How to Sell

At Forum Auctions we aim to make selling at auction an intuitive and transparent experience. Our commitment to you, as vendor, is to promote your interests in achieving the best possible prices for the items you consign to us for sale. Our charges for the services we provide are easy to comprehend and explained to you prior to our accepting your items for sale.

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How do you sell through Forum Auctions?

In the first instance you should contact us, either through our website or by telephone, to make an initial appointment with one of our specialists. The more information you are able to provide regarding the items you wish to sell, including emailed images and descriptions together with any known histories, the better we will be able to ensure you are contacted by the most appropriate specialist. We encourage you to provide us with as much information as possible prior to visiting us so as to avoid inconvenience to you in the event that your items are of negligible auction value.

Once we have appraised your items we will provide you with an estimated auction value, which will always be subject to us having physically inspected the items. We emphasise the importance that both the condition and any known provenance can have on an item's value, in particular if there have been past associations with a renowned collector, collection or otherwise notable personality.

Having agreed an auction valuation with you we will set out the terms under which we propose to accept your items for sale. These will include our selling commission (also called a vendor's commission) and any other charges relating to photography, cataloguing, research, specialist advertising and insurance cover whilst your items are in our care. All agreed charges will be set out on the receipt accepting your items for auction (this is also called a consignment form). Particular attention should be paid to any minimum lot or withdrawal charges which will be levied whether your item is sold or not. These charges reflect, amongst other services, the cost of taking photographs of your items for display on our website and printed catalogues.

At the same time as agreeing the terms of consignment with you we will recommend appropriate low and high estimates, which reflect the price range within which we anticipate your items will sell at auction. In the event that you wish to set a minimum price below which you are not prepared to sell any item, we will apply a reserve price so long as this is no higher than our recommended lower auction estimate on the item. We suggest that no reserves are set for items estimated below £500, above which reserves should generally be set at around 80% of the low estimate, if at all.

At least four weeks in advance of the auction into which your items have been consigned for sale, you will receive notification from us including a copy of our catalogue descriptions for your items together with estimates, and reserves if applicable. It is imperative that you inform us promptly if you feel that we have made any errors in describing or pricing any of your items.

What happens at the auction? 

The auctioneer will offer your items (also called lots) for sale by competitive bidding. Buyers participating in the auction will do so in person, over the Internet, by telephone or by having left bids with us prior to the sale. Once the auctioneer is satisfied that we have received the highest bid achievable on any lot, he will publicly declare the lot has sold together with the fall of his gavel and calling out the customer number of the winning bidder. If an item fails to sell, the auctioneer will describe the lot as having been passed or unsold.

Our terms of sale require buyers to pay for their purchases promptly and we, as agents acting on your behalf, will follow up on delayed payments for your items. Until such time as buyers have made full payment for their purchases, your items will remain under our care. Ordinarily we will pay you the proceeds from the sale of your items, less our agreed commissions and other charges, from 21 days following the sale date subject always to our having received cleared funds from buyers.

For more information on selling at auction please review our terms and conditions of business and do not hesitate to call us if you have any further questions.

Request a Valuation