Head of Sales Lawrence Bright went over to visit one of our customers to find out what they thought about the service so far.
Fieldings Auctioneers are based in Stourbridge, historic home of the UK’s glass manufacturing and the golden age of Victorian firm Thomas Webb.
Fieldings are perfectly at home here with their flagship ‘Decades of Design’ sales spearheaded by the resident Antiques Road Show 20thc decorative arts specialist Will Farmer.
Also running the show are fellow director Nick Davies and experienced office manager Judith Woolgar. I had a chat with Nick and Judith about our services, market conditions and what their plans are for the future.
Fieldings switched to easyliveAuction back-office and live bidding systems from a different back-office system. They also use easyliveAuction’s bidding platform alongside another.
Nick Davies – “the back office is pretty much faultless! And we have also seen excellent results – in just two auctions. The trade absolutely love the £3 bidding option, which saves them having to pay the 5% commission on the other platform we use. We have found they are already factoring in a few more bids with more margin to play with, and this has benefitted our Buyer’s Premium as a result.
Inevitably, this has meant more bidders stay at home now they can bid virtually free of charge, but it is something we can live with.”
This naturally takes us to the question of whether rostrum sales are destined to become a thing-of-the-past at some stage. For Nick, he isn’t so sure. Their focus is about drawing people into the experience of live auctions. Their brand new website www.fieldingsauctioneers.co.uk has the slogan ‘Welcome to Fieldings, the approachable Auctioneers.
Nick Davies – “It is about making customers feel less afraid of auctions. We always invite new vendors to come and see their lots being sold and changing to Saturday sales was a decision made to pull in a fresher, younger crowd who hadn’t previously attended auctions. And there is always a bidder who comes in specially for an item and having made the journey, refuses to go home empty handed!”
When I asked about how the business is doing Nick is sanguine.
Nick Davies – “Like most auctioneers, we appreciate it when a star lot comes our way. Jewellery and watches are still doing very well and our selling rates remain high. We can’t ask for more than that really”.
Judith is a main user of our back-office. She gave it a very positive thumbs-up.
Judith Woolgar – “The way it has streamlined our business has been pretty miraculous. I’d say we are saving 2 days around sale day and the phone calls have dropped to a quarter of previous levels. This is mainly because the way it (Auctioneer) deals with bidders post-sale. Now all bidders are notified which lots they have won and lost, they can pay directly online into the back office and the shipping module ensures all bidders are kept up-to-date when their items have been packed and shipped”.
Judith particularly raved about the payments side.
Judith Woolgar – “Cashing up now is so easy, because, we can look at all payments types on one screen or print them out and pick any day or multiple days. And unlike our old back office, it actually provide the names of the payees alongside the payments ! It sounds so simple and obvious but this feature has been a huge time saving device”.
So what plans are there for the future?
Nick Davies – “It is important to become more specialist in what you do to reflect the market, so we have taken on two new members to the team. Rachel Holland has joined as Asian Art specialist and Kayleigh Davies is the new Toy Valuer”.