Why Buy in a Live Auction?

Harmers International, Inc. provides buyers the opportunity to purchase philatelic material in a professional, public auction. Many purchasers favor live Harmer auctions over other purchasing methods because:

  •  A buyer is able to set your own price and the market will establish the value
  • A buyer can bid to his or her own comfort level.
  • The buying process is quick and free from haggling.
  • Auctions present an opportunity for the buyers to get good deals.
  • The buyer is purchasing from professional philatelists who stand behind their description of the items.
  •  Buyers have honest transactions with organized and straightforward rules backed by the Harmers integrity and the security of dealing with a licensed and bonded auctioneer.
  • Harmers’ auctions are conducted in the “old fashion” auction style and are fun and often entertaining.

Points to consider when bidding in a Harmer’s auction.

Whether this is your first or seven hundred and first auction, there are some points you should keep in mind when participating in our auction.  Some of these hints apply to all auctions and some are unique to Harmers.  As always if you have any questions, please contact us.

Initial Auction Announcement

  • * Note The date, time and location of the auction.
    • -Dates are usually listed on the website.
  • Registered clients will receive an e-mail announcement.
  • – Make certain that HarmersInternational.com and info@harmers-int.com are on your white list.
  • – Look for advertisements in the stamp publications.
  • – If you prefer hard copies of Catalogs make certain that you are on our list.
  • Call us at 914.962.6900 and ask.

The Catalog

  1. The Most important item is to check the date, time and location of the auction.
    • – The mail is not dependable and having an auction catalogue arrive after the auction is a common experience.
  2. Sales catalogues are generally mailed to our customers three-four weeks prior to the auction to allow potential bidders to inspect the items prior to bidding.
    • – The mails are not reliable.
    • – Many auction houses are reducing the number of mailed catalogs due to both the high cost of mailing and the popularity of online searches.
  3. Look for Cataloges online. The online versions have more photos.
    • – Stamp Auction Network has the initial version.
    •  – Any additional photos are posted on our website under Auctions.
  4. Those interested in receiving hard copies of our catalogues can call or email.

You Have Found Something of Interest - Now What?

Arrange to View the Items if Necessary

In many cases personal viewing in unnecessary.

  • Our website contains detailed images, usually both front and back of item as well as any certificates for your inspection.

In most cases, items are returnable if they are not as described.  There are some exceptions and you will need to decide if you would like to view the items.  The exceptions are:

      • Large Lots
      • Lots containing more then 5 items
      • Lots that state that the item is sold “as is” can not be returned.
      • The conditions of sale contains all the specifics and should be reviewed or ask us.

The “Viewing” section on our website has for more information regarding the methods of available viewing.

Decide upon a Bidding Method

There are many different ways to bid – Please refer to our “Bidding” Section of the website.  Most of the methods require a pre-registration.

  • If you are using an Agent, they have their own policies for notification.
  • If you are a known client – we make everything very easy.
  • If this is your first time bidding with us or you are new to philately, we do our best to accommodate you in what ever bidding method you choose.

Make Special Arrangements if Needed

As an Auctioneer, our job is to protect our consignors.  We do not ask for your credit card and rarely enforce a deposit requirement for new bidders.

If you are a new bidder an believe that you will spend more than $5,000, please give us a head’s up, so we know who you are.

If you believe that you would like terms, we should agree in advance.

If you would like to take your lots on the same day of the sale, please let us know.

The Day of the Auction

Show up Early

  • Show up to the auction location early, the lots move quickly.
  • If you are bidding online, check your equipment and connection.

Make certain you allow enough time to avoid disappointment.

Register to Bid

Regardless of how you bid, registration is required, so we know to whom we should award a winning lot.

  • Harmers International, Inc. does not use auction paddles and each of our bidders has their own, often unique, signal to the auctioneer.


Make certain that the auctioneer sees and acknowledges your bid; if you have a doubt, SPEAK UP, this is not a silent auction.

  • Listen closely to the auctioneer because the bidding increments and opening amounts may change based upon any given lot. The bidding increments are at the discretion of the auctioneer.

If you are having trouble understanding the auction speak up and ask for clarification before you bid.

Taking your Purchase

Please make arrangements in advance if you would like to take your purchase on the day of the auction.

If you pick up your items at the auction, we must charge sales tax based on the location of the sale.  You will need to weigh the savings in shipping against the sales tax.  Most customers elect to have their purchases shipped.

Final words

If you are having trouble understanding the auction speak up and ask for clarification before you bid.

  • The process can be fast, so pay attention and make certain the auctioneer knows you are bidding, particularly if you plan to jump in at the last minute.
  •  If you know that you would like to have the expertised at the time of your bid, please indicate such at the time your bid is knocked down.
  • Make certain you understand the conditions of sale.
  • Have Fun!