Types of Auctions
We have three types of auctions:
• Public auctions. We prepare and distribute a printed catalog for each public auction several weeks before the sale. The lots for a public auction are sold in a sale room that is open to the public (hence the name). Anyone can attend and we invite you to do so. Our public auctions are sometimes held in conjunction with major trade shows, such as the ASDA Show in New York. Others are held in our offices in Danbury, CT. You can bid in our public auctions before the auction, as well as during the auction (see below for details).
• Mail sales. Like public auctions, we prepare and distribute a printed catalog several weeks before the sale. Unlike public auctions, there is no auction room. Bidding for mail sales stops at a date and time printed in our catalogs and posted on our web site. Bidding for mail sales is pre-sale only.
• Web/Internet sales. These are like mail sales, except the catalog as such is online only. If you want a printed catalog, our “Print on Demand” feature is available, whereby you can print any or all items, images and descriptions within a sale, from our web site.
To subscribe to our printed catalogs, click here. Our catalogs are lavishly illustrated in full color, with detailed descriptions of each lot. You will find them an excellent permanent reference.
Detailed descriptions and photos of the lots in every sale are also posted online, in a fully searchable format. Older sales are thus available for reference. To browse our public auctions online, click here. To browse our mail sales and internet auctions, click here.
Sales in all our auctions are subject to our terms and conditions, which are printed in each catalog and are also available for viewing online. Please note that a buyer’s premium is charged for each lot, and buyers are subject to the appropriate sales tax (and shipping charges, if the lots are not picked up). To see terms and conditions for public auctions, first select the sale you are interested in (because terms of sale vary from sale to sale), then on the “Bidding” menu, there will be a link to see the terms of sale. To see terms and conditions for mail sales and web/internet sales, click here.
Viewing the lots: Lots are normally available for viewing in our offices, by appointment, for several days to a week before each auction. Postal viewing may also be available. For public auctions, a published viewing schedule will be available. In the case of a show auction, lots are typically on view at our booth or auction room at the show. We cordially invite you to come and view.
Bidding Before an Auction
You do not need to be physically present at an auction in order to bid. You may leave bids with us before the sale and we will execute them for you. There are several ways you can leave bids before an auction:
• You can fill out the bid sheet that comes with our catalogs and mail it or fax it to us.
• You can email us your bids.
• You can use the online bid sheet that is available whenever a sale is active (click on “Auctions”, then “Bid Sheet” on the menu bar at the top of the screen).
• You can leave bids on Stamp Auction Network. These bids will be downloaded periodically.
• You can bid online on our site, which will provide you with the current status of your bids and outbid notifications.
To bid online on our site:
First, you will need to log in. Logging in requires you to enter your customer number and your email address.
If you do not have a customer number and would like to register with us to get one, click here.
If you have a customer number but have forgotten it, click here.
Then you simply go to the lot(s) you are interested in.
If the sale is active and open for bidding, there will be an entry field under the lot photo and description, where you can enter your bid. Once you have bid, you will see immediately if you are the current high bidder or not.
You may bid repeatedly on a lot. Each new bid replaces your prior bid.
Later, you can review your bids (click on “Your Account”, then “Your Bids” on the menu bar at the top of the screen). This will show you your bids and their current status. If the sale is active, you can modify or delete bids here also.
Closing times for pre-sale bidding: Pre-sale bidding for a public auction is closed one hour before each day’s session begins. Pre-sale bidding for mail sales and web/internet sales is closed at the closing time shown for that sale.
Bidding During an Auction (Public Auctions Only)
• You are welcome to come to the auction and bid in person.
• For some auctions, phone bidding may be available. If it is, you will need to make arrangements with us well in advance of the sale. Please call our office at 203.830.2500.
• You can give your bids to a professional agent, who will bid for you during the auction. To see a list of recommended agents, click here.
• You can bid live during the sale via Stamp Auction Network. You will need to register and be approved for bidding well in advance (at least two days prior to the sale).
If you have never been to an auction before, we invite you to come. You will find it an interesting and even entertaining experience.
The auction normally proceeds in the order shown in our printed and online catalogs. When the auctioneer opens bidding on a given lot, he will call out the “opening bid”. This is the current bid for the lot. It takes into account all pre-sale bids, as well as any reserve prices (if there are any).
The opening bid is not necessarily the high bid. An example: imagine a lot estimated at perhaps $1000. Two bidders are each avidly interested in the lot and have left bids of $3000 and $1200 respectively. The opening bid in this case would be $1300 (one increment above the second high bid). However if someone on the auction floor bids, the auctioneer will continue to bid for the pre-sale bidder until the floor bid exceeds the $3000 pre-sale bid.
When you appear at one of our auctions, you will be given a paddle with your bidder number on it (your “paddle number”). Simply raise your bidder’s paddle whenever you wish to bid on a lot, and keep the paddle raised until you either are awarded the lot, or the bidding exceeds what you wish to pay. It is not at all difficult – just pay attention, as bidding can sometimes move quite rapidly!
A large projector screen will usually be present in the auction room, showing the current lot number and bid, as well as a brief description of the lot and possibly a photo of the lot as well – all of which should make it easy for you to determine where the bidding is at. In addition, please feel free to ask questions of the auctioneer, and there will be numerous staff members present at the auction to assist you with any questions or requests you may have.
Bidding Increments: Bidding in our auctions proceeds via regular step-wise increments. Bids of odd amounts will be rounded down to the nearest next lower increment. To see our bidding increments, click here.
Priority of Bidding: Bids left before the sale have priority over floor bidding during the sale (in the case of a public auction). In the case of tie bids, the earliest bid wins.
Prices Realized: For all our auctions, the prices that the lots sold for will normally be posted on our web site shortly after the auction is concluded, but after we have had enough time to double check the data. Prices realized will appear under each lot description, and there will also be a printable list. We invite you to check our web site after each auction.
Payment For Purchases
We accept cash, checks (drawn on American banks), money orders, bank transfers, credit cards and PayPal. Payment must be made in U.S. dollars. Credit card payments may be made via our secure online site. For public auctions, invoices are available during intermissions and at the conclusion of each day’s sale. Invoices will be sent via email (generally within two days of the conclusion of an auction) to all bidders whose email addresses are registered with us. Printed invoices will be mailed to all others.