Find answers to all your questions about selling your fine jewellery, Swiss watches or designer goods.
Frequently Asked Questions when selling your jewellery and Swiss watches
First State Auctions (FSA) runs at least one online auction every week of the year.
We are currently taking vendor submissions for:
- Diamonds - certified diamonds over 0.50 carats whether loose or in a setting.
- Certified fancy colour diamonds in all sizes including Argyle Diamonds.
- Swiss Watches - including Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Breitling, Longines, Audemars Piguet, Chopard, Franck Muller, IWC Schaffhausen, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and other luxury brands.
- Gemstones - fine quality ruby, sapphire, emerald and alexandrite jewellery.
- Brand Name Jewellery - including Bvlgari, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Dior, Hermes, Paspaley, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels and other luxury brands.
- Designer Handbags - including Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Goyard, Yves Saint Laurent and other luxury brands.
We do not auction silver jewellery.
Step 1 - Contact the FSA specialist Vendor department on 1300 650 072 or email [email protected]
Step 2 – Get an estimate
- Our Specialist Vendor Department will assess the submission based on the information provided to us. Further information is requested if required.
- If the item is suitable for our auctions, a draft proposal is provided to the vendor, which lists a reserve (if required), estimated selling range and charges involved. All the above is subject to visual inspection by our qualified jeweller.
Step 3 – Deliver items to our Sydney Head Office
- If a seller wishes to proceed with the proposal, the items can be submitted in person (by appointment) at our Sydney Head Office or posted to us (registered and insured). We will discuss the best method with the seller.
- Once received, our qualified jewellers conduct a thorough inspection of the items.
Step 4 – Receive the auction agreement
- An agreement is drafted for both parties to sign if all is acceptable.
- This contract outlines and includes our terms and conditions, fees and charges.
Step 5 – We prepare the item for auction
- Once we receive the signed agreement, the item is prepared for auction. Preparation may include cleaning and polishing, obtaining a Certificate of Authenticity, photographing, cataloguing and lotting.
Step 6 – The item is allocated to an auction
Step 7 – After the item sells, the seller gets paid within seven days after the end of the month it sold.
No - Our Vendor program is conducted directly through our Sydney Head Office.
A seller can still sell it at auction. Jewellery and precious metals are appraised based on their weight and quality. Our expert team can help a seller with the assessment.
No - this is not required.
Luxury branded items sell better with original documents. The more supporting documentation sellers have, the better. We may also request paperwork for additional information on the item to assist us in providing a more accurate auction appraisal.
Depending on the number of items, sellers can mail items to our Head Office in Sydney. We highly recommend that items be sent by registered mail through Australia Post with insurance and acknowledgement of receipt from the receiver.
Larger consignments should be sent via a specialist jewellery courier service. First State Auctions can provide further help and advice regarding specialist courier services.
A seller's items are fully itemised, documented and insured while in our possession and throughout the auction process. Our comprehensive processes also ensure that a seller's valuables are always safe and secure.
The auction value of a seller's pieces will vary depending on the nature of the item and its condition. We provide an auction estimate based on past sales and current market conditions. We have been trusted auctioneers since 1995 and are very experienced and knowledgeable in valuing all kinds of jewellery, Swiss watches and designer goods.
First State Auctions will provide a reserve based on past sales and current market conditions if a reserve is requested. The reserve price will be held in strict confidence and protects a seller from the item selling below the reserve price at the auction. A seller can lower the suggested reserve, but cannot increase it.
We provide estimates of what we believe the item will sell for at auction based on current market conditions, past sales, and information provided to us and confirm this with a physical assessment.
Most retail valuations are insurance replacement valuations and are often higher than the retail price it was purchased for - it does not indicate what it will sell for at auction. Valuations may vary significantly because the amounts are subjective and differ from valuer to valuer. Additionally, each type of item has a different resale market. We use a seller's valuation certificate for information such as the gemstone type, carat weights, colour and clarity gradings, metal type, gram weight etc. We are also conservative in our auction estimates, as we would rather underpromise and over-deliver.
Seller commission charges will apply when we sell an item on a seller's behalf:
- The commission is charged on a success fee basis; if we don’t sell the item, there is no commission charged.
- The commission rate will be quoted to a seller based on the type of items offered to auction.
- The rate of commission is industry competitive.
- Commission is charged based on the final auction "hammer" price for which the item is sold.
- The commission will be deducted from the sale proceeds.
- The commission will include an insurance component.
- A lotting fee will apply and it includes photography, cleaning & polishing (as required) and authentication (if needed).
Additional fees apply if the item requires repair or a Gemstone Laboratory report.
The above fees are deducted from the auction proceeds or payable if the items are not sold and are returned to a seller.
Once a seller has signed an auction agreement, the seller cannot back out of the process.
First State Auctions makes every effort to auction a seller's items as soon as possible. Before a seller’s items can be included in an auction, the items will need to be inspected, and a vendor agreement prepared. We require some lead time to prepare a seller’s items for auction including testing, cleaning, photographing and lotting.
Items will typically be listed for auction approximately 3 weeks from the date we receive a signed Vendor contract from a seller. A seller can request that their items be included in a particular auction. However, we do not guarantee that it will be included in an auction of a seller’s choosing.
We have been a leading Auction House in Australia and New Zealand since 1995 and have a substantial and loyal customer base. For each auction, we conduct extensive advertising and promotional campaigns that often include:
- Digital display advertising within an online advertising network
- comprising over 2 million websites
- Online promotion via our website
- Google advertising
- Facebook advertising
- Instagram advertising
- Email marketing
- Direct mail
- Press advertising
- Social media
The time it takes for an item to sell depends on many factors. Some items sell at the first auction, and some sell after a few auctions.
A maximum of twice per month subject to other variables.
If an item doesn’t sell, we will resubmit it for two additional auctions.
If, after three auctions, the items have not sold, the following options will apply:
- A seller can request in writing that the unsold items be returned.
- FSA can return all the items not sold to a seller.
Sellers and FSA can agree to continue the process on the same basis as outlined in this document. A review of the reserve price may occur in this instance.
We will advise by email after the close of the auction.
Feel free to contact the First State Auctions vendor department for an update - [email protected]
Vendor payments are made after the end of each month. Sales made during a calendar month will be paid within the first week of the following month. Sellers will receive a detailed notification from our accounts team as to the prices realised and the amount payable to a seller.
All vendor payments will be made by EFT to a seller’s nominated bank account.
We do not organise early vendor payments.
Based on best business practices, we require photo ID from sellers. If selling on someone behalf, we will need a copy of the authority to as act trustee. We do this to protect our buyers and sellers and prevent fraudulent behaviour.