Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh

Our Auctions

Why you should deal with us !

Here we pitch the advantages for sellers side-by-side with the advantages for buyers. We're happy for each group to see what we do for the other.

Thinking of buying through our auctions ?
Thinking of selling through our auctions ?
Our auctions are regular (usually at least six per year).

Our auctions are spaced roughly two months apart, so if material is too late for one it is not too long to wait for the next.
Our descriptions are well-known for being accurate and not "over-selling" material. The percentage of lots which are returned to us for any reason is tiny (a fraction of one per cent).

Customers bid confidently for our lots as we have a good reputation for fair and accurate descriptions.
The estimates on our lots are our own estimates, and we are not influenced by the views or demands of vendors.

Your material will be treated in the same even-handed manner as every other vendor. You do not need to have any knowledge of market prices as we undertake all valuations ourselves.
Only a tiny proportion of our lots have reserves. Otherwise we will normally start bidding at about two-thirds of our estimates.
Because we will simply reject any material on which vendors want a reserve which we think is unreasonable, the sales are not cluttered up with lots which are not really up for "open sale to the highest bidder".

Our customers are able to bid with confidence, knowing that if they want to buy something, all they need to do is beat the other bidders. They don't face the situation where they are willing to pay a reasonable price but don't get the lot because of a vendor's unrealistic reserve.
Our charges to buyers are some of the most reasonable in the business;
> Buyer's premium of 10% on hammer prices (vat-inclusive)
> No surcharge for use of normal UK debit and credit cards
> Lots sent out to absentee bidders are charged just the actual cost of postage
[Many other auctioneers charge between 15% and 20% premium, often with vat in addition, a charge of 1% to 3% for use of cards is quite common, and many auctioneers charge a bit extra for packing of postal purchases.]

Our charges to vendors are some of the most reasonable in the business;
> Vendor commission of 12% (+ vat)
> Lot fee of £1.50 per lot (+ vat)
> Vendor administration fee of £6.50 per vendor per auction (+ vat)
> No fee for illustrations of our choice
> No extra charge for insurance
[Many other auctioneers charge between 15% and 20% commission (+ vat), most will have a minimum charge per lot which is often between £5 and £20, and it is quite common to be charged an extra fee for illustrations and insurance.]
Catalogues are free to active customers, either by post or through our website.
Any customers who are doing no active bidding (or only a very small amount) can still get catalogues for £1 each, or £9 per annum by post. Access to catalogues online is always free.

We have a wide circulation of catalogues;
> To our regular postal mailing list who get printed catalogues
> To our regular email mailing list, who get directed to the catalogue on our website
> To a number of philatelic societies
> To selected specialist collectors, dealers, and institutions when there is material suited to their interests
Viewing  is available in our shop during five days in the week prior to the auction, as well as at the auction venue on the day of the sale.
Absentee bidders can also request further information about lots, or get us to do scans.

The public auction itself is held in comfortable surroundings at a rugby club near our shop, with reasonably-priced bar, free car park, and handy public transport..

We act almost entirely as "consignment auctioneers", meaning that our business is selling material on behalf of other people. Yes, if we have material we want to sell for ourselves we will use our own auction, but this accounts for only a very small proportion of the lots we sell. Remember that some auctions contain material entirely (or almost entirely) belonging to the auctioneer.

Our auction process is deliberately transparent. We publish in each catalogue the prices at which lots sold in the previous sale. This is useful information for buyers, and is also an open record which customers who were in attendance can check for accuracy.
An average auction will normally have material belonging to perhaps 40 to 60 different vendors, and will regularly consist of one to two tons of auction lots. (Of course, that can be everything from single, scarce, expensive stamps, to large cartons of low-value material.)
Vendors are kept informed of their property's progress through the sale process. Each vendor gets a copy of the catalogue send to them in advance of the sale, along with a Sale Advice Note that lists their lot numbers. Settlements are then normally sent out four weeks after the auction date (subject to payments in to us being received and cleared). The settlements list the prices realised for each lot, and shows the calculation of our charges to reach the net figure.

We are able to handle various groups of collectables all through our auctions - stamps, covers, postcards. cigarette & trade cards, coins, medals, banknotes, and occasionally other areas.

As we run a retail shop as well as our auctions, we are in daily contact with collectors and therefore have an excellent insight into the current market and trends. Many of our customers frequent both our retail shop and our auctions.

People coming to our shop (appointments usually necessary) can get good general advice and a realistic valuation, free of charge, before deciding whether to sell. See more information at this link.
Robert Murray is a full member of both the Scottish Philatelic Trade Association and the Philatelic Traders Society, the main stamp trade organisations in Scotland and the U.K. Each of these trade bodies has a Code of Ethics to which members must adhere. Should any customer have a complaint that cannot be settled, they can take it to either of these organisations.

We have been running auctions since 1977.
We are full members in good standing of the Scottish Philatelic Trade Association and of the Philatelic Traders Society.
We have for many years been Scotland's leading specialist auctioneers of stamps, coins, and allied collectables.
Link to our general auction information page (including links to auction catalogues).

 Last updated Thursday 13 April 2017.
Copyright Robert Murray 2017. Errors and ommissions excepted.
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Robert Murray Stamp Shop
5 & 6 Inverleith Gardens
Scotland EH3 5PU
Tel. 0131 552 1220 or 0131 478 7021
Email; [email protected]
How to Order
Mail Orders are accepted by post, telephone, or email. We accept payments by cash, cheque, debit card, Visa/MasterCard, and some foreign currencies.
Basically, we charge [the advertised price of the goods] plus [the actual price of postage] plus [£1 per order handling charge]. 
Full details can be seen at our How to Order page.
Our Retail Shop  is our principal method of business, and is open four days each week Customers are always, of course, welcome.
We carry very wide stocks of the whole world - much, much more than is listed on our website.
All the world's
                        philatelic bureaux
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