“ Gaze & Son was founded in 1857 and is a leading provincial auction house of the region, occupying well appointed auction rooms in the market town of Diss equidistant between Bury St. Edmunds, Norwich and Ipswich. „
Gaze's is based in the market town of Diss which is on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Diss, like many market towns has a real sense of community and tradition, and Gaze's is a big part of this.
I used to live at the end of the road that houses Gaze's auction house.
Many market towns in East Anglia have their own auction house, whether for livestock, farm equipment, antiques or bric-a-brac they are worth going to on Auction day just to people watch and mooch around, and Gaze's in Diss is no exception.
Auction day itself is Friday, but you can get a catalogue of the various lots in advance, either by subscription, or by requesting an individual copy - we used to get a copy delivered to our office each week, and it was always well perused by members of staff looking to see what was coming up for sale and wondering if we too could make money from something that was cluttering up our hallway!
Viewing of lots takes place on a Thursday afternoon and evening, so if you are in the vicinity of the saleroom on a Thursday don't be surprised to find the nearby lanes parked up with potential purchasers - Gaze's car park is not huge, and is often full of "lots" for the auction - farm equipment, or garden paraphenalia, so the lanes become the place to park. This could cause a problem I suppose, but the residents (of which I used to be one) nearby seem to take this all in their stride, and as the auction room had been around longer than we had, there seemed no point in ever making an issue of it!
Thursday evening viewing, especially on a Summer's evening, is a really nice way of passing an hour or two, whether you are looking to buy something, or merely window shopping. I have been to have a wander around with a friend, commenting on the beauty (or otherwise) of some of the lots, and have been a number of times on my own, just because I can! Viewing is very relaxed and the staff are always helpful.
The auction itself is on a Friday morning, and if you are a potential purchaser, you need to register as such in order to obtain your buyer's number. The staff will inform you of the buyer's premium that applies to that sale - it is important to take this into account when bidding because it can significantly increase the total amount that you pay, and could take you over your budget if you do not realise.
I believe that there is a £1.50 (ish) entry fee to the auction, so bear this in mind and have a bit of change in your pocket - well worth it though, if you like people watching etc!
There are a number of auction rooms, so make sure you are in the one that is selling the item you are interested in, otherwise you may end up coming home with rabbit for dinner or 5 dozen eggs, instead of the oak side table you were originally after.
Bidding is fascinating to watch, with the auctioneers doing exactly as you would expect if you have watched television programmes like "cash in the attic" or "bargain hunt" - if you are bidding for something yourself, your heart will be beating pretty quickly, so make sure you have your wits about you, and you don't either miss your lot, or end up getting carried away and over-bidding!
If you cannot be there in person, you can arrange to bid by telephone, via their website (details at the end) or by fax.
You can collect your newly purchased item on a Saturday - beware, it gets very busy! Alternatively you may be able to arrange carriage through the Auction room if you are out of the area.
If you are a seller, then Gaze's can give you advice on the value of your item at the auction room, or other locality by appointment, and usually free of charge if you are looking to place it in the sale.
If your item is bulky, Gaze's can arrange for it to be collected, but this costs £40 plus VAT per hour, so should only be used if you have a high value item, otherwise you may end up out of pocket.
If you sell your item, you will have to pay commission which is generally 10% of the selling price up to £500 and 5% thereafter. Gaze's are prompt to pay you - this is by cheque available on the evening of the sale - not bad at all!
This auction house has been featured on some of the Daytime TV programmes, and it is fun trying to spot people that I might know........sad, I know, but it passes a pleasant minute or two!
Their website is www.twgaze.com, and the auction room can be found on Roydon Road in Diss. Their staff are very professional and always happy to help.