Private Sales

Buying through Barnes Thomas

This brief step by step guide is designed to help answer questions about buying lots through our auctions.


All buyers must register with us prior to any auction.

To enable you to register with us we will need.

• Your name, address and contact details
• Your debit or credit card details.

After you have registered with us you will be allocated a bidding number.

Please collect your bidding card from us before the commencement of the auction

Buyers commission

Buyers commission of 20% exclusive of ARR (Artist's Resale Rights), if applicable + VAT, must be allowed for.

VAT is only paid on the commission and not on the hammer price.

Packing and shipping charges

We highly recommend to pack and ship:

Mail Boxes, Plymouth: 01752 257 224

3 Lanes Transport Ltd 01736 799298
Unfortunately we are unable to pack and ship in-house.


All payments are in pounds sterling.

Methods of payment

Major credit cards are accepted, a fee of 3% will be charged for this service.

Cash & Major Debit cards can be used free of charge.

Business and personal cheques may be used.
Note: goods will not be released until funds have cleared into our account.

Condition Reports

Requests for condition reports can be made over the telephone or via email. Please state your name, address, postcode, fax number and the lot numbers that you are enquiring about. All condition reports are made in writing and verbal condition reports will not be given. All major lots will have an independent commission report.

Condition reports are free, but must be requested at least 48 hours prior to the auction.

Absentee bidding

An absentee bid, also called a commission bid, is your written instruction to us to bid for you on one or more lots up to a maximum amount that you have specified for each lot. To arrange an absentee bid, please complete a form during a visit before or at the auction or by telephone. You may also fax or mail your completed form to us. If two or more parties leave identical bids the first bid received will take precedence.

How much should I bid?

Please keep in mind that most lots are sold subject to a reserve. Your bid should be the highest amount that you are willing to bid in the saleroom. Our staff will attempt to execute your bid at the lowest possible amount as determined by the reserve and competing bids for that lot. Also bear in mind that, on top of the successful bid amount, the buyer will also pay a buyers commission of 20% exclusive of ARR (Artist's Resale Rights), if applicable + VAT.

Telephone bids

A limited number of telephone lines are available for telephone bids. They are allocated on a first come basis. Please contact us if you wish to book a telephone line on any lot.

How do I know if I am successful?

By telephoning our office. Invoices will be despatched after the conclusion of the sale to successful bidders.

Full terms & Condition of Sale are available here.