5th January 2021
The national lockdown has come into force and antiques shops, centres, art galleries, auction houses and fairs and markets will have to close their premises to the public.
However, operating online and by phone, and having staff on premises for collection and deliveries will be allowed.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has confirmed:
1. Auction houses may trade online and can operate via click and collect or delivery.
2. Where staff need to be present to handle auctioned goods, it is clear that this cannot be done from home and they will be permitted to attend work premises to fulfil those duties.
3. Arts and antiques markets are non-essential retail and will have to close whether indoors or outdoors.
Many auction houses, such as the Mendip Auction Rooms, will continue to hold auctions as live online only with bidding via the internet, phone and commission.
The welfare of our clients and staff is paramount and we are anxious to ensure that we comply with Government guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the auction rooms are now closed for valuations and viewings, we are now able to conduct sales online through mendipauctionrooms.co.uk and the-saleroom.com as follows:
Deliveries can be made to the auction rooms and items can be left in our delivery pods on the edge of the marquee adjoining the auction rooms without any contact with a member of staff. Our valuers will then process the items and confirm values and enter the lots for the next available sale. No appointment is necessary but we ask that social distancing is maintained at all times.
Catalogues are being prepared in the normal way and more photographs are being taken to ensure that items can be fully assessed by buyers. We are also providing condition reports to potential buyers on request.
Auctions will be conducted online through the-saleroom.com and mendipauctionrooms.co.uk in the normal way. To ensure that you receive notification of the sales with links to catalogues, please do forward your email address.
If you have already entered items for sale then you will receive a pre-auction advice prior to a sale in the normal way.
In addition to selling online, buyers can bid on the telephone and by submitting commission bids to the auction rooms. It is not possible to attend or view sales.
We are able to provide condition reports and more photographs for any lots on request.
Collections can be made either through are recommended couriers or in person on a ‘click and collect’ basis. We ask that payment is made prior to collection and for visitors to then attend the marquee situated to the side of the auction rooms to collect their items.
If you are unable or would prefer not to collect for the time being then we are providing free storage of items during the lockdown.
Home Visits and Valuations
In accordance with the guidance, we are still able to visit you at home to undertake an appraisal of your items and arrange delivery to the auction rooms. Probate valuations can also be undertaken.
We are also able to provide valuations by email so either forward descriptions and images or use the valuation page on our website, mendipauctionrooms.co.uk.
With many people now basing themselves at home, there is increased interest in online auctions and we do not discourage anyone from selling items at this stage and the team are continuing to work during this difficult period and are intent on delivering a service of the highest standards. For updates, keep an eye on our website or follow us on our facebook page.
If you require further assistance then the auction rooms are contactable by email - firstname.lastname@example.org - and telephone - 01749 840770. If you visit the auction rooms then please wear a face covering (unless you are exempt), sanitise your hands and maintain social distancing.
We are grateful for the continued support of our customers and friends during these difficult times and we look forward to a return to normality as quickly as possible. Please stay safe.