How To Buy

Mention an Auction and it conjures images of fast-talking auctioneers, adrenalin fuelled bidding and lots of drama. Whilst this can be part of the fun, it can also feel intimidating to new bidders. In reality bidding has become easier and is now accessible to all, whether you want to attend in person or bid from the comfort of your home online.

It is easy to find the antique item of your dreams, all it takes is some careful bidding, a little know-how and some luck, follow our easy steps for auction success.


You will need to register with reception before you can start bidding. This can take a few minutes so make sure you allow enough time to complete the process before your lots come up. You will be asked the following information: your name, address, telephone number and email address.

Once registration is complete you won’t need to do this again, on your second visit just write your name and postcode on the registration form and we can get all the relevant information for the auction.

A buyers number will be handed to you on a card printed with a personal buyer number for you to use in the auction. A different number will be allocated for any future auctions you attend. It is important that you quote this number on any communication with us.

During the auction, when you wish to bid on an item, you just raise the buyer number card and make the auctioneer aware of your intention.

Other bidders will do the same thing and they may bid against you.

The auctioneer will continue to accept bids until all but one of the bidders drops out.


If you can’t attend the auction there are several options available to you. One of them is to leave an ‘absentee bid’.

This can be done via email, telephone or in person.

This enables you to leave a price value that the auctioneer can bid up to, on your behalf, during the auction. They will always try to secure the item for the lowest price possible.


Through our online partner, you can place absentee bids or bid live whilst the auction is taking place.

Follow these steps for a smooth bidding experience:

– You will need to register with and then register to bid in the Clarke’s Auctions listing (under the ‘Current Auctions’ tab).

– As soon as you have received confirmation of your registration you can leave a commission bid or bid live when the lots comes up for auction.

Useful Information

– Leave plenty of time to register for the auction.

– Absentee bids are available up to one hour before the start of the auction.

– There is an added 4.9% + VAT surcharge added on all successful internet bid sales.

– Clarke’s Auction Terms & Conditions apply.


A telephone bid is a free-of-charge bidding service.

A member of staff will call the buyer and relay the bids to the auctioneer during the bidding of the
desired lot. Please respond quickly and clearly so our staff member can do the best possible job they
can for you. The auctioneer’s hammer can come down very quickly and once down the sale of that
lot is over.

Useful Information

– There are a limited amount of phone lines available so early booking is advised!

– A member of staff will call the buyer approximately five lots ahead of the intended lot. Be sure to provide a contact number you can be reached on at all times.

– Telephone lines and mobile phone reception aren’t 100% reliable. All telephone bidders are asked to provide two telephone numbers and a covering bid if desired. It means that the auction clerk can bid on the buyer’s behalf in the event of a communication failure.