How It Works
Auctions run every 5 weeks. They start on a Thursday evening at 16.30 GMT and end the following Thursday at the same time. This allows buyers time to view, bid or to contact sellers for additional information, condition reports and photographs if required.
During the 5 weeks between auctions, sellers upload material they wish to sell on the upcoming auction.
A preview of the auction with full details of each lot will appear on the auction page 1 week before the auction begins.
Lots may be uploaded by sellers up until the auction starts. Please keep visiting the section "Latest Uploads" on the homepage.
Once the auction has finished an email is sent to the buyers and sellers stating what has been bought and sold. It is the responsibility of both the buyer and seller to contact one another to organise payment and shipping.
How to Register
To bid on AntiquarianAuctions.com you need to register as a buyer. To do this, please use the red register link and fill in your details. Once we have verified your details, your account will be activated and you will receive a confirmation email.
You can then sign in with your username and password and browse the catalogue and start bidding once the auction has started.
It is important for AntiquarianAuctions.com to verify each buyer as any bid placed in our auctions is binding. Bids cannot be retracted and once placed the buyer is committed to buying the lot.
How to Bid
All bidding is done in US$.
Once you have signed in with your username and password, you can select the lot you wish to bid on by browsing through the Auction page.
To refine your search browse the categories on the site.
Click on a lot to view full details and further images.
You enter your bid in the space provided followed by clicking on the 'Place Bid' button. The bid must be equal to the reserve or 5% greater than the current bid.
You will then be asked to confirm your bid. Once you have placed your bid it cannot be retracted.
All bids must increase by a minimum of 5%.
Buyers can keep track of their bids using the My Bids section.
- Buyer's Premium
- A Buyer's Premium of 15% (plus 15% VAT on the premium only) will be added to your invoice after the auction. The Buyer's Premium will clearly be shown on the bidding pages during the auctions.
- Proxy Bidding
- A proxy bid allows AntiquarianAuctions.com to bid on your behalf.
For example: if a lot is reserved at $100 and you place a bid of $150 your winning bid will remain at $100. However if another buyer enters a bid of $125, AntiquarianAuctions.com will outbid it and increase your winning bid to $132 (a 5% increment). This will happen until someone outbids your proxy bid. If no one outbids your proxy, you win the lot.
- Extended Time
- Any bids placed on a lot in the last 5 minutes of the auction put these lots into extended time for an additional 3 minutes past the end of the auction. If there is further bidding in this 3 minutes the lot will be extended for an additional 3 minutes and so on until there are no further bids placed. This gives all buyers a fair chance at winning a lot and avoids sniping in the last few seconds.
What is a "Want"?
Antiquarian booksellers use the term WANT if a customer is searching for a specific author or title which is not in stock at the moment or not listed on the upcoming auction.
AntiquarianAuctions.com now allows customers to leave a WANT on the database. The customer will be notified by email when a title, matching the WANT, is being offered.
Customers can build a WANTS LIST with several books.
Creating a WANT is a very useful tool for every book collector and buyer.
The Watchlist feature allows buyers to organise lots which they are interested in bidding for on one page. Lots may be added to a Buyer's Watchlist once the preview for an upcoming auction is available or while the auction is in progress.
Payment and Shipping
Registration on AntiquarianAuctions.com is free of charge.
As a successful bidder you will receive an invoice from the seller after the auction.
The buyer pays for the buyer's premium, shipping and insurance costs which can be requested from the seller before the end of the sale.
We offer free demonstrations over the telephone to all customers. Please do not hesitate to contact us via email or telephone. We are more than happy to phone international customers back.
Quality & Vetting Procedure
All our sellers are vetted by the experienced team at AntiquarianAuctions.com.
Lots uploaded must be catalogued and described accurately.
Sellers must ensure to send condition reports and photographs if required by a prospective buyer before the auction.
We aim to always maintain a high standard of content on the site with the support of a network of experts in the rare book trade.
Please find below a selection of literature often used by book collectors and bibliophiles.
ABC for Book Collectorsby John Carter
Discovering Book Collectingby John Chidley
- Is there currently an auction running?
- To determine whether an auction is currently in progress follow the countdown at the top of the page. Eight auctions are held per year and they run for one week each beginning on a Thursday evening at 16.30 GMT and ending the following Thursday at the same time.
- Who sets the prices for items on the site?
- Prices are set by the seller and are based on their evaluation of the item. There are two prices set by the seller. The estimate is the price the dealer would sell the item for in their shop or the price they value the item at. The reserve is the price at which bidding starts and is usually considerably lower than retail prices.
- Why do I have to pay shipping from multiple locations?
- As an auction platform AntiquarianAuctions.com does not physically hold any of the items listed on the site but rather allows book dealers from around the world to sell their stock. Please check the seller's location at the bottom of the bidding page before bidding on an item and contact the seller for postage quotes.
- Can I sell my personal collection on AntiquarianAuctions.com?
- AntiquarianAuctions.com only allows recognised book dealers to list items for sale on the auctions. If you are not a dealer and would like to sell on the site please contact us and we can put you in touch with one of our approved sellers.
- What currency is used on AntiquarianAuctions.com?
- The auctions are run in US dollars with approximate currency conversion for the South African Rand (ZAR), Great British Pound (GPB), Euro (EUR), Australian dollar (AUD), New Zealand dollar (NZD) and the Canadian dollar (CAD) available on the bidding page.
- I am trying to bid on an item I found through Google but cannot find anywhere to place my bid?
- Items which have been sold remain on the site and are indexed by Google. The item on which you want to bid may have already been sold. If this is the case it will be stated that the lot has been sold in red bold letters on the right hand side of the page.
Do you have a question not answered here? Please use the contact us page to get in touch.