Sales Guide

Auction Sales

Auction sales are of huge economic importance in the UK, accounting for a multi-billion pound trade concerned with so many tradable items including livestocks, fine arts, vehicles, machinery and equipment, land and buildings, comodities and so forth.

Although an auction sale of business assets is second nature to the Marriott & Co. team, there is frequently at least one potential bidder at our auction sales who has never been to an auction sale before. Our auction sales are completely straight forward, and we are always pleased to outline the procedure to whoever enquires.

Procedure at an ‘on-site’ auction

Prospective bidders, having obtained a copy of the auction catalogue, must inspect the lot(s) they are interested in by attending the public viewing on the day(s) advertised. An auction sale is not a consumer sale, so it’s essential that prospective bidders satisfy themselves that the lot(s) they are interested in are fit for the intended purpose. No lot can be returned or refunded after the sale; there are no warranties, and all lots are purchased ‘as seen’. This is considered by some as not very fair, but bidders generally attend auctions in the hope of availing themselves of a bargain, and bargains there will surely be; the bargain prices generally paid reflect the risk purchasers take with regard to the suitability and condition of the goods in question.

Guide Prices

The Auctioneer’s staff will be pleased to advise the guide price of any lot; these guide prices are not reserves, but reflect the sort of price the Auctioneer hopes the lot in question might realise.

There may be reserves, but these will never be above the guide price of any lot.


On the day of the auction, prospective bidders will probably attend the auction with a view to bidding in person. To do so, the prospective bidder must (a) have obtained a unique bidding number by presenting satisfactory identification to the registration desk, (b) be able, if required, to lodge a deposit with the Auctioneers, and (c) be able to comply with the Conditions of Sale printed in the catalogue.

Proxy Bids

Alternatively, if the prospective bidder is unable to attend in person, there is a facility for the Auctioneer to bid on behalf of absent bidders by completing the appropriate form in the catalogue that should be lodged with the Auctioneers, together with the required deposit, by 5pm on the day prior to the auction sale.

Marriott & Co’s auctions are completely transparent. The Auctioneer will make it clear when the ‘absent bidder’ (as mentioned above) is bidding, and Marriott & Co’s Auctioneers will never take bids ‘off the wall’ or attempt any other deception. The Auctioneer will set the bidding increments to increase at around 5% per bid.


The fall of the Auctioneer’s hammer signifies a contract, and the successful bidder has at this moment entered into a contract to purchase the lot in question in accordance with the auction Conditions of Sale. The auction will have been recorded so that any disputes can be quickly resolved. The successful bidder must pay for and collect the lots purchased within the times stated in the Conditions of Sale. Failure to do so renders the successful bidder in breach of contract. Lots can only be released once the Auctioneer is in receipt of cleared funds – cash, bank draft, or CHAPS inter-bank transfer; payment can be made by cheque provided there is sufficient time for the cheque to be cleared through the banking system.

Our Role

Marriott & Co’s auction staff are in attendance to ensure the premises is safe, ensure buyers comply with Health & Safety regulations, supervise the viewing, conduct the auction and ensure that the lots are released to the correct purchasers once payment has been made. Please be aware that our staff are precluded from assisting purchasers in physically uplifting and removing lots purchased; purchasers must therefore make their own arrangements in this regard.

Our auction sales are well run, and we hope that you will find them to be enjoyable occasions.

Plant & Machinery Auctioneers

Tender Sales

Tender sales are very similar to auction sales save for one fundamental difference; the bidder enters his best and final offer for the lot on the tender form provided (whereupon the bidder is bound to pay the price of that offer if it is accepted and to complete the purchase in accordance with the Conditions of Sale), but the bidder will not know whether or not his bid is accepted until notified in writing by Marriott & Co.

Procedure at ‘on line’ auction

Online sales are similar to a live on-site auction, save that prospective purchasers bid via the internet. Reaching the end of the period during which bids for the lots may be made signifies acceptance of the Buyer’s bid and the creation of a contract. To submit online bids: visit, select the relevant sale, register your details in order to bid, read, understand and accept the conditions of sale and finally place your bids.

Automatic increment bidding is enabled on our online sales. Placing the maximum amount you are willing to bid on a particular lot will not necessarily become the current bid. If you bid £100 on a lot with a current bid of £50, your bid will beat the £50 by the increment specified by the system. If another places, or has already placed a higher bid, then the system will automatically bid for you up to your maximum of £100.

Marriott & Co. will contact the successful bidder and then forward an invoice for payment.

Private Treaty Sales

Probably the majority of the sales handled by Marriott & Co. are negotiated by private treaty. Sales by private treaty follow a similar course to our Tender Sales save that the timing, and of course the price, will be negotiated and agreed upon by Marriott & Co.’s staff and the purchaser.

The advantage of private treaty sales is that they are flexible, and allow negotiations with interested parties – often without publicly marketing the goods in question – with a view to completing a sale economically and expediently.

A private treaty sale will normally be concluded subject to our Conditions of Sale, adapted to accommodate the circumstances of the case.

Health and Safety Risk Assessments and Method Statements

You may be required to submit a risk assessment and method statement in accordance with Health and Safety regulations. The requirement applies to any item that cannot be easily lifted manually (by one man) and / or requires electrical or other disconnection, and / or dismantling. The aim is to identify the risks involved and ensure the safe removal for the equipment and all personnel involved.

Risk Assessments and method statements might provide the following information: equipment to be removed, date of removal, overview of removal method, risks and hazards involved in removal, presentation of methods to eliminate and/or minimize the risks, name and contact number of responsible person for the removal, PPE (personal protective equipment) necessary and confirmation supplied, tools / mechanical items to be used confirming they comply with current safety certificates where applicable, confirmation personnel are competent to undertake tasks assigned to them and suitably qualified where necessary to use mechanical equipment and / or disconnect electrical or other supplies, confirmation of safe removal of any waste products from site, confirmation that the buyer has public liability insurance.

Upon arrival at site the competent person in charge of the removal must co-ordinate with the Marriott & Co. representative to discuss the removal and position barriers, tape or signs thus ensuring no other unauthorized personnel can stray into the working area. The onus is on the buyer to provide a satisfactory method statement and to comply with it. Marriott & Co. cannot allow any equipment to be removed that requires a method statement unless one has been provided and approved by us. If the method statement is not being complied with at any point during removals Marriott & Co. will immediately order a stop to proceedings.