Buying & Selling

Buying at Murrays

If you have never attended or bought at an auction before, you are in for an adventure! Before you get started we recommend becoming acquainted with the procedures of buying at auction.  Buying at auction is easy, and we aim to make it as simple and accessible as possible.  There are different ways to bid,  mainly directly on our website but if you prefer to call us or email us your bids we can execute

Getting Started

Everybody is welcome as a spectator, buyer or seller at Murrays, and we encourage you to come down to the action on preview days and watch our auctions on auction night. The best way to find out about auctions that might interest you is to check our online auction calendar or subscribe to our email list. All auctions have scheduled previews that are open to the public, which allow an opportunity to inspect the items that will soon be going up for auction. It's important to remember that items as sold as-is, which means you are responsible for verifying the condition of items. Our approachable staff will be available to answer any questions you may have about the items. All items sold at auction are used, so it is normal for items to have some wear and tear. If you are unable to attend a preview, our staff can assist you by telephone or email, and all items are photographed and available to view in our online catalogues. Additional photographs of items can be taken on request. It is important to note that all items sold are subject to our "Conditions of Sale" which is a binding contract effective as soon as you place a bid. Items are usually available to view in our online catalogues between 1-5 days ahead of estate or online auctions, and between 7-14 days before a specialty auction.

Online Bidding

How do I bid?

You will first need to register for an account. Once you have verified your email as part of the registration process you can bid in any auctions that are open for bidding.

Once you find an item you want to purchase simply select the maximum you wish you bid from the dropdown list labeled "Place A Bid". Once you confirm your bid the system will let you know if you now have the highest bid, or if you need to place a higher bid to beat somebody else's bid.

* What if I am outbid?

If somebody places a higher bid than you then you will need to place a higher bid. You will be notified by email if you are outbid, and the lot page will inform you if you have been outbid.

* What amount should I bid?

We recommend placing a bid up to the maximum amount you are willing to pay for an item. Our system will bid on your behalf up to that amount, but will try to win you the lot for the lowest amount possible.

For example, if you place a maximum bid of $100 on an item that is currently at $50, you will win the item at $55 (the current bid plus the next increment) if there are no competing bids.

* When does bidding end?

Bidding typically runs one week starting on a Wednesday. Bidding usually begins at 9AM local Victoria / Pacific Daylight Time, and begins closing at 2PM.

Lots in auctions have staggered closing times, with a minute between each lot. This means lot 1 would close at 2:01PM, lot 2 at 2:02PM, lot 3 at 2:03PM, and lot 60 at 3:00PM. This allows bidders bidding on more than one lot in an auction to easily bid on multiple lots.

Note, however, that our system will extend the close time of a lot by 3 minutes if there is a bid within 3 minutes before a lot closes, and it will continue to extend the close time until there are no more bids for a period of 3 minutes.

* Can I "snipe" a lot?

Sniping is a situation on some online auction platforms that allows a bidder to place a bid at the very last moment before bidding closes, thereby becoming the winner.

Our system automatically extends bidding by 3 minutes if there is a bid within 3 minutes before a lot closes, so sniping is not possible.

We recommend placing a bid at the maximum amount you are willing to pay, and placing it early to avoid missing your opportunity to bid.

* What are the bidding increments?

To keep the auction proceeding in a reasonable fashion bids must be placed according to set increments. The system automatically calculates what the next bid / increment will be.

Our increments are as follows:

Under $20: $2
Between $20 and $99: $5
Between $100 and $199: $10
Between $200 and $499: $20
Between $500 and $999: $25
Between $1,000 and $1,999: $50
Between $2,000 and $4,999: $100
Between $5,000 and $9,999: $250
Between $10,000 and $19,999: $500
Over $20,000: $1,000

* What are watched lots?

Watched lots allow bidders to keep track of multiple lots in one place. To view your watched lots visit

The watched lots page details the current bid for each of your watched lots, and when the bidding closes.

* Are there any additional fees?

Each lot is subject to an industry standard 20% buyer's premium on the winning bid. For example, if you win a lot at $100, the final price of the lot would be $100 plus $20 premium, or $120. We are also required to charge HST on the final price, unless exempted by law, such as out of province or out of country residency.

* I no longer want what I bid on. Can I retract my bid?

Unfortunately no. Placing a bid means you intend to purchase the item, and are entering into a legally binding contract to buy the item, per our conditions of sale.

Additionally, you are responsible for all bids placed on your account, even if placed in error. Please make sure to keep your account credentials safe and secure, and to log out after you finish bidding.

* Why didn't I receive a notice that I was outbid?

While email often seems instant, it is not, and delays can sometimes be introduced outside of our control. Additionally, email can sometimes be erroneously labeled as spam, especially near the end of the auction when we are sending out large volumes of outbid notifications.

