To the uninitiated man in the street the whole process of an auction, and the authority under which the auctioneer carries out the sale, is shrouded in mystery. The general public views auctions with reservations mainly because historically the workings of the auction process have not been explained and promoted by the landed professions and auctioneers. This situation has changed dramatically over recent years and all the main auctioneers now actively encourage new bidders through the use of explanatory brochures, video films and workshops. For some thinking of attending an auction there remains the fear that if they scratch an ear or even blink, then the auctioneer will take a bid off them! Again there is often a failure to appreciate that the fall of the gavel at, or above, the reserve creates a binding contract. Another frequent misunderstanding is how much they have to pay over on the fall of the gavel — is it 10%, a higher amount or the total sale price?
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- The Auctioneer’s Code of Conduct
Richard M. Courtenay Lord
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