Online Bidding

Global success sees Staffordshire auction house launch new website

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Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones, which has salerooms in both Penkridge and Wolverhampton, is capitalising on a growing network of International bidders with the launch of a new website.

The firm, which sees some 25,000 lots pass through its salerooms each year, was an early adopter of live online bidding, now offers the feature for all of its sales. These include Home and Antique sales on a fortnightly basis at Penkridge and monthly at Wolverhampton, plus quarterly Fine Art sales and Specialist Collectors’ Sales, which cater for higher value items. This, alongside illustrated, online catalogues for all sales, has seen the bidding audience expand significantly over the past decade. MD and Head Auctioneer, Ben Gamble, says:

“Live online bidding has transformed the way we operate – now we can have a busy sale room, with traditional telephone and commission bid in operation, but at the same time can have bidders based anywhere in the world placing their bid at the click of a mouse. Roughly 50% of our bidding audience is now online, and we’ve sold lots literally all over the world – China and Japan are particularly avid purchasers, but we also regularly ship to the US, Australia and Canada.”
And it’s not just bidders that the saleroom’s online success has attracted, as Ben explains:

“Being so prolific online has also brought in vendors from far further than we would once have hoped – following on from successful sales, we’ve had people contact us to value and sell similar items from as far afield as Southampton, Manchester and Cumbria – we also had one lot consigned by a bidder in Australia! As a relatively small, provincial auction house this would have been unheard of ten years ago but the internet has levelled the playing field and we can compete with the big city auction houses; offering a more personal service and really competitive commission rates for both vendors and buyers. In short, we’re your local auction house – with a global reach!”
And with the uncertainty over the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on public gatherings, the fresh, new website will help ensure its ‘business as usual’ for Cuttlestones, whatever comes our way. Ben says:

“Between our online valuation service, fully illustrated online catalogue and online bidding system even people who are self-isolating can still consign lots for auction and bid on items. While it’s currently ‘business as usual’ and we’ll be welcoming bidders to the saleroom, should authorities put a ban on public gatherings we will still host auctions online, with bidders able to view and bid remotely – we’ll be on hand to answer any questions by phone or email and they can place commission bids or bid live over the internet.”

The newly launched website, which has been designed by Stafford Web Ltd, has streamlined the Cuttlestones’ online experience. The aim is to make it easier for both bidders and prospective vendors to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily while making the site easier to navigate on mobile devices. Bidders keen to try out the new site can view the catalogue for the forthcoming Specialist Collectors’ Sale at Wolverhampton on 20th March. Viewing will take place the day prior to the sale between 10am & 7pm, and on the morning of the sale with live online bidding available for those who can’t attend in person. To find out more, head to


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