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Hello everyone,

My name is Jorden and I represent the marketing department here at Fellows Auctioneers - https://www.fellows.co.uk/

I wanted to create a topic where I could try and answer any questions people may have about buying at watch at auction or the auction process itself. 

It can be slightly daunting if you have never purchased through auction before but it doesn't need to be so please ask away.

Fellows has been operating since 1876 and we are currently the UK's leading regional auction house - https://www.fellows.co.uk/blog/jewellery/2018/02/19/fellows-uk-leading-auction-house/

We hold 9 watches sales a year, selling everything from vintage, military, modern to the ultra rare.

Our April 24th watch sale is currently on our website if you would like to have a browse - https://www.fellows.co.uk/The-Watch-Sale/2018-04-24

Thanks for reading and i look forward to hearing from you guys.

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1 hour ago, Fellows_Auctioneers said:

Thanks for reading and i look forward to hearing from you guys.

I'm sure you have rules of etiquette within your establishment. Have you checked the forum rules ? :)

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Hi Jorden

Welcome to The Watch Forum. :thumbsup:

As you may expect many members here have experience of auction house's, including yours.  As a consequence discussions often take place here regarding procedures & more importantly....fees!

Can I/we expect more advantageous fees now that you are a member ?

Mates Rates...nudge nudge...wink wink! :biggrin:

:rltrlt:

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Yep, fees, fees ,fees - that's why I've never really bothered much with Auctions.

By the time you've paid up, the saving isn't worth it most of time in my experience...

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I don't know if you're an expert on watches but do you get to see seemingly rare/expensive watches that sell for a lot less ? Does that happen often ? I'd imagine that someone that buys a really cool time piece for two thirds or even half the price is pretty damn happy. :biggrin:

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The beauty of auction is that you never know what is going to happen!

We sell watches at very competitive prices when compared to the retail market - and there's always a huge possibility that you can grab yourself a bargain!

We have sold some stunning timepieces this year, and as far as fees are concerned, you can still save a lot of money when buying at auction, as opposed to buying your watches from retail outlets :biggrin: 

Buyer's Premium isn't negotiable but commission is always negotiable as far as selling is concerned :)

If you make a profile on the website (which is free), you can actually view previous auctions and the full prices that watches have been sold for in the past (with fees included).

57 minutes ago, Karrusel said:

Hi Jorden

Welcome to The Watch Forum. :thumbsup:

As you may expect many members here have experience of auction house's, including yours.  As a consequence discussions often take place here regarding procedures & more importantly....fees!

Can I/we expect more advantageous fees now that you are a member ?

Mates Rates...nudge nudge...wink wink! :biggrin:

:rltrlt:

Thank you for the welcome Karrusel:thumbsup:

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My last experience of auctions.....admittedly Old Books, the catalogue fails to come out and it took a month to get my money.  No thanks :whistle:

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22 minutes ago, RWP said:

My last experience of auctions.....admittedly Old Books, the catalogue fails to come out and it took a month to get my money.  No thanks :whistle:

We make sure payment for any sold items is sent out by cheque, after fifteen working days of sale completion - and we ensure all of our catalogues are sent out too :)

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2 hours ago, WRENCH said:

I'm sure you have rules of etiquette within your establishment. Have you checked the forum rules ? :)

The thread was hidden until approved by Roy and the other mods discussed the merits.  Hopefully it can add something to the forum.

Personally I have bought from Fellows with no issues before.  But remember that the person who 'wins' any auction has just paid more than anyone else thought it was worth!

 

Jorden - try and keep posts friendly and down to earth.  We can all smell sales BS from a mile away :nono:, but share an interest in watches.  The minute you say something like 'this rare omega' you will be presented with dozens of examples for sale, often below fellows estimate (except the come and buy me regular estimates!) :thumbsup:

Enjoy it here

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4 minutes ago, scottswatches said:

The thread was hidden until approved by Roy and the other mods discussed the merits.  Hopefully it can add something to the forum

Thank you. :thumbsup:

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21 minutes ago, scottswatches said:

The thread was hidden until approved by Roy and the other mods discussed the merits.  Hopefully it can add something to the forum.

Personally I have bought from Fellows with no issues before.  But remember that the person who 'wins' any auction has just paid more than anyone else thought it was worth!

