Auction Rules – on-line auctions


OA 1.1    The On-line Auction is intended to run as effectively and economically as possible whilst at the same time giving all members an equal opportunity to buy or sell items as well as helping to indicate the values of items in their collections.

Application and Amendment of Rules

OA 2.1    These Rules shall apply to On-line Auctions organised by the Society.

OA 2.2    Any Seller, Bidder, Buyer or Committee appointee participating in an On-line Auction shall be deemed to have read, understood and agreed to be bound by these Rules.

OA 2.3    These Rules may be amended by a majority decision of the Committee and such amendment shall be effective on notification to participants.


OA 3.1    The Committee shall appoint an On-line Auction Manager as well as Auctioneers, Clerks, Administrators, Holder of Lots and others as honorary officers to try to ensure the fair, efficient and economic conduct of On-line Auctions.

OA 3.2    The On-line Auction Manager and Clerk shall retain all records and accounts of each On-line auction for inspection by the Committee.

OA 3.3    The On-line Auction Manager will select a suitable on-line platform for running the On-line Auction which is secure and robust, and will communicate this choice to the Committee. The On-line Auction Manager will set up the On-line Auctions as required. The On-line Auction Manager may change the platform as and when necessary, and must inform the Committee of the change.


OA 4.1    Only members of the Society may buy or sell through an On-line Auction.

OA 4.2    All transactions, including all bids and all payments, shall be in British Pounds (GBP) and will preferably be made using electronic funds transfer.

OA 4.3    Members can take part in an On-line Auction by submitting a Request to Participate to the On-line Auction Manager at least twenty (20) days in advance of the Auction date. Members will be encouraged to attend a familiarisation session before participating in their first On-line Auction.

OA 4.4    The On-line Auction Manager will ensure that members who do not have on-line access will not be prevented from participating in the On-line Auctions.

Role of Society

OA 5.1    The Society auctions each Lot on behalf of the Seller as agent only and cannot accept any responsibility for the disputes that may arise between a Seller and a Buyer. However, the Committee will attempt to assist in resolving any dispute as far as is reasonably practicable.

Lot Entry

OA 6.1    A Seller may request a maximum of five Lots to be entered in an On-line Auction by first providing a suitable, written, brief accurate description of each Lot including its type, condition, quantity and weight, and must provide photographic images to the On-line Auction Manager by the Closing Date for Lot Entry as set out in the Auction Timetable. The On-line Auction Manager shall, after consultation with other relevant officers, confirm to the Seller in writing whether or not each Lot can be accepted and accommodated.

OA 6.2    Within constraints set by the Committee, the On-line Auction Manager shall determine the total number of Lots comprising any one On-line Auction.

OA 6.3    Where space is not available for the next On-line Auction the On-line Auction Manager, after consultation with the Seller, may choose to either return Lots to the Seller at the Seller’s expense or hold them over for a future On-line Auction.

OA 6.4    The On-line Auction Manager will acknowledge in writing any Lots received only when requested and at the expense of the Seller.

OA 6.5    Lots that the On-line Auction Manager decides are suitable must be sent to the Holder of Lots by the Seller at their own expense within fifteen (15) days of acceptance. The On-line Auction Manager may reject any Lot received which is not as described by the Seller, and return it to the Seller at the Seller’s expense.

OA 6.6    In order to differentiate the On-line Auction from other Auctions it will be limited to a Minimum Number of twenty (20) Lots and the Minimum Value of each Lot is ten (10) pounds. The On-line Auction Manager may change these limits if necessary and will communicate any such changes to the Committee at least forty five (45) days in advance of the Auction date.

OA 6.7   Lots which are returned to Sellers at their own expense will be sent by second class mail and a certificate of posting obtained. Sellers can request UK signed for or Special Delivery postage at their own expense by notifying the On-line Auction Manager.

Lot Content and Presentation

OA 7.1   Only phillumenic items may be included in Lots such as: matchboxes; matchbox labels; bookmatches; match packaging; match advertising; associated publications; and any other material related to the collecting, use or manufacture of match related items.

OA 7.2   It is forbidden for Lots to include any items that are prohibited to be carried by Royal Mail such as live matches. Any Lots received by the On-line Auction Manager with prohibited items shall be excluded from the On-line Auction and will be retained for collection by the Seller for a maximum of 30 days after which time they will be disposed of at the expense of the Seller.

Preparation and Publication of On-line Auction Catalogues

OA 8.1   The On-line Auction Manager shall arrange the preparation of an On-line Auction Catalogue and will determine a Guide Price for each Lot. The description published for each Lot shall be as accurate as the On-line Auction Manager can reasonably practically determine and may not therefore be based on that supplied by the Seller.

