24 Jun 2024

Our most Frequently Asked Questions

I want to bid on your auction, how do I do this?

You need to register for the auction first, input your details as well as a current debit or credit card. Nothing will be taken from your card when you register to bid.


I’ve registered but I still can’t bid…

Sorry to hear that.  There shouldn’t be any reason you can’t register. Once you’ve signed up to bid, the NCM team may need to approve you. You will receive an email notification as soon as you’ve been approved to bid (subject to your details being verified).


What are max bids?

A max bid is the most you are willing to bid on a particular item. After placing a max bid, your bid will increase incrementally whenever another bidder makes a bid that is less than your max bid. You will only pay up to your max bid, if another bidder bids more than your max bid you will need to increase your bid.


What is 'Quick Bidding'?

We know how fast things happen in a timed auction, so we’ve added a bid box for you to place your bids directly from the auction catalogue page once approved in a Timed auction. This feature is available in both list and grid views. 


After inputting your Max Bid amount, you'll see a pop-up that asks you to confirm the bid being placed. This gives you the opportunity to read the full lot description and double check your bid amount before placing the bid.

  • Clicking 'Cancel' will close the pop-up and no bid will be placed.
  • Clicking 'Confirm' places the bid.


What’s the difference between live and timed auctions?

We host two types of auctions:

Live auctions are the real thing – our live audio and video feeds connect you to auctions around the world, so you can bid in real time over the internet. They are traditional auctions, based in a building, yard, farm etc. which are broadcast over bidspotter.co.uk. You can bid at the auction over the internet in real-time while experiencing the atmosphere. Or you can place your max bid before the auction goes ‘live’ so you don’t miss out.

Timed auctions take place without an auctioneer calling the sale. Each lot can be bid on for a defined time period. At the end of this period, the bidder who has submitted the highest bid wins the lot, provided the bid exceeds the reserve price. The majority of NCM’s auctions are timed.


How do I bid at a timed auction?

Once, we have approved your registration you'll then be able to begin bidding. In order to bid;

  1. Find the lot you want to bid on.
  2. Type in your maximum bid into the appropriate box and click 'Place Bid'. You'll also see the opening bid price or the next bid price below the max bid box, to give you an indication of the next bidding increment that will be accepted.

Bidding | NCM Auctions

Don’t forget, just like when you’re in an auction room, bidding online is a contractual commitment to buy. When you bid in an auction there is no right of return and everything is sold as seen. Viewing is highly recommended.


How do I edit my max bids?

Don’t want to miss out on that dream lot? You can bump up your max bid by going to ‘Your account’ and clicking on your ‘Placed bids’ in live or timed auctions.

Remember, there are some restrictions on reducing your ‘max bid’. That’s because placing a max bid is a contractual commitment to buy an item if you’re the highest bidder and meet the reserve.

In a timed auction: You can reduce your max bid, but only as low as the current price.

In a live auction: You cannot reduce or remove your max bids prior to a live auction. If you have changed your mind, you'll need to wait for the live auction to commence and reduce or remove your bid in the live bidding applet.


Are there any tips for live bidding?

Before the auction

  1. Watch a live auction to see how they work first.
  2. Contact the auctioneer if you have any specific questions about the lot items or delivery charges etc.
  3. Carefully read the terms and conditions and important information for the auction when you make complete your auction registration.

During a live auction

  1. Bid early and bid often.
  2. Don’t wait till the last second to bid. Auctions can be fast-paced environments and the hammer may go down before your bid arrives.
  3. Don’t rely on hearing or seeing the auctioneer. Bid using the bid amounts on your screen to follow the auction


What are the auction fees added to the hammer price?

Buyer’s Premium (BP) usually at 25% (15% for P & M auctions) on the hammer price

Hammer price VAT and Buyer’s Premium VAT at 20%

For example: Hammer price = £10

Plus Buyer’s Premium at 25% = £2.50

Plus VAT = £2.50

Amount payable = £15 (based on a hammer price of £10)

How can I arrange to view the lot?