 

Jorden - try and keep posts friendly and down to earth.  We can all smell sales BS from a mile away :nono:, but share an interest in watches.  The minute you say something like 'this rare omega' you will be presented with dozens of examples for sale, often below fellows estimate (except the come and buy me regular estimates!) :thumbsup:

Enjoy it here

No problem! :thumbs_up:

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Welcome to the forum Jorden,

Well I for one think it is a great idea you have come on the forum as I have never bought a watch from an auction and at least I have a person to go to if I have any questions. No harm in looking :thumbsup:

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Fellows are a decent reliable operation who seem to operate in good faith. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them and have done previously but it is hard to look past the fees, roughly 20% to sell and approaching 30% to buy once the marketing fee and VAT have been added. Making that sound palatable must be a marketing nightmare!

Edited by Padders

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10 minutes ago, Padders said:

Fellows are a decent reliable operation who seem to operate in good faith. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them and have done previously but it is hard to look past the fees, roughly 20% to sell and approaching 30% to buy once the marketing fee and VAT have been added. Making that sound palatable must be a marketing nightmare!

I agree.

Do your homework & would also recommend viewing prior to auction & registration (if possible).

:thumbsup:

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13 hours ago, Flycaster said:

Welcome to the forum Jorden,

Well I for one think it is a great idea you have come on the forum as I have never bought a watch from an auction and at least I have a person to go to if I have any questions. No harm in looking :thumbsup:

Thank you! Any information you would like please just ask.

I'm a watch buyer/ enthusiast myself and before joining Fellows ( Nearly 2 years ago ) I had never bought a watch at auction. I'm now onto my 3rd. 2 from Fellows and 1 from a competitor down south ( :swoon: )

 

There is absolutely no harm in looking haha

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1 hour ago, Padders said:

Fellows are a decent reliable operation who seem to operate in good faith. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them and have done previously but it is hard to look past the fees, roughly 20% to sell and approaching 30% to buy once the marketing fee and VAT have been added. Making that sound palatable must be a marketing nightmare!

 Just reading this puts me off the whole concept, which looked quite attractive at first glance.

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Yeah that's the issue I've always had - once the fees go on the price never seems great. Nothing wrong with sticking a cheeky bid in though - just in case :laugh:

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1 hour ago, Padders said:

Fellows are a decent reliable operation who seem to operate in good faith. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them and have done previously but it is hard to look past the fees, roughly 20% to sell and approaching 30% to buy once the marketing fee and VAT have been added. Making that sound palatable must be a marketing nightmare!

Hi Padders, Selling either 12.5% or 15% ex VAT (Depending on value) and 27.6% to sell inc VAT or 18% inc VAT if the items sells for over £100,001.

I'll use this Jaeger as an example what there is an opportunity to make a good saving. In February we sold a 18ct yellow gold Odysseus chronograph for £1,531 all chargers included. 

The nightmare if I'm honest from a marketing point of view is trying to get 25-35 years old's educated about the process and create awareness of auction life. This age group does have disposable income but feel more inclined to shop high street. 

 

1 hour ago, Karrusel said:

I agree.

Do your homework & would also recommend viewing prior to auction & registration (if possible).

:thumbsup:

Do your homework & would also recommend viewing prior to auction & registration (if possible). 

^^^^^ I also agree :notworthy:

We hold viewing days in both Mayfair & Birmingham for every watch sale. If you have a hour free I highly recommend it from an enthusiasts point of view. 

If anyone on here wants to attend let me know and i'll make sure you are looked after on the day.

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2 hours ago, relaxer7 said:

Yeah that's the issue I've always had - once the fees go on the price never seems great. Nothing wrong with sticking a cheeky bid in though - just in case :laugh:

I'm a huge fan of a cheeky low estimate bid, they do sometime come in!

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This is a joke right i hope so for most of us on here who can't get to an auction run by Fellows the only options are through leaving a commission bid ( not knowing if your bid will win ) or going through a 3rd party like saleroom once you have put the hammer price of 23% plus VAT lets say a total of just over 27% you then have the 3rd party fee for bidding with them which on average is around 3-6.5% depending on which 3rd you use then you add on Fellows postage which they charged me £20 for a small cardboard box and bubble wrap for a single watch. it's not cost effective at all for someone like myself or others so nearly paying an extra £50 - £75 on top of a watch hammer price when you can get a better deal at your local auction house i really think you are wasting Forum members time thinking that they are going to get a bargain watch or watches at your auctions so lets say you have to pay an extra 35% plus shipping do the maths not good at all i think it's a joke that you are allowed to come on here and advertise your auction not happy ... 

