Buyers FAQ

How can I find out about Fellows auction dates?

Our complete auction calendar is available online here. If you are interested in finding out more about upcoming auctions and events, please take the time to register for our email alerts. 

Are your auctions open to the public?

Our auctions are open to both trade and the general public.

How can I find more information on the lot I am interested in? 

Pre auction viewings are an excellent way to see and handle the lot you are interested in, please check our auction listings for viewing days and times. Selected lots are available to view between extended opening hours with our specialist staff on hand to answer any of your queries. Please be aware that you will be asked for photographic proof of identification to be allowed access to the viewing area.

What if I am not able to attend a pre auction viewing?

A condition report can be provided on the lot you are interested in if you are unable to attend pre auction viewings. Many of our lots already have condition reports available on our online catalogues. If a condition report is not available you should request this by 4pm the day before the auction. You can request condition reports online or by telephoning 0121 212 2131, or by emailing the relevant department here.

Fellows strongly advise all potential purchasers to request a condition report before placing a bid. Statements in the catalogue regarding the condition of lots in this sale may appear in the description. However, the absence of such a reference does not imply that a lot is in a perfect or near perfect condition, or completely free from wear or imperfection so a full condition report is very useful to potential buyers when deciding what to bid.

We provide excellent lot photography on the majority of items. The online catalogues include main and additional images as well as the hover to zoom feature which enables the intricate details to be viewed. Select auctions also feature pioneering 360 degree photography, which allows potential buyers to zoom in and spin the lot, making examining items in exceptional levels of detail possible.  

How can I place a bid?

After viewing or requesting a condition report, and deciding you would like to bid on an item, you first need to register with us. This is fast, easy and can be done online or over the telephone. To register in person you will be asked to provide your name, full address and proof of identification, either a driving license or passport. Bids can be placed on the Fellows website using the ‘Place Bid’ button or by telephone. 

Why do I have to register before I can attend one of your auctions? 

Registration is required for VAT and invoicing purposes.

How does the bidding process work in the auction?

The bidding process is regulated by the auctioneer and each bid normally increases by anything from £10 to £100 depending on the starting price. The selling price is determined by the reserve and any other bids that the auctioneer may have from other potential buyers in the auction room, telephone bids, or bidding via the internet. A bid may be made at any stage if you are in the auction room by attracting the attention of the auctioneer with a hand or head signal. The auctioneer's decision is final and is a legally binding contract.

What are the bidding increments?

Bidding increments are as follows:

£50 - £100 - £5 increments

£100 - £200 - £10 increments

£200 - £1000 - £20 increments

£1000 - £10,000 - £100 increments

Over £10,000 - £1000 increments

When placing absentee bids please note that your bids will be rounded to the nearest value according to the increments above.

Inevitably, there may be occasions when the maximum bids of multiple potential buyers from the above categories will be exactly the same, and the auctioneer has to decide which buyer's bid he or she accepts. It is not the practice at Fellows for the auctioneer to use the knowledge of a commission bid to force an extra bid out from another bidder but only to match it. Therefore a commission bid may be equalled by a 'live bid' from a buyer in the auction room, on the phone, or by the internet, and the commission bid will lose. The auctioneers at Fellows will try to follow a set of proscribed increments when taking bids. This means that a potential buyer should therefore know what the next bid will be.

The auctioneer will use his or her discretion to decide whether to accept any bid that falls in between these increments (sometimes known as 'a split bid'). In the event of a split bid being left with the auctioneer to execute (i.e. a commission bid) the auctioneer may at his or her discretion increase this bid to the next full increment.

What if I can not attend the auction? 

There are several ways to bid for an item at auction if you are unable to attend the sale. Telephone bids can be arranged by 4pm the day prior to the auction. If you choose to book a telephone bid you will be called ten lots before your item and the operator will relay bids placed in the room. If you wish to bid at any point communicate with your operator and they will place it on your behalf. This is a discretionary service and lines are not guaranteed. All telephone bids are recorded during the sale.

You can also leave an absentee bid up to the maximum amount you have assigned to each lot. Absentee bids can be placed online by registering on the web site. Absentee bidding forms are available to pick up at pre auction viewings and are printed at the back of our catalogues.

Fellows also offer live bidding through various online bidding platforms. Please note Buyers Premium will apply to all winning bids.

