Terms & Conditions


 1. Definition

In these terms of business:

Potteries Auctions Limited is referred to as ‘PA’.

The PA representative conducting the auction is referred to as the ‘auctioneer’.

2. Attribution and Condition of Lots

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of any statement as to authorship, attribution, origin, date, age, provenance and condition of any lot, whether or not such a statement forms part of the description of any such lot. 

Any statement made orally or in the catalogue is an opinion given after careful consideration and research.

Written condition reports are available upon request for buyers unable to attend viewing in person for lots over £100. We are unable to offer comprehensive condition reports on low value lots comprising multiple items.

It should be noted that pictures have not been removed from their frames unless this is specifically mentioned in the condition report. The size of a painting or print is measured diagonally from corner to corner. The measurements are of the actual visible area of the painting or print and does not include any mount or frame.

When bidding, you acknowledge that you are fully satisfied as to the attribution and condition of the lot.

If any damage is done to any lot at the viewing or before, during or after the sale, it shall be made good by:

  • the person who caused the damage; or
  • the person for whom they are acting.

PA will assess the extent of the damage to be repaired.

3. Attribution of Pictures

(a) If the forename(s) and surname of the artist are given, this indicates that in the opinion of PA the picture is a work by the named artist.

(b) If the initials of the forename(s) and the surname of the artist are given, this indicates that in the opinion of PA the picture is a work of the period of the named artist and may be wholly or in part his work.

(c) If the surname of the artist is given, this indicates that in the opinion of PA the picture is a work of the same school of the named artist, or by one of his followers, or in his style and of uncertain date.

4. Third Party Liability

Every person on PA premises before, during or after a sale shall be deemed to be there at their own risk and shall have no claim against PA in respect of any injury they may sustain or any accident which may occur.

5. Disputes

Any dispute not covered in these terms of business will be settled at the sole discretion of PA.

6. The Seller  

a. PA sell as agents for the seller (except where PA are stated as wholly or partly to own any lot as principle). As such PA are not responsible for any default by the seller or the buyer.

b. PA reserve the right to fix a reserve price for any lot.

c.  As of February 2020: Sellers commission rate is 16% +vat on lots sold with a hammer price of over £61. Lots sold for £60 or less are charged at 25% +vat. There is also a lot fee of £2 +vat per lot in a general auctions, and £5 +vat in Fine Art auctions. Prior to February 2020 Sellers commission rate was 16% +vat on lots sold with a hammer price of over £101. Lots sold for £100 or less were charged at 25% +vat. Lot fee of £3 +vat.

d. The withdrawal of lots from a sale are subject to a withdrawal fee of 25% + VAT of the lowest estimate per lot. On lots with a value of less than £40 the withdrawal fee is £3 + VAT per lot.

e. Lots with a value of £40 or less will be offered for sale with no reserve unless otherwise stated.

f. PA reserve the right to dispose of any item that in their opinion is unsaleable. Electrical goods and soft furnishings which do not comply with current legislation will not be offered at auction. Consignments will be assessed by PA and if any items are deemed unsuitable for auction they will be donated to charity at the discretion of PA. (This is usually most relevant to house clearances where there is an element of superfluous goods but may also be relevant to other consignments).

g. Payment

Once your buyer’s funds have cleared in our account we aim to pay you no later than 28 working days after the auction.

We do not pay interest on the period between your buyer’s payment and your receipt of the payment.

Please remember that you will have to pay certain charges on your sale.

We act as agents and cannot be held responsible if your buyer does not pay. We cannot pay you until we have received cleared funds.

7. The Buyer 

The highest bidder acknowledged as such by the auctioneer will be the buyer. If any dispute arises, the auctioneer has absolute discretion to settle the matter. The auctioneer rules the bidding and bids cannot be retracted. The auctioneer reserves the right to refuse any bid. 

The successful bidder, whether bidding for himself or for a third party, is entirely responsible for paying for the lots they have bought in accordance with PA terms of business. 

The auctioneer reserves the right to bid on behalf of the vendors for any lot and to withdraw, consolidate or divide any lot or lots.

8. Registration

Prospective buyers need to register with us, giving their full name, address, contact telephone number(s) and email address. First time buyers will be required to provide proof of identity (i.e. driving licence/passport), a valid debit or credit card and a copy of a utility bill or a document showing their name and address. Upon receipt of the above a buyer number will be issued, which is only valid for the current sale. This card may be used to indicate your bids to the Auctioneer during the sale. If successful, the bidder must ensure that their number can be seen by the Auctioneer and that it is their number that is called out. Should there be any doubts as to price or buyer, please draw the Auctioneer’s attention to it immediately.

9. Buyer’s Premium

Commission Charges

You will pay a premium of 20% plus VAT of the hammer price of your purchase on each lot.

10. Value Added Tax

The buyer must pay VAT at the rates that apply on the day of the auction.

