Monthly Auctions

Bidding in auction - A guide to success

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Some collectors are uncertain about how postal bids work, so a few words of explanation may be of some help. First of all make sure you understand the description in the auction catalogue.


The abbreviations are spelt out at the top of the first page. For instance :501 J WIX silks M31/48 British Empire Flags 1933 ...1 or 2P few F O/W G-VG £12 means that lot 501 comprises 31 out of a medium size set of 48, of which 1 or 2 are in poor condition, a few are in fair condition whilst the others are in good to very good condition. The estimated value is £12 based on the catalogue price adjusted to take condition into account.

How much do you bid?

You must decide what would be the maximum you would be prepared to pay for a particular item, that is your "limit". The lot will be sold to the highest bidder, at one stage above the second highest bid. For example, take lot 501, which is described above. Three people sent bids for this lot at £7, £8, and £11 respectively. The lot was sold at £9 (one stage above the second highest bid) to the person who had the £11 limit. The only time you will pay more than your limit is if there is tie. Supposing there had been two £11 bids for lot 501. The lot would then have been sold for £12 (one stage higher than the tying bid) to the £11 person whose bid was received first.

Winning the bid

Of course, being an auction, there's no guarantee that you will be successful. It all depends on whether you are the highest bidder. That's why you may decide to bid for more lots than you expect to get, to allow for some lots which may be beaten.

You may wish to impose an overall "grand total" amount to prevent over-spending. There's a space on the bidding sheet for you to mark this combined limit. The bidding sheet also shows you the bidding stages for example up to £30 it is £1 stages, between £30 and £50 in £2 stages, and so on. Please note there is a minimum reserve price of 50% on all lots estimated at £10 or above, some will have a higher reserve depending on the lot.

Remember if you have any queries just telephone and we will be able to help.

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A guide to condition

Mint: Uncirculated cards direct from the packet or the printer.

FCC: Finest Collectable Condition - perfect cards which have been handled with extreme care.

Very Good: Clean undamaged cards with sharp corners, edges showing slight signs of handling.

Good: One or two minor blemishes may be visible, corners may be marked or slightly rounded, no creases.

Fair: Showing signs of considerable handling, such as rounded corners, slight damage along edges or a minor crack.

Poor: Prominently cracked or with some surface damage, often with rounded corners and a degree of soiling.

Very Poor: Cards with serious cracks, a piece missing, soiled, damaged, badly worn or cut.