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How to Buy

Buying with Lawrences

Below you will find some of the terms used in the auction industry which will help to explain how it all works. If, however, you would like any further information or clarification then please contact us direct.

Online Bidding

We use the latest technology to ensure that you can bid in all of our sales from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you are in the world. Whether you are a UK-based or an international bidder, our online live bidding systems allow you to access each auction in real-time, whilst soaking up the saleroom atmosphere with live video and audio feeds. 

Lawrences are operating the Auctionet bidding system; one of Europe’s leading marketplaces for auctions, enabling you to take part in the bidding from anywhere in the world. 

Our aim is to provide every client with the best experience possible for selling and buying collectables and antiques at auction.  You can browse our sales, place your bids, buy items, pay online and have your items shipped at fixed prices, all with a single login. There are no additional fees for bidding online with!

How do I sign up for an account?

If you haven’t already registered for an account, you’ll need to do that first.  Go to or download the Auctionet App. It only takes a moment and you're ready to bid!

  1. Click Sign up.

  2. Complete the form.

  3. Done! You are now an customer.

How do I bid in a live auction with

Whether you are a UK-based or an international bidder, the Auctionet online bidding system allows you to bid live, in real-time, whilst soaking up the saleroom  atmosphere with live video and audio feeds, placing your bids as the items come up.

First of all you have to be a registered customer and logged on to Not registered yet? Sign up now to your free customer account.

To bid:

1. Click ‘Follow the auction and bid live'.

2. Click 'Join the bidding'

3. Click the 'Place bid' button when you see the amount appear that you wish to bid and 'confirm' your bid. 

4. If you're in the lead, you will be notified that 'You are the highest bidder'.

4. If you're outbid, the bid now button will reappear.

If you want to place a higher bid than the suggested 'next bid', you can enter the highest price you want to pay for the item. After that, we will automatically bid on your behalf as favourably as possible, trying to win the auction at the lowest possible amount, until it reaches your maximum bid.

Alternatively, you can place a bid on items anytime between when the sale is published online until the live auction finishes. At the end of the live auction the highest bidder wins the lot. You may also attend these sales and bid in person or leave a commission bid at the saleroom. 

How do I bid in an online general sale with

These auctions have no specific sale date as they run for a set period of time, usually between 7 and 14 days.  Bidders can browse, register and place bids on items anytime between the start and end dates. You can log in and increase your bid at any time. At the end of the sale, the highest bidder wins the lot. 

To bid:

1. Browse all lots.

2. Enter the amount you wish to bid and click the 'Place bid' button.

4. If you're in the lead, you will be notified that 'You are the highest bidder'.

4. If you're outbid, you will be notified and you can enter a higher bid.

You can follow your bids in "My account".

When you have won an auction, you will receive an email informing you how to pay your invoice, collect your item or order transportation.

Bidding in Room

Your name and address are registered into the computer and a numbered paddle is issued for you to bid with on the day. You indicate that you would like to bid by waving your paddle. If you are successful, then your number will be announced by the auctioneer as the winning buyer. We will need proof of ID before allocating you with a paddle number.  In-room bidding is allowed for our Fine Art and Collectors Sales but we do not have in-room bidding for our General Online Sales. 

Commission Bids

You can leave a commission bid with us when you visit us in person or by phone or email and we will endeavour to buy on your behalf as cheaply as possible. The bidding does not start at the price you indicate. 

If you intend to bid on a lot with an estimate over £1,000 we will need proof of ID. This will then be checked and safely stored for 5-years and you will receive your own individual buying number.

Bidding by Telephone 

Although we have increased our ability to handle telephone bids, there is still a limit and so it is advisable to contact us as soon as possible if you want to bid in this way and at least 24 hours before the start of the sale. A member of our staff will call you from the saleroom shortly before the item comes up for sale. Please note that we cannot accept applications for this service on the day of the sale.  It is unlikely that we will accept requests to bid on lots carrying an estimate of less than £500 and telephone bids may not be available on all lots. The telephone bidding facility is a discretionary service. We will not be responsible for bidding on your behalf if you are unavailable at the time of the sale or if the telephone connection is interrupted during bidding.

As with commission bidding, if you intend to bid on a lot with an estimate over £1,000 we will need proof of ID. This will then be checked and safely stored for 5-years and you will receive your own individual buying number.

Lot Numbers

Each item to be auctioned carries a number to identify it.


This is an approximate guide to the price that a lot is expected to realise.

Condition Reports

Remember that at auction it is up to you, the bidder, to satisfy yourself about the condition of an item. Please note, Lawrences are not entering into a contract with you in respect of the Condition Report and accordingly do not assume responsibility to you in respect of it, nor do we agree to owe you as a Bidder any obligation or duty in respect of this free report about a lot, which is available for your own inspection or for inspection by an expert instructed by you.

Viewing Days

For our Fine Art Sales, you will be able to view the lots on offer on set viewings days.  Our specialists will always be here for advice. For our General Online Auctions, viewing is available every Monday-Friday from 10:00am - 4:00pm.

Collection & Transportation

The responsibility for the collection of purchases rests with the buyer. We also offer different transport solutions and can arrange shipment to countries all over the world using a variety of transport companies depending on size, value and end-destination. 


On-site parking is available but spaces are limited and we cannot accommodate all visitors at peak sale times.  Additional parking is available in the town centre within short walking distance.

Hammer Price

This is the price that the lot is sold for at auction.  In addition to this price, you will have to pay a buyer's premium. Certain lots may be subject to additional charges (such as Artist's Resale Right or, occasionally, VAT on the hammer price but this will be clearly indicated in the catalogue.

Buyer's Premium

Fine Art (hammered) Sales:
A premium of 30% (25% plus VAT) will be charged on top of the hammer price on all lots in our Fine Art (hammered) sales.

General Online Sales:
A premium of 25% (20.84% plus VAT) plus a lot fee of £5 (inc. VAT) will be charged on top of the hammer price on all lots in our Timed Online sales.

VAT is not applicable on books and unframed maps.

Additional Charges


Pictures and original prints by European artists are subject to a resale royalty if the hammer price exceeds 1000 Euros. This has now been extended to include living European artists and all European artists who have died since 1951.

The buyers of such lots agree to pay Lawrences this royalty and we shall forward it to the artists’ collecting agents. The rate varies as follows and is quoted in Euros:

1000-50,000                 4%

50,000.01-200,000        3%

200,000.01-350,000      1%

350,000.01-500,000     0.5%

Exceeding 500,000       0.25%

ARR is capped at 12,500 Euros

Please note that it is calculated in Euros and the royalty still applies even though we have left the EU. The Euro rate of exchange will be based upon the European Central Bank rate on the day of sale as all invoices are issued in Pounds Sterling.


In some cases, you may be liable for the payment of any VAT on the hammer price but this will be clearly indicated in the catalogue.

Additional fees are applied for bidding online, with the exception of the platform, where there are no additional fees for buying online. An additional 5.94% (4.95% plus VAT) is applied by the and an additional 3.6% (3% plus VAT) or a flat fee per sale of £3.00 (inc VAT) per sale for bidding on easyliveAuction.


Payment must be made prior to collection. Goods will only be released upon receipt of cleared funds. The simplest way to pay your invoice is by card payment on my pages.  You can also pay by bank transfer or by debit or credit card; card payments made over the telephone are subject to a limit of £1500. Please note, we do not accept cash payments. 

For further information or clarification, please see our full Terms and Conditions. 


Auction Calendar

Browse the auction calendar for upcoming sales and valuation days.


5 stars

“Can't ask for more. I was expecting to wait quite a lot longer. Very grateful and also very impressed.”

Catharine R

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