Introducing our 7th April Auction Sale
This is an introduction to our third auction catalogue of the year in which I find myself almost at a loss for words. Until only a few days, let alone weeks ago, Covid-19 was being talked about as an issue largely overseas, we now find ourselves in the grip of a national and worldwide crisis that will pass in time and from which we shall recover.
During the course of the last few months we have been developing in association with Essential Information Group our on-line auction platform. We were due to roll this out in late spring this year, not as a replacement to our venue main auctions but as a compliment and alternative for our clients. It would, and will give our sellers an additional route to market and critically, enable them to transact at any time on any day rather than waiting for the main venue auction, if the date of these was not suitable for their requirements.
I never envisaged through all of those development stages that this on-line auction platform would now be so critical and enable our clients to continue selling by auction when a venue sale became impossible in circumstances such as we face now. As you will now be aware, this sale will not be conducted in the usual venue live auction environment, it would be unthinkable and irresponsible for us to encourage hundreds of people to attend such an event placing everyone in attendance at significant health risk.
The sale will however go ahead and this will be a live streamed event. You will see myself and my colleagues on your screen through live video streaming. You will be able to participate in the auction and have the choice of bidding online via our web platform, by telephone in exactly the same way as buyers have in our rooms for many years or by submitting a proxy bid.
Contracts will be exchanged in exactly the same way as they are in our venue sales and we shall collect buyers’ deposits either by online banking transfer or debit card details taken over the telephone. The main difference between our online sale and many others is that once you have registered, you will be permitted to bid on any lot, and as many lots as you wish. We shall not be requiring deposit payments upfront and similar to our main venue auctions, the deposit and contract fee will be required to be paid on the fall of the gavel.
Similarly as with all our sales we shall require bidders to register prior to being able to bid. Much of this would ordinarily be carried out in the room itself, on this occasion we shall be sending out forms to bidders that request them and then issuing passports to enable bidding online or, completing telephone/proxy bids. These forms will be issued and available after the first few days the catalogue is published with registration closing at 2pm Monday 6th April.
We continue to hold open house viewings and these shall be extended to allow social distancing at these viewings. Legal packs will be uploaded to this website and available as always to download free of charge. We continue at this time at our office in Hammersmith but have facilities to move into alternative premises should circumstances require. Phone lines may be diverted to staff working remotely so we ask for your patience if a call takes a little longer than usual to be answered but, if at all possible could you email us with enquiries and we shall respond very promptly.
As circumstances may change in the lead up to the auction, announcements shall be made via our website. The site will remain in the format we utilise as always and at the appropriate time and closer to the auction itself it will then switch automatically to the online bidding site. Please keep a close watch on our website where we will provide all updates on the main front page.
It remains for me to wish you the very best of health in these difficult times, stay well and safe. We very much look forward to welcoming you back to our venue as soon as a venue auction is safe to hold and if you wish to email me direct, I will come straight back to you with any assistance my team or I can provide.
In the meantime, however you decide to bid on 7th April, as ever, I wish you the best of luck with your bids.