Selling to Thomas Turner vs. selling at Auction

Often we are asked by sellers, will we get more at auction than Thomas Turner pay? Well, that’s not an easy one-stop answer, but here are some things to consider.

If you send your collection to an auction they basically take control of your goods. I know, I worked for one for over 16 years prior to joining TT. Control of how they lot it, describe it, catalogue and photograph it and sell it, or not on the day.

If you’re lucky you may land one or two of the specialised auction companies in the UK. If not you are in the hands of a person with limited if any knowledge of the antique tackle world.

This is a specialised market demanding specialist knowledge a lifetime will not complete. 

Auction Houses charge Commission on the sale, normally 17-25% plus VAT. They can also charge Lot fees, handling fees, photography fees, storage plus probably a collection charge and non-sold fees if it doesn’t sell. You can easily lose 30% + of your money, assuming they take it all and sell it all.

If not you end up with some of the items back having paid to not sell them and then nobody wants the residue. Normally you wait up to 6 months for the next specialist sale only to be told some of your collection is not suitable! We often buy from these sales to re-sell, which tells a story on its own.

When we value a collection, we generally take it all and pay on the day, there and then. Yes we are a business, established 1838, and yes we make a profit, no apologies for that.

We pride ourselves in offering a fair payment for good quality items. It’s a hassle free, pleasant, discreet negotiation and a cup of tea will help the deal along too!

So, if you have antique, vintage classic or modern tackle for coarse, game, sea or big game fishing, get in touch with us to sell.

Give me, John Stephenson, a call at Thomas Turner and let’s talk tackle.

Call 07548 871985 or email