Information for Vendors
How to Sell at Auction
Southams offer you this guide, which outlines the process of selling at auction. You should also read our Conditions of Sale.
The first step to selling through Southams is to obtain a valuation. All of our auction valuations are free and can be obtained via one of the following methods:-
a) You can bring your item to us at the Newnham Street Saleroom, 24 Newnham Street, Bedford, MK40 3JR 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. If necessary, you can leave the item and collect it later. We will issue you with a receipt for the item.
b) 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.
c) You can post or email us a description and photographs the item(s) you would like to have appraised.
Once we have discussed your requirements and inspected your prospective lots, we will give you an estimate of their value at auction. Our auctions attract local, national and 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
Full terms of sale are printed on your entry form receipt. We 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). 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:-
a) No Reserve – We will sell your item for the highest bid received, with no minimum price specified.
b) Discretion – The item will be sold at a price at the discretion of the auctioneer. This typically means you are prepared to sell for 10% below an agreed value if this will result in a sale on the day.
c) 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. Before the Sale you will receive a pre-sale confirmation showing the lot number, description and reserve (if any). If you have any questions, this is the time to contact us.
We charge you a seller’s commission on sales of 18% (plus VAT @ 20%, and insurance @ 1%). You will be liable for VAT at the current rate on all commissions and charges. Please note that you will only incur additional charges subject to prior agreement. These additional charges maybe for restoration, shipping, storage, customs duties and import tax, amongst other expenses.
You will receive a sale statement after 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 statement, you can call us, email us or check the online results for the relevant sale. You will receive your BACS payment or cheque drawn in sterling approximately 28 days after the sale (provided we have received full payment from the buyer) together with your sale statement which will detail the prices realised and charges incurred. We usually deduct these charges from your payment.
If your item was not sold, we may re-offer the lot in a future sale and if appropriate at an amended appropriate reserve. You should seek advice as to how to proceed.