How does it work?
Selling things in auction is very straightforward and follows the same pattern every time.
- Inspection of the lot by a valuer – who places an auction estimate on item/s and discusses with you possible reserve where appropriate.
- Receipt given to vendor with full details of items left for sale and notification of relevant sale date.
- Auction takes place – client is welcome to attend, but this is not essential.
- Afternoon of auction, we email or post you results.
- Cheque sent to client 1 month after sale for proceeds, minus our deductions for selling.
What do we charge?
15% commission (with a minimum of £7.50 per lot sold), £6.00 entry fee (chargeable each time a lot goes under the hammer – sold or unsold), 1% insurance (min £1) and VAT on those charges. These rates are negotiable where consignments of significant value are entered for sale. There may be charges for collection where applicable.
Are there any pitfalls?
Auctions are unpredictable, and valuing anything is an imprecise science. We work hard to ensure the best prices possible for your goods, however lots sometimes sell under expectations, or don’t sell at all. You are earnestly recommended to check with the saleroom immediately after each sale to discuss any unsold lots – as re-entered low value lots can become a drain on your final proceeds if frequently re-entered.
If items are taken in without reserve that is precisely how we execute the sale, as we are required to do by law. Occasionally it could mean, that a lot estimated at £70 – £100, sells to the highest bidder (perhaps the only bidder) for as little as £10, which is our lowest bid.
What do we sell, or not sell?
We sell a very wide variety of objects, but specialise in antiques. We do sell some modern design items, but on the whole don’t sell items like televisions, unless they come out of house clearances. We aim for lots being worth a minimum of £60 – £100 although can take items in less than that if they are combined together with others to make a bigger lot. If you are unsure what to bring to the saleroom for a valuation, telephone the office and speak to a valuer.
Upholstered furniture if made after 1950, regardless of original source, MUST have a fire label indicating that it conforms to modern fire regulations, otherwise we cannot sell it by law. It is illegal to sell modern ivory and any ivory must be demonstrably antique for us to sell it for you.
Chiswick Auctions valuation department is supported by four full time valuers. Together they offer many years of varied experience of the antique trade, including periods at both Sotheby’s and Christies. Valuations can either be carried out at your premises, or if you come to the saleroom, on a Monday – Friday. (Saturday’s by appointment) Valuations for sale are carried out free of charge and without obligation.
Where a visit is not practical, valuations can also be carried out via photographs. These can be posted or sent electronically. There is a form on this website under ‘electronic valuations’ at the top of this page whereby you can send a photograph of an item for sale. If you have several photos, these can be emailed in bulk to: firstname.lastname@example.org — please if you are doing it this way limit the file sizes to under 1mb for each photo.
Like most auctions, at Chiswick, all lots are sold to the highest bidder. Buying at auction is an exciting experience, but is also a serious business. The auctioneers work hard to make attending a sale entertaining, often accompanied by the film cameras shooting one of the many popular antiques related television shows, including notably Cash in the Attic.
If you have not purchased at Chiswick before, you are required to fill out a registration form AND provide at least one proof of address. Drivers licence is the ideal, which we will photocopy and keep securely.
We charge 20% buyers premium + VAT on that premium.
There is a minimum premium of £2.00.
If you are unable to attend an auction, you can leave a commission bid. This will be executed by the auctioneer on your behalf and is a free service. He will purchase the lot as cheaply as possible, subject to other bids and reserves. You can also leave commission bids via this website by using the buying selling tab and selecting ‘commission bidding’
Payment and collection of purchased lots
Payment must be made on the day of the sale, by cash, debit card or credit card, (credit cards are subject to a 4% surcharge). We do not accept cheques. Any invoices not paid promply may be cancelled and the lots re-offered the following week.
Lots purchased MUST be collected the Thursday after the sale, before close of business at 6pm or storage charges of £5.00 per lot per day are rigidly enforced.