Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I am interested in consigning. What should I do?
A. The first step is to provide Schmitt Horan & Co. detailed information to help us evaluate your collection. This is best done by providing photographs or a written description of the items or some combination of both. There are a few ways you may accomplish this:
1. Send photographs and contact information to
2. Fill out the Free Online Auction Valuation Form
3. Mail information and / or photographs to our mailing address at
Schmitt Horan & Co.
PO Box 31
Candia NH 03034
If you have questions or require further assistance please do not hesitate to call us at (603) 432-2237.
I want to enjoy my collection while living but want to ensure that my family is not left vulnerable after my passing. Can you help?
A. As collectors, we are sometimes hesitant to sell but want to ensure that our family and our collections are protected in the future. Unfortunately, sometimes in the confusion after a collector';s passing an estate can be disposed of hastily and financial returns diminished. Schmitt Horan & Co. offers assistance in estate planning so that you and your heirs can have peace of mind.
To obtain a free auction valuation and/or to find out how we can assist you:
1. See our
Trusts and Estates
and put 'Trust and Estate Planning' in the subject line
3. Call us at
4. Fill out our Free Online Auction Valuation Form.
Please indicate in the notes that this is a request for estate planning purposes.
How much lead time is necessary to get my items into an auction?
A. We generally require items to be in our possession a minimum of 60 to 90 days before the next auction date to consider inclusion in our next live auction. This may vary depending on circumstances, so please contact us to confirm.
Are consignments insured?
A. Some clients would like to or are required to cancel or remove insurance coverage under their home owner's or other personal policy for their valuables. In this case, we offer coverage under our specifically designed fine arts policy provided by Lloyd's of London. We offer full coverage of your collection while it is in our possession at a cost of an additional 1% commission. This 1% fee is assessed on the total hammer price of the collection. If you elect to be included under our policy, coverage takes effect once the item is in our possession, which begins the moment it is loaded into one of our vehicles or arrives by shipment to our office and is unpacked. In the unlikely event of a claim that occurs before the item is sold, evaluation for the insurance claim will be based on pre-auction estimate.
How are consignors paid?
A. Consignors are paid by check made out to the entity requested by the consignor, unless otherwise requested. Payment by wire transfer or other arrangements is possible by request, usually at a small additional fee. Payments are issued 45 days after the final day of the auction.
Where do you advertise or promote your auctions?
A. We are front runners in our field for having a strong emphasis on marketing and have a very active social media presence while spending heavily on advertising through Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube. In traditional media, we advertise in the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) MART, the Antiquarian Horological Journal, major trade publications including the Maine Antique Digest (MAD), the Arts and Antiques Weekly (The Bee), etc. We also have an e-mail newsletter with a subscriber base of over 4000 clients and do several direct mailings a year, both domestically and internationally.
Where are the live auctions held?
A. Live auctions are held on-site at our new facilities located at
80 Raymond Rd, Candia, New Hampshire 03034.
What are the advantages to selling at auction?
A. Auctions expose your item or collection to a larger audience where free market forces and competitive bidding can enhance the value of items and increase your financial return. Auctioneers working on a commission basis have a cooperative relationship with the consignor, where incentives are aligned and both parties want to maximize the hammer price of every item or lot. This maximizes the return for both the auctioneer, who is working on commission, and the consignor. An individual or entity making a private purchase has a competitive relationship with the buyer or consignor. Someone making a private offer has an incentive to buy low, meaning the seller or consignor receives as little as possible and sell high so that the buyer may maximize his or her profit. Would you prefer someone working with you and for you or someone working against you when your bottom line is at stake?
Is there a better time of year to sell?
A. Both our Spring and Fall live auctions are very successful events and provide our clients an excellent opportunity to liquidate.
What is Schmitt Horan & Co.&'s commission rate and fee structure?
A. Schmitt Horan & Co. offers commission rates based on the quality of the consignment. Please contact us for more details. Other fees may include a 1% optional insurance fee, repair or restoration fees if requested by the consignor and pick up or delivery fees. All fees are negotiable and are determined prior to the final agreement. There are no hidden fees.
Can I set a minimum price or reserve?
A. In auction parlance this is referred to as a reserve. A reserve is the minimum price a consignor is willing to accept and below which the consignor's property shall not be sold. At Schmitt Horan & Co we generally discourage reserves as our long established and well tested market and our conservative approach to auction estimates are a good indication on how items will perform. However, we do understand that there are circumstances where a reserve is appropriate. Under these circumstances, the auctioneer and the consignor shall agree to a reasonable reserve, executed by the auction house on behalf of the consignor.
Who arranges pickup or shipping of the property to be sold?
A. Once a consignment agreement is reached and you have signed a contract designating Schmitt Horan & Co. to help you dispose of your collection, you may choose to drop off or arrange shipping to our Windham, New Hampshire location. If this is not possible and the size or extent of the collection does not make this practical, Schmitt Horan & Co. travels nationwide and internationally to pick up consignments. Deciding on whether you need our pick up service depends upon many factors and your needs, which we are happy to discuss with you. There is typically a conservative fee charged for this service so that we may cover expenses associated with truck rental, supplies, staffing, hotels, meals and other travel expenses, etc. Do not let transport of your collection deter you from consigning. We are excellent at securely and safely moving large collections with a personal touch.
What happens if my items do not sell?
A. We will either have the item returned to you or offer it for sale in the next auction.
Will my items be made into group lots?
A. This may happen based on the value of a specific item. Our policy is that items presented in our live auctions must have a minimum pre-auction estimate of $500 to be sold individually. Any item that does not meet this value criteria may be grouped into a lot with one or more other items.
Who are your buyers?
A. As a well-respected auction house with an international reputation we attract buyers from all over the world with a strong following in the United States, Canada, Europe and China. We offer our own proprietary online bidding platform for the convenience of our bidders, which is unique in the industry for an auction house of our size. We are also partners with
who provide bidding services to tens of thousands of auction houses and millions of bidders from dozens of different countries scattered across the globe.
What do I need to do to prepare my items for auction?
A. We will provide instructions to you as needed based on whether you will be delivering, shipping or having the items picked up.
Who will be describing and estimating my items?
A. We have a team of experts working for us to describe your item and market it so that it is properly described and photographed and fairly represented to buyers. We also work hard to highlight the beauty and desirability of each item in our high quality full color glossy catalogs, professional videos, detailed technically astute descriptions and extensive photographs. You can follow this link to see profiles of our experts:
Our Team of Experts
May I attend the auction?
A. You may attend the auction, but it is not necessary. Consignors are always welcome to attend, however we understand that scheduling and other commitments may make this impossible. We provide a detailed report on your items after the auction. If you cannot attend, but would still like to participate during the day of the auction you may watch the auction live on our
YouTube Channel, follow the bidding on our own in-house online bidding platform at Schmitt Horan Online.
Can I bid on my own items?
A. No. Under no conditions can a consignor bid on their own items. If the consignor would like to 'protect' an item or items it is necessary to enact a reserve or minimum. See above.
What happens if a buyer doesn't pay or wants to return an item?
A. The consignor is not paid for items that a buyer may default on. We will either have the item returned to you or offer it for sale in the next auction.
Will my items go in a live auction or online only auction?
A. This depends on the nature of the consignment and the needs of the consignor. This decision will be made by the auctioneer after consultation with the consignor.