frequently asked questions

Questions & Answers about Bickenstaff & Knowles

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What is an Auction?

An auction is a method of selling one or more individual items (called Auction Lots) at which an Auctioneer announces, displays and describes each Lot to all prospective buyers present.

Individual bidders then make bids (the net price they wish to offer for the Lot), with successive bidders competing against them by making higher bids.

This competitive bidding continues, each bid being announced by the Auctioneer. until no higher bids are made in response to the Auctioneerr's final invitation.

The Lot in question is then sold to the bidder who has made the last highest bid, the sale and conclusion of bidding being indicated by the fall of the Auctioneer's hammer. More auction info...

What is a Direct-to-the-Public Sale?

At a Direct-to-the-Public Sale, a number of items are individually displayed and tagged with their sale price, size and other details, - all such items are made available to the public for purchase during set opening times over a certain period (1 day, a weekend or longer). Items are sold as and when they are selected and paid for, and must usually be removed from the sale venue immediately following purchase. More direct sales info...

Are there reserves on the items you sell at your auctions?

Depending upon the instructions we have received, some of the items at our auctions (usually the rarest or most valuable Lots) may have minimum reserve prices below which our clients will not permit them to be sold - many other Lots will normally be offered without any reserves - i.e. they will be sold to the highest bid, however much (or little) that bid is.

The number of Lots with reserves (whether all, some or none) varies from auction to auction - you should ask the auctioneer about this during the Viewing period that precedes each auction event.

Can I be notified about your forthcoming auctions or sales in my area?

Simply use the form on our Contact page to be added to our mailing list.

Will you buy some Oriental rugs I want to sell, or can you sell them for me?

We act solely as agents for third parties and normally only handle very substantial commissions.

However, we usually have a number of clients with specific requirements and can offer your rugs to them on your behalf if they are appropriate. In the first instance please email photographs and full details of any items you wish us to consider in this respect (NB email attachments must not exceed 5 MB).

You can also sell your carpets through our associated company Oriental Carpet Brokers for as little as £25.00 + Commission. Click here for further information on this service

I am a carpet dealer and want to sell my stock. Can you help?

We have worked with many companies in the past and offer custom made solutions to the carpet trade. Please call us on +44 (0)20 7091 73 73 or email us directly.

Is buying at Auction/DirectPublic Sale cheaper than in the shops?

At our direct public sales you are definitely better off than in the shops. All our commissions are carefully negotiated and we consequently receive very favourable instructions. We also keep our overheads to an absolute minimum and do not have any high street showrroms. We always pass these savings directly to you.

At auctions it depends entirely on the degree of competition in the bidding for each Lot. If only a few bids are made on the Lot(s) you want, you can certainly purchase them very cheaply, often at a mere fraction of their real market value.

I want to start a carpet business. Can you supply me with goods?

If you have are registered as a UK businesses and have been trading for over 18 months we may be able to help you. As we act as an intermediary with third parties; we can sometimes provide brokerage services on a commission basis if you wish to buy any consignments through us.

Do you conduct commercial or charity auctions for other people?

Please email us the date and a description of the event and your contact details. We will then get back to you to discuss possibilities.

I am a manufacturer of handmade carpets. Do you buy carpets?

No. We do not buy any carpets or rugs directly from manufacturers.

How do I know that any rug/carpet I buy from you is genuine and handmade?

All stock we accept for disposal is individually examined and authenticated by our experts prior to being released for sale. Certificates of Authenticity are automatically provided for buyers at many of our events, or can be provided without cost upon request to our offices

I wanted to bid on a carpet but I could not come to your auction/sale. Can I still buy items after the sale?

Sometimes this is possible, if the item(s) remain unsold. Please contact us with the date and location of the event and the Lot numbers or Item Reference numbers you were interested in.

I had a fire/burglary/flooding - can you value my carpets for Insurance Purposes?

We can. Currently, we charge £45.00 per item for Insurance Appraisals undertaken at first-hand/in situ and £25.00 per item for email appraisals based on photographs and details you provide. An appraisal is only based on expert opinion and may or may not be sufficient for an insurance claim. Travel expenses and other ancilliary costs may apply. More Valuations and Appraisals info...

Where do your carpets come from?

Unless specifically described otherwise, the rugs and carpets we offer are all handmade and originate from all the traditional carpet making regions and countries of the East, primarily from Persia, Afghanistan, Anatolia (Turkey), Central Asia, India, Pakistan, China, Morocco and the nomadic weaving tribes of Asia such as the Qashqai, Baluch, Afshars etc.

Do you also sell machine made carpets?

Very occasionally some old inventory of machine made rugs will be included in the largest stocks we are commissioned to liquidate - these will always be clearly identified and offered without reserve at auctions or for minimal price at our direct sales. But 99.9% of the time, we offer exclusively genuine handmade examples.

Can I leave absentee bids for items in your auctions?

You can. Commission Bidding slips are available during the viewing periods which always precede our auction events. We can also by prior arrangement telephone you during the actual course of any auction if you want to bid live on any item(s). We also accept absentee bids by email provided we have your full name and address and other contact details on record.

Do you accept returns?

The only circumstances under which we can or will accept returns and issue refunds is if any item should prove not to be authentic, unless clearly described as such at point of sale, in accordance with our Standard Conditions of Sale. An independant second expert opinion may be required in such cases, if in our opinion the item in question is authentic. Otherwise, in consequence of our undertakings with our commissioning clients, all sales at our Auctions and Public sales are final.

What about if a carpet I buy from you turns out to be damaged? Will you take it back?

Because of our return policy we cannot take any goods back. Where contemporary items are involved, we aim to sell all our carpets and rugs in new/perfect condition; old and antique items may obviously exhibit a degree of wear or damage, and should obviously be very carefully checked by intending buyers in this respect prior to bidding on or buying them. Every item gets checked before it is released for sale. Where possible, we will always point out if there is a problem with the rug. However, in accordance with common auction and liquidation practice, it is the intending buyer's responsibility to check condition as well as all other aspects of an item prior to bidding on it or buying it, as clearly stipulated in our Conditions of Business.

Do you have a warehouse or showroom I can visit?

We sometimes place items from our commissions, pending their inclusion in forthcoming auctions and/or direct sales, in the warehouse and >the online shop of Oriental Carpet Brokers, one of our associates in the Rippon Boswell International group. If you wish to buy carpets from us you can contact Oriental Carpet Brokers. Sometimes we assign some of our stock to them.

Do you do Oriental carpet repairs and cleaning?

We do. Usually it takes about 3 weeks for us to clean/repair an item. Please contact us by telephone or email us for a quotation.