Buying from us

Buying from us

Buying from us

We have Postal and Public Auctions.

Review our catalogue by Pdf or by Post. If you see a lot/s you would like to bid on, enter them on a bid form, email or call us. You can also attend one of our Public Auctions.

Latest AVH Stamp Auction catalogue


You buy lots by placing the highest bid. You win a lot by being the last person with their bidding number in the air, during a Public Auction. Or having the highest bid value in a Postal Auction. In a Postal Auction having the highest bid does not automatically mean you buy it at your top bid. An example of Postal bidding; Bidder A places £100 on lot 123. Bidder B places £200 on lot 123. Bidder B has the highest bid but will win the lot at £110 (which is one bid step over Bidder A).

Estimates and Reserves

Lots offered in either type of auction will have an Estimate and Reserve. The Estimate value is generally set by the auction as a market sale value. Lots can sell at any price from the reserve price and can be over the estimate value. The Reserve is a value set by the vendor or the auction house as a percentage of estimate. AVH Stamp Auction reserves are generally 80% of the estimate value (generally rounded to a bid step). A reserve set by the vendor can be any value up to the estimate value.

Postal Auction

This type of auction is processed via the post or email. The sale will have a catalogue of lots on offer and receive bids via post (on bid forms) or email. The sale will have a closing date and time. Bids will be collated to have a winning bidder (as described above ‘Bidding’) on each lot. Lots will either be sold to the highest bidder or remain unsold. Lots sold will be invoiced and if paid will be posted to the winning bidder. If a payment method was not provided with the bids, then a pro-forma invoice is sent via email or post. Winning lots are sent when payment is provided and cleared. Unsold lots can be offered after the auction and sold at the reserve value. This is done on a first come first served basis. Any offers below the reserve (allowing for auctioneers discretion) would normally be offered to the vendor and await their decision.

Public Auction

A Public Auction is similar to a postal auction except that the auction closes at a Public venue. AVH Stamp Auctions normally hold their public auctions in Hatch End (Girl Guides Hall, Hatch End, Harrow HA5 4HP). It is normally held over a day with viewing available prior to the auctioneer opening the auction. The catalogue is normally sent via email or post. Bids are sent in via email or post. The auctioneer creates an ‘Auctioneers Book’ which is a record of all bids placed by email or by post. Clients who attend the auction would get a room bidder number (Paddle). This is raised to place a bid on any lot the auctioneer has opened.  The auctioneer acts on behalf of all absentee bidders who have placed bids prior to the auction.

At a date and time in the catalogue the Auctioneer opens the auction from lot 1 and opens each lot in numerical order (as per catalogue). This means if he has bids on his ‘Auctioneers Book’ he will bid on behalf of the current winning book bidder against the room bidders. Bidding takes place in bid steps (normally advertised in catalogue or bid form) from the auctioneer against the room until the room out bids the Auctioneers Book. The room bidders compete against each other until there is only one bidder paddle raised. If the bidder on the auctioneers book out bids the room it is knocked down to the ‘Book’. This person then wins the lot. The auctioneer progresses to the next lot and repeats the process for each lot until the last lot he then closes the auction.

Unsold lots can be sold after the auctioneer has closed the lot as ‘Pass or unsold’. The auctioneer can sell any unsold lots at the reserve value. Any offers below the reserve (allowing for auctioneer’s discretion) would normally be offered to the vendor and await their decision.

Bidding Steps

AVH Auction bid steps are;

£1 - £20                  £1 steps     ( £1, £2, £3, £4 .... £19 )

£20 - £50                £2 steps     ( £20, £22, £24 ..... £48 )

£50 - £100              £5 steps     ( £50, £55, £60 ........ £95 )

£100 - £500            £10 steps   ( £100, £110, £120 ..... £490 )

£500 - £1000          £50 steps   ( £500, £550, £600 ........ £950 )

£1000 - £5000       £100 steps  ( £1000, £1100, £1200 ..... £4900 )

Bid steps are the increments used by the auctioneer or auction house. Clients are asked to try to bid within these steps. These are generally advertised on the bid form or within the Catalogue. Any bids that are placed that is not within a bid step is generally rounded down. Split bid steps can be used to out bid another bidder, under Auctioneers Discretion.

i.e. a bid of £62 or £64 is in the range of £5 bid steps. The bids will be rounded down to £60.

Auctioneers Discretion

This is a term that is used when the auctioneer takes an action that is different from the laid-out rules. An example of this is where an auctioneer can reopen a lot during a public auction, if he thinks the circumstances are right to do so. It can be used to round up or down a reserve for a vendor. There are many other examples were the auctioneer will make the final decision.

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