The letter in ATG No 2548 regarding auctioneers' delivery services.

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As your reader [Richard Molyneux] notes, many auction houses have improved their customer service recently. We have offered free worldwide shipping as standard in the majority of our auctions since 2019. In fact, 98% of our jewellery lots are posted out for free.

It is completely understandable to us that Mr Molyneux would factor the cost of shipping into his bid calculations. We hear the same thing from our customers.

The prices listed in Mr Molyneux’s letter are extremely high (although not unbelievable). It costs us, not including staff time and insurance premiums, around £12 to send a parcel from one of our jewellery auctions.

This is largely due to the fact that we use Royal Mail Special Delivery and sustainable packaging.

Although this is a significant cost to us as a business given the high volume of items we sell, we see this as part of the service.

Along with free online bidding, high-quality photography and condition reports on all of the lots offered in our specialist auctions, fast, free and efficient shipping is one of the main reasons our customers leave glowing reviews for us on Trustpilot.

We would like to see more transparency around the level of customer service that people can expect when buying through (and, indeed, other auction aggregator sites).

As the letter mentions, it is an important factor in many peoples’ bidding journeys and it would be good for them to have that information up front. Whether this in the form of a rating system, reviews or kitemarks, we would be interested to hear other readers’ thoughts.

Alexandra Whittaker

Communications & PR manager Fellows