What do you think is a fair storage charge for an Auction House?

Charging for storage at an auction house can be a contentious topic and so we wanted to take this to our customers and fellow auctioneers to work out what’s fair.

In case you’re not aware how an auction works after an item is sold, the auction house will give the buyer a specified amount of time to collect those items.

When customers attend the auction in person, they’ll often take the items home on the same day and so there are no issues.

But, this is more in reference to people who have bought their items through an online auction platform.

And if the items have not been picked up within the allotted time that the auction house will specify, then the buyer will incur a storage charge.

This isn’t a way for auction houses to squeeze every last penny out of their customers, but rather it’s a necessity on our end.

From our perspective here at Windsor Auctions, say we have 1000 items that sell at an auction, we don’t have unlimited space in our warehouses and so we need to move those items on before we can start bringing in lots for the next auction.

And if we have loads of items uncollected for weeks, then we will end up having to pay for extra storage for our incoming lots and it costs us money.

With that being said, we don’t want to be unreasonable and overcharge our customers if they simply can’t come and pick up their items in time.

Our current policy is that we allow buyers ten days and then we charge £3 per item per day that they are storing with us, and the same goes for sellers whose items have not sold, unless they want their lot re-entered in a future auction.

This is relatively cheap for the industry, as Lots Road Auction in Chelsea require items to be collected within two days of the auction and if they are not then the buyer will be subject to a storage charge of £20 plus VAT per item per day.

Meanwhile Christie’s charge £78 per day for large objects and £39 per day for smaller objects, beginning as soon as the items are ready for collection.

Now that you’ve heard our side of the argument, we wanted to hear from you.

So, let us know what you think is a fair storage policy for our auction house and auction houses in general, we’re interested to hear what our customers and other auctioneers have to say on the matter.