How do Our Postal Auctions Work?
© County Philatelic Auctions 2017
Firstly, it is a Postal Auction. You do not attend. You can bid with confidence from Anywhere. If you win some lots, we simply mail them to you. Every lot comes with our Satisfaction Guarantee.
We mail out a high quality printed catalogue that describes 3100+ lots of individual stamps, sets, collections, covers etc. This catalogue is also on our website. Each lot has an accurate description and a realistic estimate of its market value. You bid for those lots that interest you by quoting the maximum price you are prepared to pay for each. You may well get the item for less than your maximum. Bids can be sent by mail, using the form on our website, email or phone.
Example: consider a lot estimated at £10
- Andrew bids £9, Beth £11 and Charles bids £20 - he wants to be sure he gets it.
- Charles wins because he placed the highest bid. However, he does not pay his full £20, he pays just £12 - one step above the next highest bid of £11.
- In the event of 2 equal bids, the first received wins.
- If a lot attracts only one bid, it is sold at the reserve price. Our computer treats the Estimates as Reserves. Bids below reserve are considered. Those less then 90% of our already conservative estimates are unlikely to succeed. Exceptions are made for lots flagged with a 'double dagger' ‡. For these lots, lower, but reasonable, bids may succeed.
How do I bid?
It is very simple - look through the auction catalogue and select any lots that interest you, enter the lot Number and the maximum you are prepared to pay for it on your bid form - if in doubt bid the estimated price or a little over.
We ensure all lots including collections are good value at our estimate. Please keep to the published bidding steps. Complete the bid form then post or e-mail it and leave the rest to us. We take telephone bids too.
- A formal bid form is not required - just list clearly the Sale number, Lot numbers and your maximum price for each in UK pounds. Add your name, full postal address, contact phone number (in case of queries), credit card details (number, expiry date and last 3 digits on the signature stripe) and any special mailing instructions.
- To avoid the disappointment of losing an item by one bid step, place a '+' by any bid. This increases that bid by one step (5–10%), but only if necessary to break a tie. Bid on as many lots as you wish. You can specify a total limit so you don't spend over your budget. We simply stop buying for you when you reach your limit. This limit is based on the 'hammer' price, and excludes postage costs. There is NO Buyer's Premium.
How much should I bid?
Except on lots marked ‡, bids less than 90% of our estimate are unlikely to succeed - they waste your time and ours. Because our estimates are low, many lots may have reserves close to or at estimate. As a guide, over the last year the total of all the realisations was within 1½% of the sum of our corresponding estimates although the average bid is over 15% above estimate. From this we know that overall our estimates are accurate. Most lots realise within plus or minus 10% of our estimates.
- On the Auction day we take your bids with those from hundreds of other bidders and let the computer work out which are successful. We then print detailed invoices, select and pack your lots, charge your card with the amount due and mail your lots to you. Generally we have mailed 95% by the Wednesday following the Sale. For clients known to us, payment can be made by cheque or Bank Transfer.
In the unlikely event that a lot is not correctly described - simply contact us to tell us why and return it in its original condition for a full refund.
The Website Catalogue Benefits
In many ways, the website is better than the printed catalogue. Nearly all lots have scans so you can see exactly what you are bidding for. The online catalogue text is larger and you can search it (CTRL-F) for items of interest. It is also available up to ten days ahead of the printed version - early bids take priority.