falls (the hammer
a buyer's premium
(a percentage of the final hammer price) and VAT where applicable.
If you attended the auction, you can settle immediately at our Cashier's Office.
Alternatively, you can call us to settle your account using a payment card (although
you will be liable for a surcharge) or you can send us a cheque by post. We also
accept various forms of electronic fund transfers. For more details, see the
that we accept.
In any event, you should settle your outstanding account within three working days.
You will not be able to take any items purchased until payment has been cleared.
You will be issued with an invoice made out to the name and address on your Registration
Storage, Collections and Delivery
If you attended the auction in person and paid with anything other than a cheque,
you will be able to take your purchases away with you as soon as you settle your
account at our Cashier's Office.
If you are unable to take your purchases with you, we can suggest local agents who
can arrange storage and shipping of your items or you can do this yourself.
We have negotiated
preferrential rates from Mailbox Etc
who can arrange wrapping, packing and despatch.
You should check out the small print of our
Conditions of Sale
Information for Buyers.