For the auction novice, buying at auction is not as daunting as it may seem. At Claydon Auctioneers our auctions follow a traditional format taking place live at our saleroom, with the additional benefit of online bidding, which complements the traditional bidding process. Online bidding allows you to bid from the comfort of your own home or office, on your computer, mobile device or tablet. We offer online bidding via our own website, as well as popular bidding platforms.


The hammer price is the amount achieved at auction. In addition to the hammer price, there will be a Buyer’s Premium charge of 19.5% + VAT, (23.4% inclusive of VAT). 

For example:

Hammer price - £100.00

Premium at 19.5% of £100.00 = £19.50

VAT at 20% of £19.50 = £3.90

Total price to pay = £123.40

Viewing the Auction

All our auctions are on view at our saleroom prior to the sale, please see the appropriate auction catalogue for relevant viewing times and auction information. If you are unable to view during the designated auction times, please contact the office for alternative times and we will endeavour to assist you. Fully illustrated catalogues are available online prior to auctions, if you are interested in receiving catalogue alerts each time a new catalogue is published online, please enter your details below. 

Condition Reports

At Claydon we are very happy to provide condition reports on any lots in forthcoming auctions in the form of written reports with additional images sent via email. This is a free service and we urge all prospective bidders who are unable to inspect items in person to make use of this. Please note our catalogue descriptions do not make any reference to the condition of the item(s), and all weights and measures given in the catalogue should be regarded as approximate. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Registering to Bid / Bidding in Person

All first time buyers need to register with us, please register at reception prior to the auction, where you will receive a unique bidding number. For first time buyers, a form of photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s licence, will be required. The speed of each auction varies, by for guidance these run at approximately 120-140 lots per hour. Once the sale has begun and you wish to bid, simply raise your bidder number in order to attract the attention of the auctioneer and make your bid. 

Telephone Bidding

For those unable to attend the auction in person, we are very happy to offer a free telephone bidding service, allowing you live participation. This can be arranged by contacting the auction house office prior to the auction. 

How it works: A few lots prior to your lot going under the hammer, a member of our team will telephone you and bid on your behalf, relaying your bids to the auctioneer. Please note bid amounts do not include Buyer’s Premium. 

Commission / Absentee / Proxy Bidding

Many people who are unable to attend the auction in person choose to leave commission bids. Simply state the maximum price you would like to pay for a lot (excluding Buyer’s Premium), and the auctioneer will bid on your behalf for the lowest possible amount, subject to the reserve and other competing bids. This is a popular service for those who are unable to bid live. 

Commission / absentee / proxy bids can be placed in a number of ways, by contacting the auction house office prior to the auction, by email prior to the auction, or via our website. 

Online Bidding

Online bidding has transformed traditional auctions, allowing bidders to participate from anywhere in the world from the palm of their hand. We are therefore very pleased to offer various options for online bidding. You can bid through our own website, as well as via a number of popular online bidding platforms which include The Saleroom, EasyLive Auction, Invaluable / AuctionZip, and Live Auctioneers. In addition to live bidding, these services also allow you to leave confidential auto and absentee bids if you are unable to bid at the time of the event. Please note, third party bidding platform suppliers usually charge a small percentage to bidders using their platforms, full details are available on registration with your chosen bidding platform. 


Payment must be received in full by the Wednesday following the auction. Our preferred payment method is by bank / wire transfer, (all costs associated with bank transfers must be met by the purchaser). However, we also accept payment by credit and debit cards. Please note payment by cards issued by a non EU bank are subject to a 2.5% surcharge. Please note that ‘cardholder not present transactions’ (i.e. payments over the telephone) are limited to a maximum of £250, unless prior arrangement has been made with the auctioneers office.

Collection / Storage

We prefer buyers to arrange collection of purchases as soon as possible following the auction. However, we appreciate that this is not always possible, especially for bidders from further afield and international customers. We are therefore happy to provide storage of items for up to 6 weeks following the auction on contact with the office. 

Postage and Shipping

We are pleased to offer an in house packing and postage service for small, non-fragile items. We recommend prospective bidders contact us prior to bidding for a postage quote. Please note for postage of items we use Royal Mail first class ‘signed for’ service or Parcel Force for larger items. International postage is via the Royal Mail ‘international signed for service’ (size and weight restrictions apply). Whilst we pack to the very best of our ability, all parcels are sent at the purchasers’ own risk. Should you require an insured service we recommend using one of our third-party shippers. Please note items can only be posted to the address on your invoice. Please contact us for further details.

Catalogue Alerts

Join our mailing list and receive the latest auction catalogues