Buyers FAQ

We hold four Quarterly Fine Art auctions each year, 12 monthly Antique and Collectors' auctions and numerous specialist sales. All auctions are normally held on a Wednesday commencing at 10.30, with public viewing on the previous Monday from 10am - 5 pm and Tuesday from 10 am - 8 pm. Dates are published annually and the calendar is not normally changed, but buyers are always advised to check with us before making a long journey. We hope that you will come to a sale; buying at auction can be rewarding and fun and many become addicted to the excitement of the auction sale.

Chris Ewbank, who has over 30 years experience in the business, answers some frequently asked questions from potential new buyers;

Can anyone attend and or bid at auctions?

Yes, they are public events; you have no obligation to buy and can come along just to view if you wish. If you decide to bid in the sale room you will have to go through a simple registration process and will be issued with your buyer's number. You can register to place commision bids on line via the website by clicking on the registration link above. Once you have registered your registration will cover you for buying at future sales.

Can I find you easily and is there somewhere to park?

We are just off the A3 about 4 miles from Guildford going towards London. You have probably seen us from the main road close to the Ripley slip road. Full details including a map are shown elsewhere on this site. It is an out of town location and we have literally acres of on-site free parking. BEWARE some sat-nav systems direct you to our A3 boundary where there is no access. It is safer to put in the address "London Road, Send" than the postcode!

How can I be sure that I do not miss a sale?

If you register on this site you can ask to automatically receive Email newsletters and press releases.

Where can I get specific information on individual lots in a sale?

Prospective buyers are encouraged to view our catalogues on line on this site, with lots in antique auctions being illustrated. The descriptions can include several images and condition reports. Further information on specific lots can be posted on requests from prospective buyers. These listings are normally posted about 10 days before the sale for antique auctions and on a Friday before a Wednesday sale for general sales

I am frightened that if I am not careful I may purchase something by mistake.

This is an "old wives' tale", provided that you make sure that you are bidding on the right lot. In my experience nobody has ever bought a lot from me that they were not actually bidding on.

When I buy a lot are there any charges other than the hammer price?

Yes all major auctioneers levy a Buyer's Premium on the hammer price and ours including VAT is 25.2% (21% + VAT). You will have to pay for transport if you cannot take the item away yourself, and we can put you in touch with carriers if you want a quote or with shippers, if appropriate.

How can I settle my account?

We are legally allowed to accept cash up to a maximum of £6,000 or you can pay by cheque (subject to prior arrangement). We also accept major debit and credit cards, the latter being subject to a 2.5% plus VAT surcharge.

How can I be confident that you are professional auctioneers?

Like any other area of consumer activity we are governed by Consumer Law. I have been running auctions in Guildford since 1982 (Ewbank Auctioneers was set up in 1990). I maintain the highest professional standards as laid down by the two UK professional bodies of which I am a Member. I first became a Member of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers in 1982 and was Chairman 2000 - 2006. I first joined the SOFAA management committee in 1994. I have been a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for over 40 years and was elected to the International Governing Council the highest decision making body in 2005. If anyone has a complaint or problem they can refer it to me personally. In April 2009 we merged with Clarke Gammon Wellers fine art. They were founded in 1919 by auctioneer and estate agent Sidney Clarke and surveyor Frank Gammon. Together, their combined talents created a firm where professional and personal service were the trademarks. Those values remain at the core of Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers today. We maintain close links with Clarke Gammon Wellers who are dedicated to providing a complete property service to all clients. In May 2003, Clarke Gammon merged with Wellers' specialists in agricultural and equestrian property, farm management and rural practice. Tony Jamieson senior partner of CGW is also a partner with Chris Ewbank in the newly merged business. We also have a resident valuer at our Bournemouth office, Steve Ozier tel 07811 665055. All sales are conducted at our Surrey Salerooms.

How can I bid if I am unable to attend a sale?

Commission bids. After registering in person or through this website you can leave commission bids with us and we will undertake to buy on your behalf as cheaply as we are able, after reference to any reserve or other bidders. Please note that bids can be left online up to 30 minutes before the start of the sale. After that time you will have to register with us in person or by email, fax or phone. All registration closes one hour before commencement of the sale.

Live telephone bidding. On valuable lots in antique sales you can ask to be given a telephone bid, which means that a member of staff will bid on your instructions during the sale.

Live internet bidding . This has only been made possible by advances in technology although it is extensively used in the USA. We were amongst the first to adopt it in the UK. For further details on live internet bidding please contact us on 01483 223 101.

I hope that I have answered your questions but if there is anything that you are still unsure about please ask a member of staff. We look forward to seeing you at a future sale.