Fees, charges and auctions – advice from the Hungerford Coin and Stamp Centre

Post-lockdown has been a most interesting and busy time at the Coin and Stamp Centre in Hungerford.

It would appear that a lot of people have used their time at home to sort out and clear boxes of stamps, coins, medals banknotes and old gold that have been stored for years. Hardly an hour goes by without a new collection of items being brought in for evaluation and sale.

A question I am frequently asked is “is there a charge or fee for doing a valuation?” The simple answer is “no.” (If it is a probate lot that requires a written valuation for the estate then there is a small fee for providing the valuation certificate, normally around 2%. However, this is refunded in full should we eventually buy the probate lot in question.)

A lot of sellers ask if it is better to sell by auction. The answer is a firm “no”! Auctions charge buyers like me a buyer’s premium of around 20-25% plus VAT (which we are not allowed to claim back) on anything we buy: so, if I am prepared to pay, say, £1,000 for a collection, at auction my maximum bid would be around £800 to allow for the buyer’s premium. If the lot hammered out at £800, the vendor would receive a cheque for around £550-600 after commissions and associated fees. And that is assuming we have to pay top bid for the item – on many occasions we buy lots at auction for well below this, and often substantially below. We, however, pay on the spot, so there’s no waiting for four to six weeks after the sale for the cheque to arrive.

I look forward to a busy summer. As always it is appreciated if you are bringing in a substantial collection or accumulation to ring first to make an appointment. You can park outside and a member of staff will assist you in with bulky lots. There is no need to make a list – I go through items while you are here and make an immediate offer and payment.

Nigel Montgomery, The Coin and Stamp Centre.


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