Helps & FAQ'S

Can I view the lots before the sale?
Absolutely – viewing the sale prior to the auction is essential – it allows you to take into account aspects such as condition. Our staff are always available to offer advice on a lot you are interested in and registered users of this website can request condition reports. Viewing is held on the days preceeding the auctions, and on the morning of the auction itself. See our calendar for the full the viewing schedule.

How much will I pay if I buy a lot?
When you bid at auction you pay the hammer price (the price the lot is sold for) plus a buyers premium. Our Buyers Premium rates vary based on the hammer price, but rates are currently as follows:

20% + V.A.T (24% inclusive) for purchases up to £35,000
17.5% + VAT from £35,001 to £100,000
15% + VAT from £100,001 and above.

How can I bid in your auctions?
There are 4 ways you can bid:

Bidding in person
First register your details at our reception desk to receive a bidding card. When registering for the first time you may be asked for proof of I.D. Bidding at auction is an exciting experience. Don’t believe the urban myth that you may buy a lot by winking or sneezing, the auctioneer will only accept clear and obvious bids. We sell approximately 120 lots to the hour, whilst being sold a photograph of the lot will be displayed on a large screen next to the auctioneer.

Absentee bidding
If you are unable to attend the auction you can leave an absentee bid – this is a confidential bid left with us prior to the sale and executed on your behalf when the auction is in progress. You can submit absentee bids through this website, or by faxing, emailing or calling us prior to the sale date, or by filling in an Absentee Form found available from our sale room or at the back of your catalogue. When absentee bids are placed, the auctioneer will then try to buy the lot for you as cheaply as possible. If you are successful an invoice will arrive a day later in the post. Please note that neither Peter Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers LLP nor its employees or Agents shall be liable to either the buyer or the seller for any neglect or default or failure in operating the bid. Remember, get your absentee bids in early because bids will not be accepted after the sale starts!

Live internet bidding
Submitting your absentee bids through this website is a convenient way to participate in our auctions if you are not available to bid when the sale is actually taking place. However, if you do wish to participate ‘live’ but are not able to attend our sale rooms, you can bid ‘live’ over the internet by registering on

Telephone bidding
For our Fine Art auctions only, you can bid by telephone. If you would like to do this please arrange it with a member of staff in our sale room, or by phone, fax or email prior to the sale. We will then phone you at the appropriate point during the sale. You will be able to hear the auctioneer and will be asked if you wish to bid. If you are successful an invoice will arrive a day later in the post.

How can I pay for my goods?
We can accept cash, cheque (subject to five days clearance) debit cards from all banks or all credit cards (except American Express) there is a 1.5% extra charge for using a credit card. PLEASE NOTE WE CANNOT ACCEPT PAYMENTS OF MORE THAN £500 ON CREDIT CARDS OVER THE TELEPHONE.

What are your terms and conditions?
Please see Terms and Conditions page.

What charges apply when I sell with you?
The following charges will apply when you sell through our auction rooms:

Commission per lot
For each lot you sell through our auction, there is a commission payable on the hammer price of each lot (the ‘price realised’). The commission varies depending on the price realised:

For prices up to £1,000 (per lot) the percentage is 17.5% + V.A.T. (21% inclusive)
For proceeds realised greater than £1,000 (per lot) the percentage is 12% +V.A.T. (14.40% inclusive) Therefore on a £2,000 sale we charge 17.5% plus V.A.T. on the first £1,000 and 12% plus V.A.T. on the subsequent £1,000.

Other charges
There is a minimum charge (‘minimum commission’) per lot that apply – these charges do not apply if your lot fails to sell.

Gallery sales: £8 + V.A.T.(£9.60 inclusive)

Fine Art Sales: £12 + V.A.T. (£14.40 inclusive)

There is also a £3 + V.A.T (£3.60 inclusive) fixed internet service charge (F.I.S.C) per lot. This charge covers the cost of illustrating your lot online as well as live internet bidding on you lot alongside bidding from the room.

There is also an illustration charge (Fine Art auctions only). These charges are as follows:

From £6 + V.A.T .(£7.20 inclusive) for small items.
From £12 + V.A.T. (£14.40 inclusive) for paintings and furniture.

What is the procedure if I wish to sell my items?
If, after an initial valuation, you wish to proceed and sell your item through our auction, you will be issued with a receipt for your item(s). The item(s) then stay in our care – insured against loss or damage (insurance is free of charge). After the auction you will receive an advice letter listing results and – if any lots did not sell – suggested new reserves. All sale proceeds will be paid out by cheque, all charges will be deducted from the cheque prior to it being posted to you. Cheques will arrive two weeks after Gallery sales and four weeks after Fine Art Sales.

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