11. Auctioneers Margin Scheme

This scheme allows auctioneers to sell items without VAT on the hammer price. The buyer then pays an amount equivalent to VAT. This amount cannot be refunded and is not shown separately on the invoice.

12. Payment

Buyers must pay in full within 7 days. Purchases will only be can be released after payment has been made.

Invoices that are not paid within seven days will incur storage charges. (see 19. Storage and Colelction). During this time PA do not accept responsibility for damage or loss of stored items. All storage charges must be paid in full before purchases can be released.

If buyers are unknown to us, we cannot hand over purchases unless we have adequate references or payment is cleared.

12.1 Payment Methods

We accept payment by:

  • Cash
  • Debit card
  • Paypal Please note a charge of 5% plus VAT needs to be added to Paypal payments.
  • Credit card (Up to £250) – but not American Express or Diners Club.
  • Bank transfer to:

Lloyds Bank plc, Fountain Square Hanley Branch, PO Box 1000 BX1 1LT

Account no.                491 982 68

Account name           Potteries Auctions Limited a/c

Sort code                    30 93 83

IBAN                           GB77LOYD30938349198268

BIC Code                  LOYDGB21080    

Please note: We do not accept credit or debit card payments for Customer Not Present Transactions. If you are not able to pay in person at our cash office then please arrange to pay via direct bank transfer prior to goods being collected or dispatched. This also applies to buyers purchasing goods via the.saleroom.com or easyliveauction.com 

13. Internet Bidding

Live online auctions are held in conjunction www.the-saleroom.com and www.easyliveauctions.com

Full details are given at the time of the live sale. A charge is made by the platford provider, in addition to the regular buyer's premium, for internet bidding.

14.  Ownership of Purchases

Ownership of lot(s) purchased will not pass to the buyer until they have paid PA in full and PA has applied the payment to the lot.

15. Transfer of Risk

Each lot is the buyer’s sole responsibility from the fall of the hammer and is sold with all faults and imperfections.

PA is not responsible for the correct description, genuineness or authenticity of any lot and makes no warranty whatsoever. The buyer is deemed to have inspected each lot and satisfied himself as to its condition.

Written condition reports are available upon request for buyers unable to attend viewing in person. We are unable to offer comprehensive condition reports on low value lots comprising multiple items. Refunds cannot be given with regards to condition on items purchased by buyers who have viewed their purchased lots. Refunds will only be considered if a written condition report has been issued and the description of condition is not as described.

16. Commission Bids

If instructed, PA will execute bids and advise prospective buyers.  

Buyers who cannot come to a sale may leave their bid with our staff after viewing, or make their bid in advance by telephone or email. Such bids are placed at the buyer’s own risk.

Bids must be made at least one hour before the sale starts, and we advise buyers to make bids within one hour of the close of the view day.

When making bids, buyers must provide:

  • Their full name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Contact telephone numbers
  • The number of the lot they wish to buy
  • Their maximum bid amount – excluding commission which will be added to the invoice afterwards.

Buyers must state what their maximum bid would be. We cannot accept an instruction to ‘buy’ or unlimited bids.

We will ensure that lots are bought as cheaply as possible depending on the bids made and other reserves. If identical bids are placed, the person who bid first will take precedence.

17. Telephone Bids

Requests for telephone bidding must be registered one hour prior to the close of the view day. Lines are booked on a first come first served basis. Full name, address and telephone numbers will be required together with proof of identity and address. Bank and credit/debit card details are also necessary. 

18. Absentee Bidding

Whilst every effort is made to execute absentee bidding, PA cannot be held responsible for any default or neglect in connection with this service. All such arrangements are made entirely at the prospective buyer’s risk.

19. Storage and Collection

Storage charges will be levied on all lots not collected within FIVE working days of the sale. This will include a handling fee of £5 plus VAT per consignment as well as a storage charge of £1 plus VAT per lot per day. No goods may be collected until these charges have been paid.

20. Droit de Suite Royalty Charges

A work of art by a living artist, or those who have died within the last 70 years, which costs more than the UK sterling equivalent of €1,000 will incur a royalty charge. We pass this payment onto the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), and do not charge a handling fee. Buyers can calculate royalty charges on the DACS website.

We use the euro to UK sterling exchange rate which applies on the day of the sale. It is the buyer’s responsibility to check the relevant exchange rate.  

The actual qualifying threshold is calculated by the Artist’s Resale Right Service Hub based on the European Central Bank reference rate and can be found on the DACS website.

The royalty charge for pictures which achieve a hammer price of more than the UK sterling equivalent of €1,000, but less that the UK sterling equivalent of €50,000 is four per cent. The royalty charge is added to invoices, and must be paid before purchases are removed. VAT is not paid on royalty charges.

21.Cites License

Important Notice Relating to Sporting and Natural History

Clients intending to import/export any item derived from natural history specimens into/from a non-European country should first check for any Import/Export and possession restrictions prior to bidding/selling.

