Demystifying & Streamlining The Bidding Process…

At Wotton we understand that the auction world can at times feel like a daunting place to be for those not experienced in bidding and buying at the sale room. 

Whether it’s your first time buying at auction or you’re an experienced member of the trade – we strive to provide an efficient and enjoyable experience for all of our buyers, ensuring the process is simple and convenient. 

Through our generations of experience, we’ve adapted with the changes in bidder preferences and technology now available to bidders and acknowledge that different people may wish to interact with our sales in different ways.

We pride ourselves in accommodating buyers from throughout the international market and have worked tirelessly to develop a streamlined, comprehensive service - however you may wish to bid with us.

We value the interest and custom of all bidders, whether our regular clients who’ve known us for years and are local to us in the Cotswolds, or first-time online bidders from all corners of the globe - all are welcome.

Bid In Person

All of our sales take place in our landmark Tabernacle chapel and Sunday school auction galleries in Wotton-under-Edge, unless specified otherwise (as can be the case for on-site estate sales and other specialist auctions).

Our premises are laden with history and character as well as antiques and fine art. We love welcoming buyers from across the UK and further afield to join us in person and enjoy the atmosphere and theatre of sale day.

During our viewing or sale days, please visit the office to register upon arrival for a paddle number before joining in the fun and bidding with us in person.


Bid Online

We welcome bids from clients remotely as they join us online from across the UK and from overseas.

Bidders registering through our own website or are charged a 3% (of hammer price) platform fee in addition to our standard buyer’s premium and VAT.

Bidders joining us through are charged a 6% (of hammer price) platform fee in addition to our standard buyer’s premium and VAT.

Registration confirming identity and payment information is required by all online platforms before approval to bid is issued.

Once you’ve registered and have been approved you can then sit back and enjoy bidding in our sales from your favourite armchair or on-the-go in real time with live streamed video and audio across all sales.

Bid By Commission / Absentee Bid

Commission bidding is used when you cannot attend the sale in person and wish to leave a bid with the auctioneer.

A commission bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay (excluding buyer’s premium and VAT) which will be added to your invoice if your bid is successful.

The auctioneer will work to purchase the lot as cheaply as possible for you and we pride ourselves on treating all commission bids with absolute integrity.

For example, if you wish to leave a maximum bid of £500 for an auction lot and the highest bid presented other than yours is £200, you will purchase the lot for the next increment – so in this case £220 (plus buyer’s premium).

We kindly request that all commission bids are placed no later than one hour before the start time of the auction.


Bid By Telephone

For auction lots with a low estimate of £300 and above (or otherwise at the auctioneer’s discretion) we offer buyers the option of bidding via telephone.

This needs to be arranged and approved with the office before the day of the sale. You will receive confirmation of a telephone bid booking via email before the sale takes place.

We will then call you usually around 10 auction lots before your chosen lot is offered and relay the auction to you over the phone as it happens, giving you the ability to bid live via telephone.

Please note that this service is offered on a first-come first-served basis and certain popular lots may reach phone line capacity several days before the auction date, so registering for a phone bid well in advance is always advised. We do not charge any additional handling fee for this service.


All options here provide an easy to use service - giving you the choice of how you wish to engage with our auctions. As always, our team are on hand to assist should you have any questions or require any additional assistance.

After The Sale

Should your bid(s) be successful we will issue you with a fully itemised invoice by the close of business on the day of the auction via email. This includes a secure payment link for easy and safe online completion.

If you wish to pay when you collect your purchases, we accept all major debit and credit cards (excluding American Express) as well as cash payments (in accordance with Anti-money laundering regulations and limitations).

Payment must be received and cleared in full before any goods are released to purchasers.

Please note that we are unable to accept payment by cheque and for security reasons, we are unable to accept card payments over the phone.

We kindly ask that all purchases are collected by the end of the calendar week of the auction. If this is not possible for any reason, we ask that you communicate this with our offices so any relevant arrangements can be made where possible.

Any purchases not collected within 7 days of the auction date which have not been communicated with the office will be subject to a storage fee of £5 per lot per day until collection is made, with this fee needing to be cleared before goods are released.

Transport From The Sale

We have developed an efficient and competitively priced integrated service with local and national logistics partners in order to offer our buyers a convenient collection and delivery service. Click here to find out more.

What Are Your Buyer’s Fees?

All purchases, regardless of how you bid are subject to our standard buyer’s premium of 20% plus VAT (24% inclusive) which will automatically be added to the hammer price on your invoice if successful.

For example, a hammer price of £100, plus 20% buyers premium and VAT will mean the total payable is £124.

Purchasers bidding online are also subject to bidding platform surcharges, see ‘Bid Online’ above. 

Condition Reports - We're Here To Help

If you’re bidding remotely and do not have the opportunity to view items in person before the sale, it is imperative that you have full confidence and understanding in what you are bidding on.

We understand how vital clear and comprehensive condition reports are to remote bidders and do not shy away in going that extra mile to ensure you have the clearest picture possible of an auction lot before bidding - the next best thing to viewing a piece in person.

We will always be happy to provide comprehensive information on an item’s condition alongside additional images, video and video call talk-throughs for all lots in our sales without any obligation to bid – meaning that even if you cannot view in person, you always have total confidence in what you are buying before the sale takes place.