Despite this, our emails are rarely delayed. However, if there is an item you absolutely must have, we recommend placing a bid for the maximum amount you are willing to pay, and watching the lot page to monitor competing bids arriving in realtime.

In the Saleroom

All our auctions are held online through our own website but we encourage you to come down to the saleroom on preview days or by appointment.  If you would like to leave a bid on something in the auction you can always submit it while visiting the saleroom. 


After You Buy

We told you bidding would be exciting! Congratulations on your purchases.

If you purchased items online, please proceed to your invoices page and click the "Payment" link, or call our offices to pay over the phone.  All successful bidders will receive an invoice via email after the auction has concluded.

Please note that all purchases are subject to a buyer's premium of 20% plus applicable taxes. For more information on the buyer's premium please refer to the conditions of sale.


If you can not pick up the item yourself, you must arrange shipping. Murrays provides an in-house shipping service for Canadian and US buyers but you are free to arrange shipping with any shipper. However, shipping is ultimately the responsibility of the purchaser.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find which of my bids were successful?

You can visit your invoices page, which will display any new invoices, and provides detailed information on any lots you were successful in buying.

Alternatively you can contact our offices by phone or email.

What are the bidding increments?

The auctioneer and online bidding software generally accepts bids that increase in standard increments. The auctioneer may deviate from the standard increments from time-to-time, but will always announce the next bid they are looking for.

Methods of payment

Payments made in person or via phone may include debit, Visa, Mastercard, certified cheque, money order, or cash. Payments made online can be made with Visa or Mastercard.

Payments for larger purchases can also be made by wire transfer. Please contact our accounts office for wiring information.

How is the final bill calculated?

All lots purchased are subject to a buyer's premium (typically 20%) and applicable taxes on top of the final "hammer price" accepted by the auctioneer.

When can I pick up my purchases?

Designated pick-up days are sheduled right after an auction.  It is strongly recommended to pick up on pickup days,  or by appointment the week after the sale.  Unfortunately storage fees are charged on items left longer.

Selling at Murrays

How to Sell

Selling at auction is easy and simple. The first step is to get a free, no obligation verbal valuation on your items.  We host free auction valuation days at our saleroom in Victoria every Wednesday and Thursday 10am to 4pm. There is no need for an appointment as there is always valuers on duty.  Our valuers will advise you on auction estimates, recommend the most appropriate sale and issue you a reciept if you wish to consign.  Reserve prices can be discussed with our valuers and items can be left on this day for auction.  Or you can email us a photograph of your item and any details to and one of our specialists will get back to you as soon as possible.  We are also happy to make house visits at a time to suit you, so please do give us a call at 250-507-7072 to arrange.


Once you have made the decision to consign to Murrays, your items will be scheduled for a specific sale. A Murrays staff member will also provide you with a receipt for your consignment, review our terms and conditions with you, and review the commission structure and any additional applicable fees.

All items sold at auction are subject to a commission based on the hammer price of each lot.

Our selling commission structure is

$0 to $20                    50%

$21 to $50                  $10

$51 to $1000               20%

$1001 to $5000           15%

>$5001                        10%

Insurance                    +1%

Photography                Free

Items consigned to auction must also be insured. Consignors have the option of paying 1% of the hammer price to have their items insured through Murrays (while in our possession for auction), or clients may choose to have their items insured by their existing home insurance (proof of insurance may be required).

Payment To Consignors

Payment is made 8 business days after the date of the auction. Our detailed consignor statement will account for each item sold, as well as any fees applied.

Seller's Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have an entire estate or household to sell?

Our staff are experienced and prepared to handle estates of any size, from cottage to mansion. Contact our offices for more information on our considerate handling of estates.

Are my items insured while at Murrays?

All consigned items are required to be insured while in our possession, and are insured against all risks while on our premises and in the care of our staff. The limit of liability is the reserve price (typically 80% of the low end of the auction estimate). Our insurance fees are calculated based on the mean auction estimate until sold, and on the hammer price after the auction.

What is a reserve?

A reserve is the minimum hammer price that you, the consignor, will accept for your item at auction. The reserve bid is our contract with you - we will honour the reserve and not sell the item below that amount. The reserve is mutually agreed upon by you and our staff at the time of consignment.

What did my items sell for?

If you were not able to attend the auction and don't want to wait for your detailed consignment statement to arrive, you can check your statement online or contact our offices. However, staff will generally contact you within a week following an auction.

Will sales tax be applicable on my consignments?

No Sales tax (ex. HST) is not charged to the consignor.

Upcoming Auctions

Estate Auction Including Antiques & Collectables

Opens: May 15, 9AM
Closes: May 22, 2PM

Auction 1110 - Online Auction

Estate Auction Including Antiques & Collectables

Opens: June 12, 9AM
Closes: June 19, 2PM

Auction 1111 - Online Auction


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