A collection of military antiques, medals, swords and a gun

Buying at Auction



Buying at auction is easier than you may think, and can be very rewarding for collectors and buyers looking for that unique item they simply can’t find elsewhere. 

However, it is important to be aware of what is involved, because auctions are a unique way of buying. Below is a detailed guide to help you, but we are happy to answer any questions we may not have covered.

Bidding in Person

Probably the most exciting way to bid for your chosen items! If you would like to bid in person at the new Harper Field saleroom please register with us in plenty of time before your lot is sold. Registration is simple – just fill in and submit a buyer registration form at our reception area, and this will allow us to open an account for you and allocate a bidding number for the current auction.

If you are the highest bidder the auctioneer will ask for your bidding number, and a few minutes after this you can arrange payment before taking your items home with you.

If you are unable to be at the auction in person, there are a number of other ways to bid

Absentee Bidding

Absentee bidding / placing a commission bid

If you can’t be at the auction and prefer not to use online bidding, our auctioneers are happy to bid on your behalf. This is called an absentee or commission bid, and means that you give us your maximum bid and the auctioneer bids for you during the live auction. They will always attempt to purchase the lot for you at the lowest price, allowing for other bids and any reserve price, up to your maximum bid. Absentee/commission bids can be left one of 3 ways:

in person at our saleroom - simply complete the relevant form and hand it to reception


by email directly to us at buyers@harperfield.co.uk (please ensure that you supply us with your full name, postal address, email address, and contact numbers to enable us to register your bids). We will always reply to confirm your bids by email, so please contact us if you do not receive this confirmation email


via our website, up until 9am on each auction day. There is no charge for this service, but you will need to register for an account with us first – this involves creating an account on our website by providing your name, address and contact number.

Please note that should we receive two or more absentee bids for the same lot at the same bid amount, we will prioritise the first bid received.

Telephone Bidding

Harper Field are always happy to arrange to telephone you just before your chosen lots are due to be sold, you can then bid live on the phone via one of our saleroom staff.

All requests for telephone bidding must be made by email before the start of each sale day and must include your full details as per the Absentee Bidding section above.

Live Internet Bidding

We offer live internet bidding via the-saleroom.com, the largest online bidding platform in the UK. 

You will need to have your own saleroom.com account in order to bid, so if you plan to use online bidding then please be sure to have an active account in advance of the sale date. 


We genuinely value our online bidders, so we have negotiated with the-saleroom.com to offer live internet bidding without the additional fees. HOWEVER in order to take advantage of this you MUST register for the auction and carry out your bidding via our website and NOT via the-salerom.com. Once you have registered with them, even if you subsequently bid via our website, we cannot reverse it, and the fees will be automatically applied.

To be clear, please go to www.harperfield.co.uk and click on the current live auction (this will only appear when we have a live catalogue). Register to bid using your saleroom.com username and password, you will then be able to bid live on the auction days and no additional fees will apply.

Condition Reports

We strongly recommend that all potential bidders who cannot view the lots in person make sure to request additional information on a lot before placing a bid. If you are unable to view a lot in person, then you can easily request a condition report and/or more images of a lot by clicking the relevant button on the online listing or emailing us directly. Please be aware that we receive a large volume of requests for additional information prior to an auction, but we always work hard to reply to all enquiries as quickly as possible. 

Buyer's Premium

Understanding buyer's premium and the final price you will have to pay.

All purchases are subject to a buyer’s premium of 20% plus VAT. When you successfully bid on any lot, the price you pay will be your winning bid plus the buyer’s premium and vat.


Hammer price £100

Buyer’s premium @ 20% of £100 = £20

VAT @ 20% of £20 = £4

Total invoiced £124

Please note: Bidding via the-saleroom.com will add extra fees to the above example.

Methods of Payment

Your invoice will be sent by email at the end of that day’s auction. The email will include details of how to request that postage is added, should you need it, and give details of the collection requirements, ie within one week of the auction date.

Payment is accepted by cash, bank transfer, credit or debit card. 

We accept cash to an upper limit of £5,000. 

Credit and debit card payments are accepted in person, via the-saleroom.com payment request or via our own secure payment link only, but not over the telephone. 

Cheques are not accepted as a method of payment.

Please note we will only release goods to a third party upon receipt of identification and authority from the purchaser by email.

Payment and Collection

All lots must be paid for and collected by 5pm on the Thursday immediately after each auction. Please be sure to take this into account before bidding.

We regret that we are not open at weekends.

If you need more information, please call us on 01453 873800 or email buyers@harperfield.co.uk 

Postage & Shipping

Here at Harper Field Auctioneers, we believe that arranging delivery of sold lots at an affordable cost is an important part of our end to end service, and as such we have a well-established in-house shipping department, set up solely to arrange delivery of your purchases to your door.  

Whether you buy something as small as a coin or as large as a classic car, we can arrange the safe and secure delivery of all lots. For items of postable size, we will always combine lots into a sensible number of parcels to make shipping as efficient as possible whilst ensuring all lots arrive safely. All parcels are sent using a tracked service and will require a signature on delivery.

Read more about our postage, shipping and delivery service

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