Buying at GWA


Great Western Auctions offer all potential buyers multiple stress-free options to bid at our auctions whether it be in person or online. If you have a query or question regarding bidding, a specific lot or payment, our specialists and client services team will be happy to offer help and guidance.


How to buy: a step-by-step guide


Viewing times will be available in advance and are listed in each online sale catalogue.
If you are unable to view in person, you can subscribe to our mailing list to receive auction updates and notifications when catalogues are online.
Online catalogues with descriptions, estimates and images which can be magnified for closer inspection can be found on our website, and on

Condition reports

 If you are not able to examine a lot in person, we recommend that before placing an bid potential buyers request a condition report on the lot(s) they are interested in. Our staff will be happy to provide condition reports, further information, additional images or videos of lots upon request.

All potential bidders or their agents must satisfy themselves with the condition of a lot before bidding. While our specialists will examine each lot and describe any damages or defects they can detect, condition reports are opinions to be used as a guide and are not guarantees. Furthermore, an absence of a condition report does not mean a lot is in good condition or damage-free.

Please note that we receive a high volume of requests and while we endeavour to reply to all lot enquiries in a timely manner, you may not receive a response until closer to the auction.

Registering to bid

Buyers can easily register to bid in person or online. You will need to provide:

  • Email
  • Full Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Photographic identification if registering in person (passport/driving licence)

Ways To Bid

In Person

You will be issued a paddle number which can be used to bid in person. A physical copy can be obtained from the office.

If you are unable to attend the auction in person, there are multiple ways to bid:


Online Bidding

Register or Sign in to My Great Western Auctions account to submit absentee bids online (no surcharge) or bid live online through Great Western Auctions Live Bidding, (a surcharge of 2.5% of the hammer price in addition to the standard buyer's premium will be payable to


You can also bid live on (a 3% surcharge + the hammer price or a £3 flat fee per auction in addition to the standard buyer's premium will be payable to 


You may also register to bid live through (a 5% surcharge + VAT of the hammer price in addition to the standard buyer's premium will be payable to

Please be aware when bidding live online that all bids are final. We recommend logging out when using a touch screen device.


 Commission Bidding

If you are unable to attend the auction, we can bid on your behalf. You can make a commission / absentee bid by through your My Great Western Auctions account by leaving an 'absentee bid' on your chosen lot. You can also fill out a bidding form at reception or telephone us to submit absentee bids. Potential buyers should submit the maximum hammer price they are prepared to pay. Please note that if you are successful in bidding for a lot via an absentee bid, you will not necessarily pay the maximum hammer price you submitted, depending on other bidders.

If identical bids are submitted for a lot, the first bid left will take precedence.

Confirmation of absentee & telephone bids will always be sent by email. Please contact the office if you do not receive confirmation.


Telephone Bidding

You can participate in the sale by booking a telephone bid. Telephone bidding is available for lots of £200 and over. This does not incur any extra cost. A member of staff will call you 5-10 lots before the lot you are interested in is coming up for auction and will relay to you the events in the room. They will then bid on your behalf when instructed to. Telephone lines are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, please book early to avoid any disappointment. You can book a telephone bid either by emailing [email protected] or contacting the office on 0141 954 1500.


There are several ways to pay for your items.


We accept bank transfer or debit and credit card in person.


Please note we do not accept cash, cheques or payment for lots with debit or credit card over the phone, Paypal or online payment link.


Bank Transfer


You will find our bank details listed below in any email invoice we issue.


Royal Bank of Scotland, Byres Road, Glasgow
Account no. 16233895
Sort Code 83-21-05
Iban no. GB43RBOS83210516233895
Swift no. RBOSGB2L


Please use your buyer number as a reference when settling any invoice.

International payments will be issued with an additional £20 for bank charges. If you are paying from a UK account, or able to pay the charges at your end, please notify us so we can remove the fee.

Our full moniker may be too long to add as a payee. You can use ‘GWA’ or ‘Great Western’ as our payee name.


Debit or credit cards

Payment can be made by credit or debit card in person. We cannot accept card payments over the phone.


Buyers Premium & Charges

Each lot purchased is subject to buyers premium at 24% plus VAT.


Live online bidding is subject to an additional 2.5% (Great Western Auctions Online), 3% (Easy Live Auction) & 5% ( premium (charged by the live bidding service provider). This additional premium is subject to VAT at the current rate.


Value Added Tax


Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at the standard rate.

  • Lots affixed with (†) or (*): Value Added Tax on the hammer price is imposed by law on all items affixed with a dagger (†) or (*). This imposition of VAT may be because the Seller is registered for VAT within the European Union and is not operating under a margin scheme
  • Lots affixed with (††) or (**): A reduced rate of Value Added Tax on the hammer price of 5% is payable. This indicates that a lot has been imported from outside the European Union. This reduced rate is applicable to Antique items.
  • Lots affixed with (Ω): Standard rate of Value Added Tax on the hammer price and premium. This applies to items that have been imported from outside the European Union and do not fall within the reduced rate category outlined above.
  • Lots affixed with (•) denotes that the lot may be subject to Droit de Suite. More information on Droit de Suite is available at


If you attend an auction and are successful in bidding for a lot, you may collect your item from the saleroom once payment has been made. All goods must be paid for and collected within two working days following sale unless by arrangement. Items are no longer insured once they have been bought at auction. If the item has not been collected after five working days, then a storage charge of £5 plus VAT per lot per day will commence. Great Western Auctions shall then contact the buyer by email to confirm that this additional charge is now in place and further to that if paid for item(s) are still not collected within another 2 weeks of the date of the email, the items will be placed back into the next auction without reserve with the buyer becoming the vendor. All Great Western Auctions terms and conditions will now apply to the new vendor of this item. A bank transfer will be sent out 30 working days after the sale, this will be minus our saleroom and storage charges. All goods are the buyer's responsibility from the point of sale.

Please bring boxes and packaging material with you at time of collection.