OA 8.2   All lots will have one or more photographic images in the On-line Auction Catalogue on the Society web site.

OA 8.3   The On-line Auction Catalogue will indicate those Lots where the weight exceeds 100g. Note: Postage and packaging costs will be minimised for Sellers and Buyers if Lots are reduced to their minimum size and weight; e.g. it is often better to send loose labels as a Lot rather than labels mounted in an album.

OA 8.4  The On-line Auction Catalogue will be made available on the Society web site within four weeks of the date of the Auction which is normally when Match Label News has been dispatched to members.

Lot Inspection and Bidding

OA 9.1   As Bidders are not able to inspect Lots before bidding they are advised to satisfy themselves of the content of a Lot by the description given and be prepared to buy caveat emptor.

OA 9.2   Postal bids shall be made in writing by letter, e-mail or web form and received by the On-line Auction Manager before the published Closing Date for Postal Bids. Each Bidder must clearly state: their full name, their full postal address, their membership number, their e-mail address, their telephone number, their postage preference and their maximum bid against each Lot number. The On-line Auction Manager shall mark each bid with the time and date it was opened.

OA 9.3   A Seller may set a Reserve Price on a lot by informing the On-line Auction Manager in writing. A Reserve Price shall be treated as a fixed bid by the Seller to buy at that price. Lots that are not sold because of a failure to reach the Reserve will be subject to a commission charge of 15% of the requested Reserve up to a maximum of £10. The Seller will also be responsible for any costs incurred by the Society to return the unsold lot.

OA 9.4   The Auctioneer will conduct the On-line Auction in English and will invite the Bidders to submit bids through the on-line platform. The Auctioneer shall have sole discretion in deciding and communicating the bid increments.

OA 9.5   Bids that cannot be clearly and unambiguously understood or do not conform to these Rules will be rejected.

OA 9.6   The Buyer of a Lot shall be the one making the highest maximum bid knocked down by the Auctioneer.

OA 9.7   In the event of equal maximum bids the first received will be accepted and the Lot shall be knocked down at that price.

OA 9.8 The On-line Auction Manager’s decision on winning bids is final and binding, and will be recorded in the proceedings of the On-line Auction.

OA 9.9 A Lot failing to attract bids shall be entered automatically into the next On-line Auction. If it again fails to attract bids then it shall be deemed to have been knocked down to the Seller for 15% of the Minimum Value.

OA 9.10 Bidders who do not abide by these Rules and/or disrupt the On-line Auction may be removed from the Auction by the On-line Auction Manager.

Buyer’s Settlement and Delivery of Lots

OA 10.1 After bidding is closed, the On-line Auction Manager shall invoice Buyers giving details of the Lots they are buying and the postage and packaging costs involved including costs of invoicing. Those bidding by e-mail will be invoiced by e-mail. Buyers shall settle their invoices in full before any Lots can be despatched to them. Payments must be in GBP (GB pounds) by electronic funds transfer to the Society or by cheque made payable to that notified on the invoice.

OA 10.2 The Society will take no responsibility for items lost or damaged in the post. All auction items are sent by second class mail and a certificate of posting obtained. Buyers can request UK signed for or Special Delivery postage at their own expense by notifying the On-line Auction Manager.

OA 10.3 Payments for purchased Lots which are not settled within twenty (20) days after the end of the On-line Auction will be deemed un-sold and may be entered in another On-line Auction.

Payout and Commission

OA 11.1 Whether a Lot is sold or unsold, a commission of the greater of 15% of the Minimum Value or 15% of the sum realised shall be deducted by the Society from any monies paid to a Seller after payment has been received from the Buyer.  If the Seller has placed a Reserve price on any Lot and the Lot is unsold because of not reaching the Reserve, the commission payable will be 15% of the Reserve price up to a maximum of £10. The Seller will also be responsible for any costs incurred by the Society to return the unsold lot. Payment shall be made in GBP (GB pounds).

On-line Auction Timetable

OA 12.1  The On-line Auction will be held at a time which does not conflict with other Society Auctions. The following table shows the principal dates for each On-line Auction: 

Closing date for Lot entry Catalogue published Closing date for Postal Bids On-line Auction Date Results published
1 January February 28 February March April
1 May June 30 June July August
1 September October 31 October November December

OA 12.2  The On-line Auction Manager may revise the On-line Auction timetable at any time as circumstances may require.

Date : April 2024

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