Whether you’re selling a collection at a stamp auction or purely going there to buy, it’s good to have some prior knowledge about what to expect so that you are not going in completely blind. Auctions are certainly nothing to be feared and in fact, you should find it an enjoyable experience. Let us enlighten you about the world of stamp auctions and try and explain how it works. Firstly, let’s look at it from the buyer’s perspective.
Buying stamps at an auction
If you are going to a stamp auction with a view to buy then the first thing you will need to understand is about estimates and reserves. Every item in the auction will have a reserve price based on the minimum amount that the seller wants to receive for their collection. The estimate price is what we think it is likely to sell for based on our experience and we will normally advise sellers to set their reserve price at around 80% of our estimate price.
Our estimates are as realistic as possible and edge towards being conservative .Very often the prices will go around 20% above the estimate price and the lot will be sold. However, like any auction, it depends on who is in the room and what the interest levels are so prices can go above and below the estimate. This is all part of the enjoyment and that’s why people love going to auctions in the hope that they can pick up a bargain!
To make a bid at an auction you don’t actually have to be there! Bids by post are perfectly acceptable if you can’t actually make the auction. We always create the catalogue 3 weeks before the auction and this allows you to view the items beforehand so that you can start making some decisions on what you would like to buy. You will need to make an appointment to see the collections before the auction unless you are visiting on the actual day. You can then view the collection on the morning of the sale without having to make an appointment.
Selling stamps at an auction
From a seller’s perspective the auctions are a cost effective way of selling your stamps collection. You have the comfort of knowing that there is a reserve price that needs to be surpassed before the sale goes ahead. This gives you the peace of mind that your collection will not be sold for an amount of money that is unacceptable to you.
The cost of selling your collection at an auction is 10% + VAT and payment is made to you 5 weeks after the date of the auction. However small or large your collection, auctions can be a great way of selling your stamps and meeting other collectors.
Whether buying or selling, a stamp auction is a good day out and an enjoyable experience. We look forward to seeing you at our next one!