Selling at IAA
The procedure for selling your autographs through our auctions, whether it be a single item or a complete collection, is a relatively simple exercise, and we hope that the notes below will answer any queries you may have ahead of using our services.
What can we sell on your behalf?
Our auctions typically contain a broad range of autographs in all forms. We principally offer autograph letters, manuscripts, historical documents and signed photographs, and also sell signed programmes, books, menus and other souvenirs, First Day Covers, original signed prints, cartoons and other artwork, clipped signatures as well as, of course, the traditional autograph album. The auctions also feature the signatures of a diverse range of famous, and infamous, historical figures and other celebrities including artists, authors, classical musicians, composers, opera singers and ballet dancers, royalty and world leaders, Nobel Prize winners and scientists, inventors, military leaders, the stars of stage and screen, rock ‘n’ roll singers, sportsmen and women, criminals and almost any other famous individual from any walk of life! We also occasionally feature vintage photographs, printed ephemera, memorabilia, artefacts or personal belongings relating to historical events or famous people.
How do you find out if your autograph is authentic and of value?
We offer free valuations, without obligation, on individual autographs and complete collections. Initially we recommend that you contact us via the valuation request form on this website. It is most helpful if you can provide as much information as possible and images of what you are looking to sell are always of particular benefit. The value of autographs can depend on many factors, not least authenticity, condition and rarity. The contents of letters and documents can also greatly influence the value. Most lots that we sell, whether they be single items or a selection included in one lot, must be entered with a minimum estimate of £80-100.
How do IAA estimate the value of your autograph?
Each lot that is entered into our auctions, whether it be a single autograph or a group lot of signatures, is accompanied by an estimate. This is effectively a guide price of what we would expect the lot to realise on the day of the auction. The estimates are based on our extensive knowledge and experience in selling a wide range of autographs by auction. Our estimates are generally conservative as we have consistently found that this generates more interest and competitive bidding from buyers.
How do you get your autographs to IAA?
Autographs should be sent to us securely packed and preferably by one of the Royal Mail’s tracked services. If you are sending items from overseas, then we would recommend an insured service or a courier such as Federal Express. The address to send consignments to is
Foxhall Business Centre
All deliveries are signed for upon receipt by a member of our staff and a vendor receipt will be sent to you once the autographs have been approved for sale.
Clients are also welcome to deliver autographs personally to our offices although an appointment is necessary. The offices are open between 9am and 5.30pm Monday – Friday.
In the case of particularly large or significant collections we would be willing to travel to discuss, inspect and collect the autographs.
How much commission will IAA charge?
International Autograph Auctions Ltd. charge a commission rate of 17.5% plus VAT. The commission rate including VAT is 21%. Vendors from outside the European Union are not charged VAT. This competitive commission rate applies to both trade and private individuals.
Are there any other charges?
Each lot that it is entered into our auctions is both illustrated in a printed catalogue and on four websites which broadcast the auction live to internet bidders around the world and are integral to achieving the best prices for your consignment. There is an illustration charge of £12 (plus VAT) per lot. The minimum charge whether sold, not sold or withdrawn is £4.70 per lot and the fee for withdrawing a lot prior to the sale is 5.88% of the reserve (or our estimated value if no reserve has been agreed). A full schedule of terms and conditions can be viewed on the relevant page of this website.
Do IAA insure my autographs?
Yes, we cover all goods held on our premises and in our custody against the risk of fire, theft and water damage. There is no additional charge for insurance.
Do IAA place a reserve price on my autographs?
Yes, mutually acceptable reserves, a minimum sale price, can be placed on lots in the auction. These should, where possible, be agreed before the items are catalogued and will be confirmed to you on the vendor receipt. However, as a company policy we do not generally sell lots for less than two-thirds of the bottom estimate unless instructed otherwise.
Do you charge to have my autographs verified and authenticated?
No, all of the autographs that pass through our auctions are personally inspected and authenticated by our experts and there is no additional charge for this.
How will IAA obtain the best possible price for my autograph?
There are no guarantees when you sell an autograph, or any other item, at any auction. The final price is ultimately determined by the bidders and what they are prepared to pay on the day. However, by selling at auction the ‘sky is the limit’ and quite often lots can sell for two, three, four or even more times their estimate. What International Autograph Auctions can offer you is the peace of mind that your autographs will be presented in a professional manner, catalogued and researched accurately and that, through our catalogues, website and other sales forums, they will be presented to one of the widest possible audiences of autograph enthusiasts from around the world.
When will you sell my autographs?
Most consignments will be entered into the next available auction and you will be advised of the date of the sale. In some cases, particularly with large collections, the autographs may be entered across a number of consecutive auctions.
When, and how, will IAA send payment for my autographs?
Clients are normally paid by direct bank transfer 28 days after the sale. A statement will be e-mailed or posted to you. If clients wish to be paid by cheque or in an alternative currency to Sterling then arrangements for this can be easily made.
What happens if your autograph doesn’t find a buyer?
Our auctions consistently achieve a successful sale rate of over 70%, so there is a very strong chance that your autograph will find a new home. However, should the autograph fail to sell it will usually be returned to you promptly following the auction. In some circumstances we may consider re-offering the lot, with a lower estimate, at a later date.