The Saleroom:

Buyers will pay a live bidding charge of 3% (plus VAT) or 3.6% (inclusive of VAT)

Live Auctioneers 

Buyers will pay a live bidding charge of 3% (plus VAT) or 3.6% (inclusive of VAT) 

Easylive Auctions 

Buyers can choose whether to pay a live bidding charge of 3% (plus VAT) or 3.6% (inclusive of VAT) of the hammer price or a fixed fee of £3 per sale.  

What are the conditions of Buying? 

Fellows recommend that all bidders and buyers read our conditions of buying and buyer’s premium available here or at the back of our catalogues.


The buyer shall pay:

On the first £100,000 of the Hammer Price (of any individual lot) the buyer will pay the hammer price and a premium of 23% (plus VAT) or 27.6% (inclusive of VAT)

On the excess over £100,001 of the hammer price (of any individual lot), the buyer will pay the hammer price and a premium of 15% (plus VAT) or 18% (inclusive of VAT).

Items marked with * contain VAT at 20% on the hammer price.

Buyers will pay a commission charge of an additional 3% (+ VAT) of the hammer price if lots are successfully purchased online via Live Auctioneers and Normal Buyer's Premium applies. The seller authorises Fellows to retain beneficially the premium payable by buyers.

For non UK or EU VAT registered buyers, please refer to point 9.5 of our Terms & Conditions relating to VAT refunds.  

When do I pay VAT? 

Most goods at auction do not carry VAT - either coming from non-registered VAT sources or being sold under the Margin Scheme rules. At Fellows any item with VAT on top of the hammer price is marked with an asterisk. VAT is payable on all charges such as Buyer's Premium, Vendors' Commission, Insurance, Photography etc.

I am not a UK resident - do I have to pay VAT? 

Under certain circumstances it is possible for the VAT applied to the hammer price to be removed for export purposes, subject to documentary evidence. However, VAT, which is applied to the Buyer's Premium, cannot be removed and must be paid in all circumstances. For any further queries on VAT issues, please contact Stacey Goodson on 0121 212 5502 or email

After the sale, how do I find out if my bid has been successful? 

Auction results can be viewed within the archive here. You will also be notified by email, please ensure you also check your spam and junk folders.

Why didn't I win?  

If the hammer price is the same as your bid but you did not buy the item, it may be for a number of reasons which may include a bidder in the auction room bid the same as you, or another absentee bidder left the same bid as you but their bid was received earlier than yours. If you want advice on either of these issues please do not hesitate to contact us.

How can I pay for my item? 

We accept VISA, MasterCard, Switch, Solo, Delta, cheques and cash. You can also pay via our secure site by logging into your My Fellows account.

You can also make payments online via our secure payments page here. Please note that you will need your invoice number and email address. 

You can also pay for your item via a bank transfer.



Sort Code 40-11-18

Account No 84821718

IBAN GB57MIDL40111884821718



HSBC Bank plc

130 New Street


B2 4JU



When making a payment directly into our account, you must pay in pounds sterling, cover any bank charges and use your invoice number as a reference.

We are only able to accept payments in pounds sterling; international bank transfer payments must also be made in pounds sterling and fees will be charged at the banks’ discretion. When making international bank transfers please ensure to include any fees that may incur are paid by the buyer. We strongly discourage transfers in foreign currency as exchange rates vary by the minute and any discrepancies will have to be paid. Please use the invoice number as reference when paying via bank transfer. International bank transfers can take up to 7 working days to clear. There will be a surcharge of 1.5% for credit card payments, but there is no charge for using a debit card.

If paying by cheque please allow 5 working days for your cheque to clear through the Banking system.

In order to avoid delay in clearing purchases, buyers unknown to Fellows & Sons are advised to make arrangements for payment prior to the sale. If prior arrangements are not made, cheques will be cleared before purchases are made available for collection. Please see our full terms and conditions for further details.

Is it possible to have my item posted to me? 


We offer a tracked and insured shipping service on all items. For those under £20k in value and under 2kg in weight the following charges apply:

Items posted outside of the UK will incur a £30 charge

Within the UK, hammer totals under £100 will incur a £10 charge

Hammer totals over £100 will incur a £20 charge


Larger items, as well as those exceeding a value of £20,000 or weighing in excess of

2kg maybe subject to additional fees.


ATG Delivery

Tel: +44 (0)0203 725 5555




What do I do if I want to make a complaint? 

Fellows pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and our strength lies in the relationships we have built over the years with buyers and vendors. If for any reason you are unhappy about any part of our service and wish to make a complaint please email: and we will do our utmost to resolve any issues.