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How to Sell at Auction

An Auctioneer Poised to Accept a Bid

This guide outlines the process of selling through Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

Valuations

The first step to selling through Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood is to obtain a valuation from one of our specialists. All of our auction valuations are free and can be obtained via one of the following methods:-

  • You can post or email us a description and photographs of your property. You can make direct contact with the specialist required by browsing our departments.
  • You can bring your item to us in Exeter for a valuation. Although we can provide rough estimates as to value by post or email, there is no substitute to seeing the real thing. Our valuations will be more accurate if we can see and handle the item in question. There is always a 'duty valuer' available. If the item requires specialist advice, you can leave the item and collect it later. We will issue you with a receipt for the item.
  • We hold a large number of valuation days in the West Country, which you can bring your property along to for free valuations. We hold a valuation day somewhere in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset or Dorset almost every week of the year.
  • If you have an item that cannot be brought into our offices or you have a large number of items, we can visit you by appointment.

Consignment

Once we have discussed your requirements and inspected your property, we will give you an estimate of its value at auction. We will also advise you of the most appropriate sale for your item (or items). We have weekly auctions and we periodically have fine and specialist sales that attract international attention.

You will need to deliver your items to us in advance of the sale. We can arrange carriage at your expense if you wish.

You will receive a receipt for the goods you have consigned to us for sale.

Sale Terms and Reserve Sale Prices

The specialist handling your sale will discuss the terms of sale with you and agree any reserve sale prices (ie: the minimum value that you are prepared to sell the items for). These will be noted on a form, which you will be required to sign to confirm your instructions to us.

The usual instructions per item are:-

  • No Reserve - We will sell your item for the highest bid received, with no minimum price specified.
  • Discretion - The item will be sold at a price at the discretion of the auctioneer. This typically means your are prepared to sell for 10% below an agreed value if this will result in a sale on the day.
  • Reserve - Your item will be sold at or in excess of the agreed reserve; or it will not be sold.

Your instructions to us are treated in complete confidence. We will only discuss your sale instructions with you.

Charges

We charge you a seller's commission on sales.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

You will be liable for VAT at the current rate on all commissions and charges.

Additional Charges

Please note that you will only incurr additional charges subject to prior agreement. These additional charges maybe for restoration, shipping, storage, customs duties and import tax, amongst other expenses.

Receiving Payment

If your goods were sold at one of our major sales, you will receive a sale notification a few days afer the auction. This notification will list the items sold and the price realised for each item.

If you would like to know the result before you receive your sale notification, you can call us on (01392) 413100, email us or check the online results for the relevant sale. (We post the results to all of our sales online very shortly after the completion of the sale.)

You will receive your cheque drawn in sterling approximately 28 days after the sale (provided we have received full payment from the buyer).

You will receive a settlement statement detailing the charges incurred. We usually deduct these charges from your payment.

Unsold Items

If your item was not sold, you may decide to re-offer the lot in a future sale. You should seek the advice of the specialist advising you as to how to proceed.

Important Note

You should check out the small print of our Conditions of Sale and Information for Sellers.

Sale FS30; Lot: 0764: Jeremiah Day, London a lacquered tavern clock the eight-day duration 'A' frame, weight-driven movement with five-leaf pinions through-out allowing for anti-clockwise winding, the twenty-three inch cream painted dial with black Roman numerals, brass 'heart' hands and a moulded surround, the lacquered case with gilded decoration and painted with a scene to the trunk door depicting an elderly lady asleep with a dog at their feet, as a young boy tickles her nose, with decorative ears to the case sides and a scroll base, signed to the top of the trunk Jeremiah Day, London, height 135cm.

Sale: FS30 (19 Apr 2016)
Auction Lot: 0764
Estimate: £4,000-£6,000
Realised: £4,500
Jeremiah Day, London a lacquered tavern clock the eight-day duration 'A' frame, weight-driven movement with five-leaf pinions through-out allowing for anti-clockwise winding, the twenty-three inch cream painted dial with black ...

Sale FS18; Lot: 0869: An early 19th Century Chinese export lacquer eight fold screen, decorated in gilt with a continuous scene of figures in pagoda garden landscapes and lake and mountain landscapes with figures in boats and on bridges within a wide geometric border with birds, flowers and foliage bordered with lines, the reverse panels with birds amidst flowering and fruiting trees, each panel 199cm (6ft 6 1/4in) x 55cm (1ft 9 3/4in).

Sale: FS18 (24 Apr 2013)
Auction Lot: 0869
Estimate: £3,000-£5,000
Realised: £6,200
An early 19th Century Chinese export lacquer eight fold screen, decorated in gilt with a continuous scene of figures in pagoda garden landscapes and lake and mountain landscapes with figures ...

Sale FS25; Lot: 0242: A sapphire and diamond circular cluster ring with central round sapphire approximately 7.9mm diameter, claw-set within a surround of old brilliant-cut diamonds and between baguette-cut diamond shoulders, the diamonds estimated to weigh a total of 1 0cts, ring size 'N'.

Sale: FS25 (27 Jan 2015)
Auction Lot: 0242
Estimate: £2,000-£3,000
Realised: £2,900
A sapphire and diamond circular cluster ring with central round sapphire approximately 7.9mm diameter, claw-set within a surround of old brilliant-cut diamonds and between baguette-cut diamond shoulders, the diamonds estimated ...