The Marketing of your Collection

When the time comes to consider the sale of your collection of stamps, coins, banknotes, postcards, cigarette cards, medals, die-cast toys, or model railways, Warwick and Warwick are here to help you; we will be pleased to advise you on every step of the way. The first step is appraisal of the collection by the relevant expert or experts on our valuation staff. Most valuations are carried out in our Warwick showrooms, where we have recourse to our library of technical books and catalogues and access to our database of information concerning recent realisations and customers’ requirements in our Private Treaty Department.

Once our experts have valued your collection, we will write to you and advise you of the valuation and recommended method of sale, whether it be auction or private treaty.

Auction Selling

We hold public auctions of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, postcards, cigarette cards, toys and model railways on a regular basis. Additionally specialised single vendor sales are held, as appropriate. Collections are lotted and broken down into constituent parts in order to maximise the result for the vendor. There is a definite skill involved in knowing how finely to break down a collection to ensure that all the parts and not just the “plums” achieve their maximum potential.

Private Treaty Selling

Whilst a sale by auction is an excellent method of achieving good results for popular material, it is not necessarily the best or most appropriate method for all material. Some vendors want the reassurance of knowing exactly how much they will be selling their lifetime collection for, removing the uncertainties of the auction room. In this case we can offer the services of our Private Treaty Department.

Our experts can accurately determine the fair current commercial value of your collection and organise its sale at that figure by Private Treaty. Once the vendor has accepted our valuation the amount is guaranteed and the sale is underwritten by Warwick and Warwick. We guarantee to pay the full amount due within a period of three weeks, though Private Treaty sales are usually negotiated within a few days.

Sales by Private Treaty involve fewer overheads than sales by auction, as it is not necessary to print an expensive catalogue. Consequently we are able to pass on this cost saving to the vendor, by making Private Treaty sales completely free of charge to the vendor. Neither are there any other charges such as insurance, valuation or transport .

The Next Step

Alternatively you may bring your collection to our Warwick showrooms for appraisal. Warwick is at the centre of the motorway network and we have a large car park. Click here for a map of how to find us. Warwick is well served by trains from Marylebone Station in London and our showrooms are a short taxi ride from either Warwick town or Warwick Parkway stations. The nearest international airport is Birmingham and there are frequent trains from Birmingham Moor Street or Birmingham Snow Hill to Warwick. We also have a small office in Chester where collections can be lodged for onward transmission to our valuations department at Warwick

Contact our experts today with details of your collection:

Selling stamps and covers contact Ian Hunter by phone on 01926 499031 or e-mail

Selling coins and banknotes contact Richard Beale by phone on 01926 499031 or e-mail

Selling medals contact Paul Murray by phone on 01926 499031 or e-mail

Selling die cast, toys and model railways contact Jill Smith by phone on 01926 499031 or e-mail

Selling postcards and ephemera contact Colin Such on 01926 499031 or e-mail

Selling cigarette and trade cards contact Ben Griffin on 01926 499031 or e-mail

We can discuss your collection with you and decide how best to carry out the valuation. Small collections are usually transported to our offices, free of charge, by insured security courier; larger properties are collected by a member of staff. Home visits may be possible for large and valuable collections, whether in this country or abroad.

Act now! Get the experts on your side!

Valuing and Marketing your Collection FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions:

Q. How do I know whether or not my collection has any value?

A. This is very difficult for an amateur or non-collector. It’s best to ring us on 01926 499031 and speak to one of our expert valuers. They will ask the necessary questions which will give them an idea as to the likely value of the collection and how best to proceed with the valuation of it.

Q. How long will it take to value my collection?

A. All properties are placed in a queue and the waiting time varies depending on how many properties are in that queue. On average it takes 3 weeks, but exceptions can be made if there is a degree of urgency associated with your collection.

Q. If I don’t agree with your valuation how do I get my collection back?

A. There is absolutely no obligation or pressure on you to accept our valuation and no fee if you decline it. However, we would ask you to pay for return carriage costs or come to Warwick and collect the property from our premises. If we return a box by carrier the cost is usually of the order of £15 – £20 per box for most of the UK.

Q. Do I need to make a list of everything I have?

A. No, this is not necessary. The expert who examines your property will look at everything and keep a breakdown of his valuation whenever this is a necessary part of the selling process.