Viewing days are generally held the day before the auction ends. Viewings must be pre-booked with NCM, please call the office on 01302 898260 to arrange a time. You must be registered for the auction

Payments & Bids

Your Highest Bid will be treated as a valid bid even if at the time of placing it the ‘reserve is not met’. Vendors regularly ask us to reduce the reserves in the closing hours and put items on sale. Remember when placing a bid, you are bidding to buy!

Full payment must be made within 48 hours of auction end and removal of lots on the dates stipulated. This is a legally binding contract to purchase, if you are not sure, do not bid. We are unable to cancel your purchase, after the auction closes.

We request that payments are made via BACS, Cash (up to a maximum £7500 payable to the NCM Auctions office in Doncaster prior to collection) or Card.

Please note our preferred payment is via BACS this ensures you receive your collection note as quickly as possible. if paying by secure card payment link (BidSpotter) this type of payment can take up to 3 working days to show in our account. Please be aware if paying by secure link your collection note can only be sent once we have received cleared funds and can take up to 3 working days.

If payment is not received within the time period specified, (2 days from the end of the auction) NCM reserve the right to charge the card registered with BidSpotter for the full amount outstanding.



How do I get my goods?

It is the buyer’s responsibility to arrange for decommission, dismantling, removal and loading of items within the timescale specified.

We do not offer a delivery or decommissioning service unless it is specifically stated in the individual lot description.

Please note auctions collections are time critical. Please only bid if you can remove by the collection dates stipulated. Failure to remove lot/s on specified dates may result in your lot/s being forfeited and/or storage changes being levied.

Method Statements & Risk Assessments will be required where specified.

How do I arrange collection?

Once payment has cleared, you will receive a collection note via email. Please contact NCM to pre-book a collection time slot on 01302 898260. Collection is strictly by pre-booked appointment only.

What do I need to bring with me?

The collection note email must be provided and a valid I.D shown. Please bring the appropriate man power and resources to decommission and or/ remove your lots.


What can I do if I’m unhappy with my item?

Sorry if you’re unhappy with your purchase. We always want our bidders to have the best experience possible on our website.

When you bid in an auction, there is no right of return, everything is sold as seen. Just like when you’re in an auction room, bidding online is a contractual commitment to buy. That’s why we recommend you find out all you can about an item, be it viewing in person or asking for a condition report, before you bid.



Jargon Buster

Below you'll find some commonly used terms along with their definitions.


A declaration that the item will be sold exactly as it appears, including any faults or imperfections


Refers to the additional charge on the hammer price that must be paid by the winning bidder. It is charged by the auctioneer to cover administrative expenses. The buyer’s premium goes directly to the auction house and not to the seller.

VAT (in an auction

20% VAT is paid on top of the hammer price and buyers premium.


A written description of an item’s condition. This is usually provided in the lot description, if the description is unclear, you can contact an auction house using the ‘Ask a question’ button on the lot page.


This is the leading online bid. You will need to bid an amount higher than this, to be in the lead.


Sometimes you will see that an end time on a lot may be extended by 5 minutes. This is happening, as we are imitating a real auction, so whenever there is a new bid, the countdown is being extended before the final hammer.


The final sale price for the lot when the hammer went down – excluding any other charges such as Buyer’s Premium, taxes, online charges, and delivery charges.


The amount your next bid will need to increase by, to put you in the lead (i.e. if you bid £20 and need to pay £25 to be in the lead, the increment is £5). Increments are set by the auctioneer.


This is the maximum amount you would pay for a lot. You can tell us the maximum amount you want to pay, and then we bid on your behalf. You don’t even have to watch the auction online. We only bid as much as you need at a live auction.


The lowest hammer price a lot can be sold for. This protects the seller from the lot being sold below its value.


The price bidding will start for the sale of the lot. You will need to bid on or above the opening price to take part.


Timed auctions mean NCM set the time that the lots end, and the size of the increments – there’s just a bidding window and whoever bids highest wins (as long as the reserve’s met). You’ll know it’s a timed auction as the end time will be displaced on the lot page.


A bid made during a timed auction. You can place a timed bid between the start and end of a timed auction. If you are the highest bidder at the end of the auction (and have met the reserve price), you will win the lot.

Start bidding today

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Start bidding today

View upcoming auctions