Timed Online-Only Sales


We are introducing the timed online-only sales format as a regular feature of our sales calendar. In the coming months we will introduce regular series of auctions across all of our departments, thereby offering our customers the opportunity to sell and buy from us throughout the year. The majority of online-only offerings will be without reserve, and bidding will commence at £5 on each lot.

Bidding takes place by clicking on the red bidding button and entering your maximum bid which may be one or more increments above the then current bid. You will see the current bid change as yours and other bidding activity takes place and are able to bid as often as you wish.

Unlike many online-only sale offerings from other auctioneers, all lots in our sales are available to be viewed at our premises in the days leading up to the closing of each sale. Catalogues are listed on our website around three weeks prior to closing, from when maximum bids can be entered. In order to bid in any sale you will need to be signed into your Forum Auctions account.  Bidding activity is reflected in the changing ‘current price’ of the lot and you may bid as often and as high as you wish.

On first entering the live catalogue listing on our website you will be asked to confirm your understanding that the items in the sale have been made available for inspection and that you agree to be bound by our terms of sale. It is important to understand that purchases at our timed sales are not subject distance selling regulations and buyers have no post sale right to return items.

To participate in a timed online-only auction you must first sign into or register for your Forum Auctions web account.

What happens when you bid 

The online-only nature of this sale format makes it impossible for bidders to communicate with an auctioneer.  As a result, bidding increments are fixed and there is no facility for us to accept split bids.  In the event that a split bid is entered, we will accept the bid at the increment below the split bid.  In other words, a bid of £103 will be accepted as a bid of £100.  Bids will always be prioritised strictly in the time order that they are entered, hence if the hammer price reflects two or more identical bids the lot will be sold to the first of those bids that was submitted.

When a bid is entered, whether a single or multiple increments higher than the then current bid, the current bid will change with reference to the entered bid any competing bids entered by other bidders and any reserve.  In other words, if the current bid is £100 and a maximum bid of £150 is entered then the current bid will change to £110 - this being one bidding increment higher than £100.  If there is already a competing maximum bid £130 then the current bid will change to £140 – this being one increment above £130.  If there is a reserve set at £130 and no competing bids, the current bid will change to £130 – this being the lowest bid that satisfies the reserve.

When a maximum bid is entered a confirmation email is sent acknowledging the bid, the level at which it has been accepted and whether it is a winning bid at the time of submission.  Making a bid enters the bidder into a binding contract. Maximum bids can only be revised to the extent that they have not already been executed and never within the final 60 seconds of bidding. Whenever a maximum bid is exceeded the bidder will be notified by email inviting further bids 

During the final 60 seconds before a lot closes, maximum bidding is replaced by a ‘bid up’ function which increases the current bid by only one bidding increment when clicked. During the last 15 seconds prior to bidding on a lot closing, any bidding activity will result in the countdown timer being extended by a further 5 seconds.  In other words, if a bid is entered with 11 seconds to go, the timer will be reset to 16 seconds.  In this way we ensure that all bidders are provided with ample opportunity to place their final bids.  Any extension in the closing time of a lot will result in the start time of the following lots being extended by the same amount so that there will always be a 30 second interval between one lot closing and the subsequent lot being opened.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact