Well in the end we decided we must upgrade as the old auction site was so clunky and created so much admin, so here’s the result: a new website which we hope you’ll find much easier to use. And we hope it will be easier for us to manage too! Also we’re hoping to upload lots more fixed price items across the board too.
When we began our MailBid auctions back in the 1990s, it was all postal and so a silent auction, where you bid just once and then we declare the winner at the end, the person who has the highest bid but only pays 10% over the nearest bidder or gets the item at the reserve (our starting price always).
Now, we’ve decided that these will be what are known as Proxy auctions where your bid increases each time you’re outbid, up to the maximum which you originally entered. So you don’t have to keep coming back to increase your bid (think like eBay) but you can see what’s happening in real time. You will have to register with a card in order to bid but there’s no charge. You will be able to pay either on that card or by the usual methods of bank transfer, or cheque etc. You’ll get a notice when you’re outbid.
We’ve decided to mask the bidders’ names as a nod to the previous system and to make it more mysterious and fun. The increments have changed too from a simple percentage to the following: £1-£20 – £1 increment, £20-£40 – £2 increment, £40-£100 – £5 increment, and over £100, in £10 increments. Buyer’s premium remains the same at 5%. Be warned, this does produce some eccentric amounts when you bid on a lot that’s already got a proxy bid for more than the current bid. Or indeed when the starting bid is £25 and it starts going up first in £2 increments.
Bidders can monitor their bids in the My Account section of the website, showing bids won, and bids lost. At the end of the auction you’ll be requested by email to checkout your winning bids (tip: wait until the whole auction has finished).
We’re also introducing a secure way to pay from the website, with bank transfer, PayPal and also with the Stripe payment gateway (so you can enter your own card details – much more secure). While we’ve introduced shipping fees for standard weights of coins and tokens, medals can be much heavier so may incur additional postage costs. We’ll adjust the shipping charges on your eventual invoice.
As ever, if you find missing links, errors etc. let us know using the contact page details. Also please be patient – it’s a new system and there are bound to be glitches for a few months..
If all this sounds as if we’re abandoning our non-internet customers, we’re not. We’re still us, will still take cheques, transfers and cash, chat on the phone, and meet up when we can in view of the present state of affairs. For the auctions, if you can’t use the ‘net because you don’t have an email address, we’ll place your bids for you so that you don’t miss out – always providing that you give us enough time to do so before the sale closes. We need at least 36 hours to do this so if you want us to bid we need those bids well in advance. However, we would ask you all to use the online system whenever possible. As ever, bid high and bid early, please.
updated 1 November 2020