What reserve price will Ron put on his goods in the forthcoming auction at Mullock’s? If he fails to set a reserve, he may well see it all going for £50 (our estimate). If he sets a reserve based upon his estimate, that could get very expensive, in view of the following (from Mullock’s Terms and Conditions for Vendors):
d) Lots may be offered subject to a reserve as agreed between the Auctioneers and Vendor and once agreed may only be changed with the consent of the Auctioneers.
g) Items withdrawn from the sale after the items have been catalogued are subject to a withdrawal fee of 10% of the reserve price or lower guide price (minimum £5.00) to cover handling and cataloguing costs.
i) A non sold fee of up to 5% may be charged at the Auctioneers discretion.
Could he get out of this by borrowing a lot of money and bidding (or having a friend bid) for his own items? No, that is ruled out by condition (f). And, even if Mullock’s bid on his behalf, he would still have to pay their commission!