Sellers FAQ

We hold four Quarterly Fine Art auctions each year, 12 monthly Antique and Collectors' auctions and numerous specialist sales. We are well known in Surrey because we have been in business as Ewbank Auctioneers since 1990, occupying prominent high profile premises in probably the best location in the South of England, close to the A3 and M25. Our roots as Clarke Gammon and Wellers provide a provenance of well over 100 years of auctions in Surrey. The present auction rooms are 4 miles from Guildford and the same distance from Woking main line station (London Waterloo 25 minutes).

The building has recently been refurbished with additional floor space being created by a new mezzanine floor. The new modern interior provides over 3000 sq feet on the ground floor and is an intimate and sympathetic setting for the display of antiques and fine art.

Chris Ewbank heads our probate department which deals with probate valuations and sales. In addition we advise executors on security and provide safe-keeping facilities for valuable items. Clients usually come to us because we have acted for them before or we have been recommended by friends or professional advisers.

Commission is charged to sellers calculated per lot, as follows:

  • 15%
  • Entry Fee £10 per lot
  • Catalogue Illustration Fee £10 per lot (discretionary)
  • Loss and damage warranty 1.5%
  • All the above are subject to VAT at current rates

Chris Ewbank who has over 40 years experience in the business answers some frequently asked questions from potential new sellers, call us on 01483 223 101.

Will you come to my house and give advice on value and reserves? What do you charge for this service?

I visit clients to advise them on values of antiques and fine art where they are unable to bring them in to us. I am prepared to travel well outside the local area where it is felt that we should be able to obtain better results for clients than in their immediate vicinity. We do not normally make any charge for this service. We offer a free email valuation service for clients. Just email an image and dimensions and we shall contact you about possible sale values

Can you offer specialist advice on value?

We are general valuers and have to deal with all of the things that you might find in a house. We are often asked to value specialist items and collections and we have specialists in all areas both on the staff and as consultants who we can call upon to assist us in advising our clients. Look at our specialist auctions section on this site to see the width of our fields of expertise.

How do you market your sales?

We have a large buyers mailing list for catalogues and advertise our auctions in the press nationally and locally. We have an extensive auction email alert list and post our main catalogues on the Internet on this site and on the two top UK auction sites. All listings include images and on this sites multiple images and condition reports are also included. This gives us an enormous increase in global coverage and through our live internet bidding platform bidders are able to participate in antique auctions while they are in progress. We were one of the first UK auctioneers to participate in this scheme which gives the seller the benefit of direct access to a world market of private buyers and collectors. We attract buyers from all over the world including the UK, USA, Europe, the Far East and Australia. You can register to participate in live internet bidding, please call us for details.

How can you ensure that my possessions will not be sold at prices lower than my expectations?

We advise all clients of our suggested sale estimates for inclusion in our catalogues and we can place reserves on lots being offered for sale.

How can I get my goods to the auction rooms and what does this cost?

You can either bring items in to us yourself or, if this is not practical, we can put you in touch with carriers who will normally charge on a time basis at £45 per hour.

What happens if any of my goods are damaged or stolen while in your care?

This is the type of question that most auctioneers will be reluctant to address in discussions with you before a sale. We are used to handling valuable antiques but recognise that it is always possible for a problem to arise. In the unlikely event of loss or damage to their property we undertake to reimburse clients for any losses.

What happens if a lot fails to sell and what charges do I pay?

Unless lots are withdrawn after the catalogue or advertisements have been prepared the only charge that we make on unsold lots is the £5 per lot lotting charge plus VAT. If you wish unsold lots can be returned to you or re-offered in a later sale.

I have a house to clear. What items do you sell and will you help me dispose of rubbish and items that cannot be sold?

We shall normally be able to sell all of the saleable items in a house which are worth transporting to auction. Our carriers can also deal with clearances at charges to be agreed. For legal reasons we do not normally sell electrical goods or domestic upholstered furniture made between 1950 and 1988.

Why should I sell my art and antiques in Surrey rather than sending them up to London?

The London Rooms are usually only interested in selling higher value goods. We can deal with complete contents and will not just cherry pick and leave you to deal with the rest. We are extremely well placed and easily accessible being only about 30 minutes by car from West London and 25 minutes by train from Waterloo; buyers coming by road do not have to struggle to park in town to get to us. We pride ourselves on being a small firm which offers a personal, friendly service to our clients, which cannot be matched by larger organisations. More and more top quality art and antiques are now being sold outside London because prices are good and the costs of selling and transport are much less, particularly on the most important items. The influence of the internet has made it easier for smaller businesses to reach wider market places.

To illustrate this we recently sold the Robertson Collection of 45 lots from the Studio of Francis Bacon for in excess of £1M. The sale created enormous international press and television coverage from all over the World.

Do you subscribe to a professional code of practice?

As a member of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers and a prominent Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors I subscribe to the codes of conduct of the two main professional bodies for Fine Art auctioneers in the UK.

How do I know that you will safeguard the money that you hold for me?

I am very rarely asked this important question. As auctioneers we collect purchase monies and hold them for clients pending settlement. The funds that we hold for our clients are protected in ring fenced clients accounts.

When can I expect to receive my money after a sale?

We have to collect money due in from purchasers and normally pay vendors by cheque posted 28 days after the sale. In some cases settlement may be delayed where for example we await payment from buyers.

My staff and I are always pleased to answer any other questions that you might have, and to discuss the disposal of your antiques, collections and fine art.