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This is where the use of a credit card comes in very handy.

However, some auction houses now refuse to accept credit cards by way of payment and I have to say this is a very short-sighted policy.

Just recently I have had dealings with three auction houses who do accept credit cards and, as usual with the type of item I am interested in, the hammer price is always way over the top estimate.

With all three items I bid on, it was myself against the underbidder for several hundred pounds over the top estimates before the hammer fell. I was successful in only one item but because of my bidding both the vendors and the auction houses got better-than-expected returns.

Missing out

This week there is an auction with some very fine clocks, but I have been advised that the auction house in question does not accept credit cards and as I am waiting for the proceeds to arrive from the sale of one of my clocks, I will not be able to bid.

That auction house will be missing out on a very good customer and I think vendors should think very carefully as to which saleroom they consign their goods.

David Southwell