I attended my first Stamp Auction. A very interesting and rewarding experience.
Organised by a Stamp Club, it was held in a local Church Hall.
i did not know what to expect so the logistics were really interesting. Each person attending was given a card with a number #1 to #39. And lots…over 400 were set out on tables for viewing, the lots ranged from single stamps to albums and stockbooks containing collections. And there were several boxes containing multiple items.
The Auctioneer was on the stage with two assistants. In front of him sat four more assistants who were facing the bidders. One had a set of ten sheets numbered #1 to #10…the next man #11 to #20 ….the next #21 to 30 …and the final man #31 to 39. These corresponded to the bidders.
Another six men displayed the lots …and noted the new owners.
I was Bidder #34.
So as the Auctioneer knocked down the lots to Bidders, his four assistants kept a running total on their sheets.It took me a while to get used to the pace…and the first several lots went by without me bidding. Then I started bidding. And at the end, I had successfully bid on two lots.
I thought the problem might be bidding wars which would escalate prices beyond reason. But that did not happen. As a general rule, lots which had a “reserve” went unsold…even if the “reserve” was comparatively low. Lots without a “reserve” did tend to sell. Some lots had a very high “reserve”…maybe £300, £500 etc…but they did not sell. This was the wrong venue for expensive items.
Most lots were British and Commonwealth stamps and collections. Modern items did not do well.
So I bought two items….some neat sheets of USA commemoratives for £4.20 (the bidding started at £3 and a box of items for sorting, including about 2,000 stamps on and off paper, some album pages of (mostly) Poland and three old catalogues…all for £4.50
So at the end of the auction, I agreed the figure of £8.70 and paid for my purchases.
The box of 2,000 unsorted items. I reckon I will end up with 750 stamps for my collection. Weeks of sorting ahead.
One negative was that the vast majority of Bidders were elderly men …only one woman in the room…and no Bidder under 40 years of age.