How to Bid and Buy

5 simple steps to buying instruments at auction

Buying musical instruments at auction with Brompton’s is quick, easy and transparent.

1. View Instruments

Discuss your requirements with a Brompton’s expert, who will be happy to advise you about the instruments on offer and their condition, and then make an appointment for a private viewing. You may try the instrument in the Faraday auditorium and experience a real concert environment, or professional musicians may request the chance to try it on loan for a few days.

2. Register to Bid

If you are attending the auction in person you will need to register with one of our clerks before the sale. We will then give you a “paddle” with your unique bidder number on it – you are now ready to bid.

3. Placing a Bid

If you decide not to attend the auction you are able to leave bids in a variety of ways:

Live internet bidding: You are able to bid in real-time during the auction via the internet and compete against the other bidders as if you were in the auction room.

Absentee bids: Absentee bids can be left with Brompton’s either online, by fax or by email.

Bid live at the auction: You can bid at the auction by telephone or in person. (Discuss the best way to make your bid with a member of Brompton’s staff.)

4. Pay & Receive your Instrument

Once you have successfully bought an instrument in one of our sales, full payment is required within seven days of the auction date. Payment may be made by the following: wire transfer in sterling, debit and credit card and cash up to £5,000. Please note credit card payments will only be accepted for one full working day following the date of the auction and at a maximum single transaction of £10,000 per invoice.

5. Shipping

Brompton’s will be happy to direct you to expert fine art shippers who will arrange for professional packing and insurance. Information on VAT refunds and export advice is available through Brompton’s.

View shipping information


Bidding increments

Bid PriceIncrement
£ 100 to £200 £10
£ 200 to £500 £320, £350, £380, £400 etc.
£ 500 to £1,000 £50
£ 1,000 to £2,000 £100
£ 2,000 to £5,000 £3,200, £3,500, £3,800, £4,000 etc.
£ 5,000 to £10,000 £500
£ 10,000 to £20,000 £1,000
£ 20,000 and up Auctioneer's discretion

The auctioneer may vary the increments during the course of the auction at his or her own discretion.