Frequently Asked Questions


What are your opening times?

Our regular opening times are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, with Sunday viewings 10am – 1pm the weekend before each Specialist sale.

What are your sale times?

Our fortnightly Homes & Interiors sales and our Specialist sales are typically held on a Tuesday, starting at 10am.

Please see our extensive sales calendar for specific dates/times.

Can I view items before the sale?

Certainly! We always welcome viewing prior to the auction. Our staff are available to offer advice on any lots you may be interested in and viewing means you can take in to consideration the condition of a lot before you bid.

What are your viewing days?

For our fortnightly Homes & Interiors sales viewing is available on the Monday before the Tuesday sale from 9am – 7pm and from 9am on the morning of the sale.

For our Specialist sales viewing is typically available on the Friday before the sale by appointment, on the Sunday from 10am - 1pm, on the Monday from 9am – 5pm and on the morning of the sale from 9am. 

I’m unable to get to a viewing, how can I find out about the condition of a lot?

You can request condition reports through our website (locate the lot in the catalogue and click 'Request Condition Report'). Condition reports can also be requested by phone and email. We are unable to provide condition reports on the day of the sale so make sure you get your requests in early.

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 buyer’s premium of 25% + VAT, except for our Fine Wine and Port auctions when the buyer’s premium is 15%. Some lots may incur additional Artist's Resale Right charges. 

Any lots purchased via a live online bidding service will be subject to an additional commission charge on the hammer price payable by the bidder, in accordance with rates specified by the online service. From Janaury 1 2020 there will be no surcharge while bidding via Sworders website. If bidding through this will be charged at 4.95% plus VAT. Both charges will be payable to us on top of the hammer price and our buyer’s commission.

How can I bid?

Please see our full guide here – Buying with Sworders

What payment methods do you accept?

Payment is accepted by cash, cheque, bank transfer, credit or debit card. We accept cash to an upper limit of 10,000 euros equivalent. We accept credit card payments to an upper limit of £5,000. Usually any cheques will need to be cleared before you can take the goods away. Please be aware that cheque clearance will take eight days from deposit. We will only release goods to a third party upon receipt of identification and authority from the purchaser. Please refer to our full terms and conditions.

How can I sell at auction?

Please see our full guide here – Selling with Sworders

How quickly will I be paid for lots that I sell at auction?

We will pay the net sum due to you within twenty one days of the day of the auction for Specialist auctions and eight days for Homes and Interiors auctions.

Do you offer collection and shipping?

Our saleroom team are always on hand to help, whether you are collecting in person or require advice about carriers.

If you attend an auction in person and are successful in your bid, you are free to collect and remove your item there and then once payment has been arranged. If you are unable to do so we are happy to refer you to a number of carriers who can arrange packing and shipping for you. Please contact them directly to receive a quote for costs – Collection & Shipping

How do I register for an account on your website?

Simply fill in your details in our Online Registration Form. You will receive an email with a link to verify your email address so don’t forget to check your inbox! Once your email address has been verified you are good to go.

I can’t sign in to my account, what do I do?

Please check that you are entering your username and password correctly. If you have forgotten your password you can re-set this by clicking the Forgotten Your Password? link.

If you continue to experience problems with your account please call us on 01279 817778.

Can I receive regular email updates about upcoming auctions?

Absolutely. Once you have registered an account on our website you can set your email preferences so that you only receive emails about sales that are relevant to you. Please go to 'My Account' in the top right corner of the screen (this will appear as your name) and then ‘Account Settings’ to set/refine your preferences.

How do I subscribe to receive Print Catalogues?

Catalogue subscriptions can be arranged in person, over the phone, or via email. Fill out one of our Catalogue Subscription Forms or contact Jane Watkins on 01279 817778 or by email