Certain species are also subject to CITES regulations when exporting/importing these items out the EU.  CITES regulations are given on www.ukcites.gov.uk or maybe obtained from Animal Health, Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service, Zone 1/17, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6EB.  Those species that are covered by the US Endangered Species Act (USESA) or The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA): potential US bidders should check with USF&W (US Fish and Wildlife Services) for trade/possession restrictions in the US prior to bidding.

22. PAT Testing

All electrical goods entered into the auction will be PAT tested for safety reasons prior to entry into sale. PAT testing establishes the safety of the electrical current in an item and is not an indicator or guarantee that the item is in working order. A charge of £2 per electrical item will be added to vendors invoices for PAT tested lots. If an item fails a PAT test the vendor will be charged an additional £5 and the failed goods will need to be collected and removed from the saleroom.

23. Picture Cataloguing Terms

A work catalogued with the forename(s) and surname or recognised designation of an artist in our opinion is or is probably a work by the artist, e.g. JOHN SMITH. Nevertheless, intending buyers are reminded that while a full designation is our highest category of authenticity, no unqualified statement as to authorship is made or intended. A full cataloguing does not necessarily imply a full warranty.

Picture Cataloguing Glossary:

Attributed to JOHN SMITH

In our opinion, a work of the period of the artist which may be in whole or in part the work of the artist.

Studio of JOHN SMITH

In our opinion, a work by an unknown hand, which may have been executed in the studio of the artist.

Circle of JOHN SMITH

In our opinion, a work from the period of the artist and showing his influence.

Follower of JOHN SMITH

In our opinion, a work executed in the style of the artist but not necessarily by a pupil.

Manner of JOHN SMITH

In our opinion, a work executed in the style of the artist but of a later date.


In our opinion, a copy of any date after a work by the artist.


In our opinion, the work has been signed/inscribed/dated by the artist.

Bears/with signature, inscription, date

In our opinion, the signature/inscription/date are not by the hand of the named artist.

The term ‘ascribed to’ may in certain cases be used to denote a traditional attribution based on style, though this attribution is not necessarily confirmed by the auctioneers. A work catalogued as ‘School’ accompanied by the name of a place or country and a date means that in our opinion the work was executed at that time and in the location, e.g. Midland School, circa 1520. All references to signatures, inscriptions and dates refer to the present state of the work, i.e. as at the time of inspection for the purpose of cataloguing.

24. Classifying the Condition of Models and Boxes

The ‘General Condition’ Grading System 

(M) Mint

(E) Excellent

(G) Good

(F) Fair

(P) Poor

Usually these gradings are separately applied to describe firstly the condition of the model and secondly the condition of the box.

Model Condition Grading

From our observations and purely for guidance purposes, we would suggest the following descriptions approximately represent the different grades.

  1. MINT (M)

The model must be complete and as fresh, new and original in appearance as when first received from the manufacturers.


The model is almost in mint condition and is only barred from this classification by having a few slight flaws – e.g. slight paintwork chipping in unimportant areas.

  1. GOOD (G)

The model is in a complete and original condition and retains an overall attractive collectable appearance despite having a few chips or rubbed paintwork.

  1. FAIR (F)

The model may not be in its original state e.g. broken bumper, replacement radiator or windscreen, or have signs of metal fatigue. The paintwork may be faded, well chipped, retouched, or repainted. There may be signs of rust. Unless the model is rare it is in barely collectable condition.

  1. POOR (P)

The model may be damaged, incomplete, repainted, metal fatigued, have bad rust on the base plate, or be heavily chipped etc. Unless the model is rare it has little real value to a collector other than as a candidate for a complete restoration or spares.

Box Condition Gradings

  1. MINT (M)

The box must be complete both inside and out and contain all the original packaging materials, manufacturers leaflets and box labels. It should be fresh, new and original in appearance as first received from the manufacturers.


The box is in almost mint condition but is barred from this classification by just the odd minor blemish e.g. there may be slight damage to the display labels caused by bad storage. The original shop price label may have been carelessly removed and caused slight damage. The cover of a bubble pack may be cracked or there may be very slight soiling etc.

  1. GOOD (G)

The box is complete with both inside and out and retains an overall attractive collectable appearance. Furthermore, despite showing a few signs of wear and tear it does not appear ‘tired’.

  1. FAIR (F)

The box will appear to be ‘tired’ and show definite signs of wear and tear. It may well be incomplete and not contain the original packing materials or leaflets. In addition, it may not display all the exterior identification labels or they may be torn or soiled or it may have a box-end flap missing or be otherwise slightly damaged. In this condition unless the model is particularly rare, it will have only a small effect on the model’s value.

  1. POOR (P)

This box will show considerable signs of wear and tear. It will almost certainly be badly damaged, incomplete or heavily soiled and being in this condition, unless it is very rare, is of little value to a collector.

Conditions of Sale - All sales are subject to the terms and conditions of sale, copies of which are available online or from the office on request.

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