Buying with Witham Auctions

The guide below takes you through the whole process, from viewing and enquiring about a particular item, to bidding and receiving your winning items.

All items can be viewed by looking at our online auction catalogue which is uploaded approximately one week in advance of each auction. Our online catalogues with descriptions, estimates and images can be found on our website under catalogues/current auctions or if you would like to examine items in person, then please visit the Sale Room on the two days prevailing the auction during viewing hours 10am–3pm.

You can subscribe to our mailing list to receive auction updates and notifications when future catalogues are available online.

Condition reports

Our staff are more than happy to provide condition reports, further information, and additional images or videos of our items upon request.
All potential bidders or their agents must satisfy themselves with the condition of a lot before bidding. While we will examine each lot and describe and photograph any damages or defects deemed AF (as found), condition reports are opinions and to be used as a guideline only.
Furthermore, the absence of a condition report does not mean a lot is in good condition or damage-free, it is up to the individual to ascertain for themselves with authenticity and condition.
Please note that we receive a high volume of requests and while we endeavour to reply to all lot enquiries in a timely manner, you may not receive a response until closer to the auction.

Registering to bid

Buyers can easily register to bid in person or online. You will need to provide:

  • Email, Full Address, Telephone Number
  • Photographic identification if registering in person (passport/driving licence)

Ways To Bid

In Person
You will be issued a paddle number which can be used to bid in person. A physical copy can be obtained from the office.
If you are unable to attend the auction in person, there are multiple other ways to bid:
Online Bidding
Log in to My Witham Auctions account to submit absentee bids online or bid live online through Witham Auctions Live Bidding, (a surcharge of 3% of the hammer price in addition to the standard buyer's premium will be payable to
You can also bid live on (a 3% surcharge + the hammer price or a £3 flat fee per auction in addition to the standard buyer's premium will be payable to

Please note that if we are running multiple sales platforms you may wish to register to bid live through (a 5% surcharge of the hammer price in addition to the standard buyer's premium will be payable to

Commission Bidding

If you are unable to attend the auction, you can leave a commission bid and we can bid on your behalf. This can be achieved by using your Witham Auctions account and leaving an 'absentee bid' on your chosen lot. You can also fill out a bidding form at reception in the Saleroom or telephone us to submit absentee bids, however, you must either register on the platform or send proof of identity. Potential buyers should submit the maximum hammer price they are prepared to pay. Please note that if you are successful in bidding for a lot via an absentee bid, you will not necessarily pay the maximum hammer price you submitted, depending on other bidders.
If identical bids are submitted for a lot, the first bid left will take precedence.

Telephone Bidding
You can participate in the sale by booking a telephone bid. Telephone bidding is available subject to acceptance for lots of £100 and over. This does not incur any extra cost. A member of staff will call you approximately 2-4 lots before the lot you are interested in is coming up for auction and will relay to you the events in the room. They will then bid on your behalf when instructed to. Telephone lines are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, please book early to avoid any disappointment. You can book a telephone bid by emailing


There are several ways to pay for your items. We accept electronic bank transfers or cash if bidding in person, if cash, maximum £5,000.

Please note we do not accept payment with debit or credit cards over the telephone.

Bank Transfer
You will find our bank details listed on your invoice which we issue post-auction.

Please use your buyer number as a reference when settling any invoice.
International payments may incur an additional charge of £15. If you are able to pay with a UK account, or if you are able to pay the charges of converting into sterling then please notify us so we can adjust the fee.

Debit or credit cards
We do not accept any card payments.

Buyer's Premium & Charges

Each lot purchased is subject to a buyer's premium of 20% which is added to the hammer price.

Live online bidding is subject to an additional 3% (Easy Live Auction) or 5% ( premium (charged by the live bidding service provider).

Artist Resale Rights
ARR may apply to some Lots. The buyer pays an additional 4% on the sale price for works of art selling between 1000 to 50,000 Euros (lesser percentages may apply in higher brackets). This is payable to a living artist or to his or her estate in accordance with European directive 2001/84/EC. More information on Droit de Suite is available at


If you attend an auction and are successful in bidding for a lot, you may collect your item from the saleroom once payment has been made. 
All items must be paid for within 48 hours following each sale. If the item/s has not been collected after five days of the auction, then a storage charge of £1 per lot per day will commence. Witham Auctions shall then contact the buyer to confirm that this additional charge is now in place and if the paid for item/s are still not collected within another two weeks, the items will be placed back into the next auction without reserve with the buyer becoming the vendor. All Witham Auctions terms and conditions will now apply to the new vendor of this item. A bank transfer will be sent out 28 working days after the sale, this will be minus our saleroom and storage charges. All goods are the buyer's responsibility from the point of sale.


Witham Auctions can offer an in-house packing and postal service. Each request is assessed on an individual basis to determine the best method of dispatch and relevant costs. Some larger or very heavy items will need to be collected and we would suggest contacting us ahead of bidding to request a postage quote, or there will be an option to request a quotation once you receive your invoice. Once the lot(s) and postage fees are settled in full via bank transfer, we will dispatch items expediently. You will be provided with a tracking reference number once available.

While items that are due to be shipped will be handled with care and packaged to the best of our ability, we do not claim to be professional packers or shippers. Witham Auctions will not be held responsible for any claim in the event of loss or damage. We may be able to make claims via the couriers we use (Royal Mail & Parcelforce) but this is not guaranteed. Any items deemed too fragile and at risk of breakage and any restricted items will be rejected for in-house postal service and alternative services will be recommended in the interests of the client. Couriers will also be able to insure items that we are unable to insure.

Our predominantly used postal services are Royal Mail and Parcelforce for our in-house service. Royal Mail Special Delivery services are used for smaller items that fall under a certain size dimension and under 2kg (tiered insurance levels available up to £2,500 hammer price). Our larger and heavier items are sent with Parcelforce within the UK. Parcelforce offers free compensation for items sent via this service up to a value of £50 depending on the contents. Any item exceeding this value that is sent via this service is not insured. Enhanced compensation is available for certain Parcelforce services – buyers should familiarise themselves with Parcelforce’s compensation cover restrictions to ensure their item falls within this service. Please note Royal Mail Parcelforce do not insure ceramics/glass/fragile items/precious metals, jewellery and an array of other items.

A packing-only service is also available. Once an item has been packed, we will provide the dimensions and weight of the package(s) to the buyer so they can book a collection with their chosen courier.  For alternative postal quotations please contact Mailboxes at


We can provide local courier services contact numbers so that you can contact them to arrange directly by visiting

If you are arranging your own professional delivery, please ensure the invoice has been settled in full and the transport company has full details of the items to be collected, including your full name, sale date(s) and lot numbers.

Import duty, Export of Goods & Customs Tax

Witham Auctions reserves the right to refuse postage of items overseas and will not pay out for any claim against parcels sent overseas. Please always contact us ahead of bidding.

Items sent to the EU and overseas may be subject to import fees imposed by the country of receipt. Potential buyers must make themselves fully aware of any additional fees they may incur when importing items. Any customs declarations filled out by Witham Auctions will detail the hammer price of the item(s). This will not be amended.

Buyers interested in bidding on any lots must be aware of any customs regulations relating to the import and export of item construction materials before placing a bid. Witham Auctions will not assist the buyer in matters regarding import or export matters.

Prohibited Items
Some items/components in items that we sell cannot be posted.

  • Lighters and refills containing flammable liquid or gas
  • Perfumes and aftershaves – not sealed
  • Alcoholic beverages containing more than 70% alcohol by volume
  • Batteries
  • Grenades, shells, mortars and ammunition
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