Auction Anecdote: Nov '20

Posted On: 01 Jan 2020 by Easy Live

Since Smiths Auctions have recently invested in a fancy new back office computer system it has been a rather stressful few weeks for me and the team as we have worked long hours trying to get our heads round a completely different way of doing things. However, it all worked like a dream on sale day and we are enjoying many of the new features and flexibility the improved system can offer us. All this has been going on against the backdrop of an ‘ever increasing’ flow of entries for the sales as clients are venturing out and bringing us the results of many a ‘Lockdown Clear Out’


Our October sale included over one thousand lots (which was a few more than we had planned) and resulted in an extended sale day which lasted from 10am-8.30pm!  Since our sales take place on a Friday I always imagine that by the evening all the bidders are seated comfortably with a nice glass of smooth red wine. Of course, if they start to nod off or fancy going out, they can easily leave an ‘Autobid’ with the system and the computer will bid on their behalf up to the top of their maximum bid. Often by the end of a sale we have a tally of over £30,000 worth of Autobids which have been left by bidders throughout the day. I can see the day will soon come when the role of the auctioneer will be unnecessary as the bidding platforms continue to extend their powers – hopefully this day will not arrive before my retirement!



The October sale had an extremely successful special section for Stamps and Postcards which saw the stamp section alone making an overall total of over £28,000 . The top price was £1200 paid for a ‘Prizewinning’ Newfoundland album – but competitive bidding throughout saw many of the lots doubling or tripling their estimates. It seems the stamp market is another area which has in some ways benefitted from the Lockdown. Many older people are now spending more time inside and so stamp collectors have obviously passed more time buying, sorting  and selling their collections. This has been true in other collecting areas,  meaning that prices have been rising in a wide range of specialist markets for example postcards, books, militaria and coins.


Smiths forthcoming sales include a wide range of antiques and collectables and entries are now invited for the coming months with additional specialist sections for Antique Toys, Coins, Postcards, Stamps & Militaria. Entries can be booked in by appointment with a ‘Drop Off at the Door’ service or a ‘Masked and Distanced Valuation’ in the saleroom! Smiths November 6th sale includes a special Silver, Gold & Jewellery Section which makes a perfect opportunity to buy special gifts for Christmas. Viewing is by appointment the week of the sale. Please telephone 01531 821776 for all enquiries or visit