Q. How can I know that everything has been looked at when I’m not present to point things out to the expert?

A. Our experts have years of experience in assessing collections; they do this every day of their working lives and it would be most unusual if they were to miss anything. However, if there is a particular item which you wish to bring to the attention of the valuer, by all means telephone and ask to be connected to the valuer or send him or her an email. For details of our experts click here.

Q. The collection is inherited and I have no idea what it contains, how can I trust Warwick and Warwick?

A. A degree of trust has to be accepted between the auctioneer and his client. Warwick and Warwick started in business in 1958 and has been under the same ownership since 1981. We are members of the relevant trade organisations in this country, who can vouch for us. We have 10 experts on our staff, with a combined knowledge base spanning more than a century! 6 of our experts have more than 25 years experience as a professional valuer, 4 of them continuously in the service of Warwick and Warwick.

Q. Will my collection be insured?

A. Yes, once the collection has been valued it will be insured free of charge at our valuation. Whilst in transit to us by carrier, which Warwick and Warwick has arranged, or by Special Delivery in the post, we can take out additional cover, again free of charge, over and above that provided by the carrier. It is necessary for the owner of the property to tell us the figure they want the collection insured for. If the owner has no idea of value the maximum figure we can insure a property for is £500. This insured amount would continue to be used until the property was assessed by our expert. Free insurance cover of your property ends when it leaves our premises.

Q. Can you visit me in my home?

A. Yes, we can. If your collection is sufficiently valuable we can send a member of staff to briefly inspect it, pack it up in our own flat pack boxes, give you a receipt and bring it back to Warwick for precise valuation. Please ring us on 01926 499031 to discuss the possibilities.

Q. Is it better to wait for the market to improve before selling?

A. No-one can accurately predict the likely state of the market in the future. Most of the collectables we sell have enjoyed a very stable market for many years.

Q. My collection is very large. Will you have room for it in your vehicle?

A. Yes, we have company estate cars and if they are not large enough we can always use the company van.

Q. I am disabled and unable to pack up the collection, what can I do?

A. If your collection is sufficiently valuable we can send a member of staff who will pack your collection into our flat pack boxes, give you a receipt for it and bring it back to Warwick for valuation. If your collection is of more modest value we can still visit you but it might involve a slight delay until we have other visits requested in the same area.

Q. Which is better, auction or private treaty?

A. This will depend on the property. Often properties which are straight forward and easily valued will yield the same net result whether sold by auction or private treaty. Some which are more usual will benefit from the exposure which auction sale provides. Collections which are the result of one person’s passion over a period of many years are sometimes better marketed as an intact collection by private treaty. The best course of action is to allow our expert to suggest the method of sale best suited to your specific collection.

Q. What are the charges?

A. If a sale by private treaty is recommended, there is no charge and you get the figure on the valuation form. The only charge for a sale by auction on lots reserved at no more than 60% of estimate is a 15% commission charge + VAT, making a total deduction of 18% of the hammer price. There is no additional charge for insurance, lotting, valuation or transport.

Q. Are your customers dealers or collectors and how wide is your customer base?

A. We have a very wide base of customers, both dealers and collectors, in this country and abroad. The fact that every auction sale is viewable on our website, with scans of most lots, ensures that we receive bids from a wide range of countries, including the important Far East markets.

Q. Is there a minimum property value you will accept for auction sale?

A. We like properties going to auction to be worth at least £100, because of the overheads involved in auction selling.

Q. Can people bid on my lots on the internet?

A. Yes, the whole catalogue, with a scan of most lots, will be viewable on our website and there is a facility for bidders to place bids via the website.

Q. If I accept your valuation, what happens next?

A. Sign the pink (private treaty) or yellow (auction) form, return it to us and we will do the rest. A cheque for a private treaty sale will be with you in a matter of days. Auction property will be described and lotted and once the catalogue is published on line we will write to you and let you know your lot numbers.

Q. Will you let me know which my lots are and will you send me a catalogue of the auction?

A. Yes, we will send you a letter letting you know the date of the auction and your lot numbers. We do not, as a matter of course, send out printed catalogues to vendors, in order to keep down costs. We are strongly resisting the pressure to increase our commission from the current very competitive 15%. You can view a full description and a scan of each of your lots on our website.

Q. How long after the auction will I be paid?

A. 30 days later, as long as the purchaser account is not outstanding.

Q. If I agree to a private treaty sale when do I get paid?

A. A cheque is sent from our accounts department in Chester as soon as they receive the signed acceptance form.

Q. How do I receive payment?

A. Settlement is usually by bank cheque in sterling. Other methods are possible, but any charges incurred would be debited to your account.