Selling at auction

With auctions almost every month, Amati is well-placed to help you sell your instrument.

At Amati, we make selling your violin, viola, cello or bow as easy and pleasant as possible. From initial valuation to receiving payment, our team is here to help you

We start by valuing your stringed instrument and bow in accordance with current market trends. This is often an exciting moment, or it can be slightly disappointing. Whichever it is, Amati will do their best to achieve the best possible price for you.

Step 1: Valuation

The first step is to find out how much your stringed instrument or bow is worth and, where possible, establish who made it.

You could have your instrument valued online with Amati’s simple online valuation service. Our specialists will look carefully at the images you submit and give you an estimate of the sort of price you might expect your instrument to achieve at auction. They may ask you for a little more information before they give an estimate.

Start Online Valuation

Alternatively, Amati hold free, no obligation, valuation days for violins, violas, cellos and bows. Our Valuations page will help you find the nearest valuation day near you, and we encourage you to make an appointment.

Book Valuation day appointment

During your appointment, or in your online valuation, our specialists will be able to advise what the current market value is for your instrument. They will give you a price range in which they believe your instrument will be sold. A high percentage of instruments will be sold within that range; a few exceed it, and a few do not. You should always be aware that your instrument may make only the lower end of the estimate range.

Our specialists will also recommend which auction will be the most appropriate for the sale of your instrument. If your instrument is consigned to a Specialist Auction, you and the specialist will agree a reserve price, under which your instrument will not be sold.

Step 2: Research

Sometimes instruments and bows require closer inspection in order to establish who made it and its potential value.

With your agreement, our specialists will run the process which will include archive research, consultancy and, where necessary, dendrochronology. When the research has been completed, you may wish to sell your instrument with Amati or request that it is returned.

Step 3: Consignment

If you decide to sell your instrument, the next step is to complete a consignment form. The consignment form is a written record of the agreed estimates, the reserve (if you and the specialist choose to set one) and the costs of sale, which include our standard seller’s fee.

Amati offers an optional Loss & Damage Liability warranty at a charge of 1.5% +VAT of the hammer price. You may not need this if your instrument is already covered by your household or specific musical instrument insurance. If you do choose to use our insurance cover, then that cost will also be deducted from the hammer price.

Our specialists and office staff are always happy to answer any questions you have about the auction process.

If you consign your instrument on a Valuation day, Amati’s specialists are equipped to carry your instrument safely back to the UK offices.

Amati can also accept instruments by post or courier. If you are concerned about your instrument’s safe carriage, we recommend you use an Amati Box, which is a bespoke cardboard box designed and tested for the safe and cost-effective shipping of instruments. Amati can also arrange shipping from your home to their offices.

Contact Amati to arrange shipping

Step 4: The Auction

Back in Amati’s UK offices, we will describe and photograph your instrument in preparation for the auction catalogue. We are the only stringed instrument auctioneers who use 360° photography, which gives our buyers a clear view of the quality of your instrument.

The auction catalogue is published online and is, in effect, a sophisticated online auction platform. It is available to view as a live auction for ten days before the auction end date. As with most online auctions, the majority of the bidding activity takes place in the final moments of the auction.

Step 5: After The Auction

You will receive an email a few days after the auction informing you if your instrument was sold or unsold. If it sold, we will request payment information. Payment is sent by bank transfer 35 days after the auction date. We can also issue a Sterling cheque to UK clients, if that if your preference.

If your instrument did not sell, we will recommend new, usually slightly lower estimates and a new auction date. However, Amati has an excellent sales rate, with many of our auctions achieving 90% sales.

If your instrument did not sell in the auction itself, it is very likely to be sold in the Aftersales, where our strong personal sales and networking skills come into play. Instruments consigned to an Amati Affordable Auction have a reserve price of £10. Your instrument will be sold for whatever price the market decides it is worth. If your instrument is consigned to an Amati Specialist Auction, you and the specialist will have set a reserve price, under which the instrument will not be sold without your specific agreement. We aim, throughout the auction process, to achieve a fair price for the instruments that we sell.

Why Should I Sell My Violin at Auction?

If you sell with Amati, there is a very good chance that your violin will sell. We usually achieve an 80% sale rate (or more) for our Fine Stringed Instrument Auctions, and we have a 100% sale rate for our Amati Affordable Auctions.

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What happens at a Valuation Day?

The specialists at Amati have spent years travelling around the world looking at violins, viola and cellos. The discovery of a beautiful instrument is always a special event.

Find a valuation day near you

You will always be welcome at an Amati Valuation Day, whether you are thinking of selling or just curious about the origins of your violin, viola, cello or bow. Come and talk to one of our specialists for free.

Where Can I Get a Violin Valuation?

Amati offer free, no obligation, auction valuations of violins, violas, cellos, and bows.

Try Amati's free online valuation service.

Finding out the origin and value of your instrument is interesting

Try Amati's free online valuation service.

From the moment of coming into contact with Amati, ending with sale of the cello, it proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and professional experience.

Try Amati's free online valuation service.

Everyone was exceedingly helpful and it was a delight to do business with them. My very best wishes and thanks.

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