Buying with Flints

At Flints we want to make buying at auction as easy and enjoyable as possible. Whether you are a first-time buyer or experienced collector, our simple step by step guide below will guide you through the different ways you can bid.


Flints Live

Flints are pleased to offer a free to use bidding platform, Flints Live.

Using our live bidding offers you the best auction experience without being in the room. Flints Live broadcasts from our state of the art auction studio, complete with live HD video and audio feed, enabling you to watch and hear everything in detail wherever you are in the world. Unlike other bidding platforms we use, there are no online bidding fees when using Flints Live.

Once a sale is live, a 'Bid Live' button will appear on our home page, just click to sign in / register and you are all set to participate!

If you are new to Flints, you will need a Flints online account to participate in live auctions. Once you have created your account and registered card details, you will be approved to bid.



Alternative Bidding Platforms

Alongside Flints Live, we offer bidding via three other platforms

To bid online via one of the above platforms, register in advance and bid live on the sale day. Please note, if you bid through the three above platforms, you will be charged an additional 5% + VAT (6% inclusive) on top of our buyer's premium.



Absentee Bidding

If you are unable to participate in the live auction, you can leave absentee bids with us directly. Flints will action these bids during the auction and attempt to purchase the lot on your behalf at the lowest possible price, taking into account other bids and reserve prices.

Absentee bids can be left either online via your Flints Live account, email directly to us at or over the telephone by calling us on 01635 873634. If emailing, please ensure that you enclose your full name, postal address and contact phone number. Bids received via email will always be confirmed, so if you do not hear from us within a few days please contact us.

Absentee bids can be left up until one hour before the start of any sale and any bids received after that may not be actioned. If you need to leave a bid after this point, call us directly.

If two absentee bids are placed on the same lot and the same amount, the first bid received will take precedence.



Telephone Bidding

We offer a complimentary telephone bidding service that allows you to speak directly with our team in the auction room. We will relay what is happening in the room and upon your instruction place bids on your behalf.

This service is normally offered on lots with a low estimate in excess of £100, however, exceptions can be made. When reserving a telephone line, we always ask for a backup bid which will only come into effect if we cannot reach you, or get disconnected and are unable to reconnect.

Requests to bid by telephone need to be made before 3 pm the day before the sale.



Room Bidding

Following the Covid-19 epidemic, we are suspending public attendance on sale days so there will be no bidding from the saleroom floor. All sales will be held using our live-online model until further notice.

We have extended the number of viewing days for all sales to give buyers every opportunity to examine lots themselves.



Don't Forget to Consider...



Condition Reports

Prior to bidding, it is advised that you gather as much information regarding the lot(s) as possible. This can be done via booking an appointment to attend in person or alternatively contacting us requesting additional photographs and further descriptions. You can request this by emailing us at or by the 'Condition Report' button on our catalogue.

We do receive a high number of requests for condition reports, so please ensure they are submitted as soon as possible. Requests that are received the day of or night before the auction may not get answered.



Buyers Premium

All lots purchased are subject to our buyers premium is 25% + VAT (30% inclusive). Please note that online bidding platforms other than Flints Live will incur an additional charge 5% + VAT (6% inclusive) charge.



Photographic Condition Grading


Descriptions & Conditions

To assist buyers, Flints has given a condition grade to cameras, lenses and some accessories, together with additional written notes, highlighting other key points relating to the item. The condition grade is based upon our options at the time of cataloguing and is still subject to our ‘Terms & Conditions.

We are unable to check and test certain aspects of light meters, rangefinders and electronics/electronic shutters. All buyers are given the opportunity to view and test all lots on during the viewing prior.


Cosmetic Condition

E - Excellent - As new / appears to be unused

VG - Very Good - Minimal marks or wear

G - Good - Light marks or wear

F - Fair - Moderate marks or wear

P - Poor - Heavy marks or wear



The shutter function is indicated as working or not working, with additional written notes stating if any speeds are inaccurate. Shutters that are battery-dependent may not be tested. As shutters are fragile, they cannot be guaranteed and the conditions mentioned in the catalogue are at the time of testing and may not represent the condition post-sale.


Lenses & Optics

E - Excellent - Clean optics as new

VG - Very Good - Minimal marks, some dust may be present

G - Good - Light marks, possible cleaning marks or imperfections

F - Fair - Moderate marks, noticeable cleaning marks or imperfections

P - Poor - Heavy marks or wear



Import Duty

Lots that have been consigned from outside of the UK may be subject to additional import duty. Lots imported under Temporary Admission are subject to 5% UK import VAT on top of the ‘hammer’ and 20% UK VAT will be charged on the ‘buyer’s premium’ and invoiced on an inclusive basis under UK Margin Scheme rules.

These lots will be clearly marked in our online catalogue.




Lots that contain ivory and other endangered species/wood are subject to CITES regulations when exporting outside the UK. Regulations may be found at

These lots will be cleared marked in our online catalogue.



Payment, Shipping & Collection

We require payment in full within seven days of invoices issued for all lots purchased, as we have a responsibility to pay our vendors promptly.

Flints has a world-wide in-house shipping service and will provide invoices including shipping. Please take a look at our detailed guide on Shipping & Collection. Arrangements for shipping or collection must be made within 14 days to avoid storage charges.



Upcoming Auctions

Cameras & Scientific Auction
Cameras & Scientific Auction
6th Aug, 2024 - 7th Aug, 2024
Cameras & Scientific Instruments
Cameras & Scientific Instruments
10th Sep, 2024 10:00
Fine Photographica
Fine Photographica
21st Nov, 2024 12:00


Get in Touch



Talk to the Flints Team