Looking to update your décor this year but on a limited budget? Auction houses are a great and exciting starting point to snag a unique piece at hopefully an affordable price. In addition to buying, they are also a great place to sell unwanted items. There are fees involved, but can still be worth it, plus you eliminate all that time sitting around waiting for somebody to come to your house to view an item from ebay etc…
Have something to sell?
The best way to sell larger items is to take a picture and show the valuer who will then say yes or no. You will need to bring the item in for a final assessment. If you’re lucky and they are interested they will set a guide price on your item, however, you can also set a reserve price—meaning a certain price must be met before the item can be sold. A commission is taken based on the final hammer price the item sold for. Pretty much anything can be sold at an auction and by anyone—so start searching that loft!!
Looking to buy?
If you can’t make it to the auction most have online or telephone options available. Alternatively you can also place a minimum and maximum bid on an item prior to the auction. This is a great option for busy mums. It’s also important to remember that a commission is also paid on the buying side of things. So remember to find out what each auction house charges and remember to factor that into your final bid.
Auctions can take a long time, so if you do want to attend, it is probably worth trying to find a childcare option. You can also find out how many lots they go through in an hour and base your arrival time on the lot you are interested in, so you aren’t stuck sitting around all day.
High Road Auctions
One new(ish) venue in west London is High Road Auctions in Chiswick. Conveniently located on the Chiswick High Road, they have a great range of items—from rugs to jewelery and furniture from all different periods. They also have a lovely café where you can mull your decision over a coffee or wait until your lot comes up. Their auction time is every Tuesday at 6pm, but if you can’t make it in person you can also place bids online or pre-auction. Viewings are on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as well as online.
I’ve actually had success selling some items there that weren’t moving on ebay or Gumtree. If your item doesn’t sell, they will hold it for up to three auctions and try to sell it. There are some terms and conditions on this though so make sure ask.
Auctions are a great way to shop, but go with caution and a threshold on how much you will bid on an item already in place since it can be easy to get carried away when the bidding starts…
Happy bidding and good luck!
For more information on High Road Auctions, please visit:
Do you know of any great Auction houses in your area? Please let us know….