Rant over :bash:

And welcome to the Forum ...

Edited by Slim2500
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I am lucky enough to be in the position to buy multiple watches at auction at the same time, which makes the postage a lot more reasonable.  But that's if I win the lots - too often I have won the first one, and then nothing else!

Sothebys recently did an online only sale, but it was based in Geneva so shipping was very expensive (£80+) plus you would get hit with 8% import duty in most cases, as Switzerland isn't in the EU.  But their real mistake was massive bid increments - over £1000 and the bids went in £100's, over £2k and the bid increment was £200.  You had to be clever to be able to bid just under what the watch was worth, but not just over.  But they did not have any buyers premium.

Bonhams did have online only auctions last year for very reasonably priced watches.  I think i picked up about 30 watches there.  One was a Zenith, mechanical, for £80.  A few days after the watches arrived the box for the Zenith arrived seperately, as they didn't realise that watch had a box.  Good service.

Local auction houses are a very mixed bag in my experience.  Poorly described, bad photos and not always packed well.  I don't buy from these anymore unless I can view/collect in person.

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36 minutes ago, Slim2500 said:

This is a joke right i hope so for most of us on here who can't get to an auction run by Fellows the only options are through leaving a commission bid ( not knowing if your bid will win ) or going through a 3rd party like saleroom once you have put the hammer price of 23% plus VAT lets say a total of just over 27% you then have the 3rd party fee for bidding with them which on average is around 3-6.5% depending on which 3rd you use then you add on Fellows postage which they charged me £20 for a small cardboard box and bubble wrap for a single watch. it's not cost effective at all for someone like myself or others so nearly paying an extra £50 - £75 on top of a watch hammer price when you can get a better deal at your local auction house i really think you are wasting Forum members time thinking that they are going to get a bargain watch or watches at your auctions so lets say you have to pay an extra 35% plus shipping do the maths not good at all i think it's a joke that you are allowed to come on here and advertise your auction not happy ... 

Rant over :bash:

And welcome to the Forum ...

I actually think this is a more than a little harsh. You can register and bid direct on Fellows website, no one is forcing you to use Saleroom so while I have my own issues with Fellows fee structure I don't blame them for the fees imposed by other parties. I also work 100 yards from them so postage isn't an issue for me personally but the fact remains they aren't remotely cheap. That said I do know that they employ skilled people and will on occasion reach out to brand specialists when required (no not me!), such as at a recent watch auction involving Speedmasters.

I welcome representation from other commercial bodies, as long as Roy is happy then it is on balance more positive than negative as they can be held to account and often it is mutually beneficial.

Welcome Jorden.

Edited by Padders
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@Slim2500 

I understand your scepticism but in reality Auction houses are after all a business, with all the associated costs that go with them.  Fellows are a specialist auction house & as Padders mentioned earlier, honourable & trusted, also in IMO.

When I visit auction house's, (specialist & provincial), dealer's, I always make a point of introducing myself...it does pay dividends.

I actually admire Fellows for entering this den of  old cynics & similarly^^^^^ others, the blowhards & less reputable will soon get short thrift!

Jorden

I'm expecting a bacon batch (free) with my coffee next time. :biggrin:

:thumbsup:

 

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I bought two watches from Fellows - wouldn't use them again. The Tag Heuer Multigraph was DOA (battery had leaked) and whilst they refunded me they also put the Tag up for sale at a later auction for "spares or repair" - which was not full disclosure since the movement was toast due to the battery acid. The Breitling Aerospace had the case back on at the wrong angle which was pushing the hands against the crystal and could have damaged the stem.

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I've spent a lot of time at auction sales, do your homework, and that old adage; "let your pocket be your guide" definitely applies. No one I know ever got forced to buy at an auction. Apologies for my first reply @Fellows_Auctioneers I'm a cynical old b@#£@3d, and I wrongly assumed you were another freeloader. I also wear a kilt. :laughing2dw:

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