JAMES BRAXTON As seen on BBC's Bargain Hunt and Flog It

Saturday, July 19, 2003
Alais, Alas the pounds
Seamless journey, after waking @ 9.00am to rollerblade for the magic 25 minutes, in a desperate bid for a flat stomach. I regret to say that the pounds have crept back on, I'm blaming Alais Hotels. After spending 4 days on the road, one is forced to eat as laid out by the hotel timetable.
I started at the Hotel Kandinsky in Cheltenham. My "Flog It" filming day started with smoked haddock and 2 poached eggs, delicious. This was compounded with a chicken tikka sandwiches @ Taylor & Fletcher, auctioneers. It was comfort eating as the anxiety grew, 10 lots to sell and no unsolds @ lunchtime. My winner was a pair of William Wyllie etchings, £520 against a mid estimate of £250. The enevitable came at the end, a pair of 1920's miniatures after Sir Joshua Reynolds, with piano key frames. These, being the 2nd of 2 pairs offered, the 1st pair making £95, the 2nd immediately precedinging a lot making an unexpected £6,500. The room was still agarst, and the auctioneer to pleased to push trivia. The pair were bought in @ £45, here lies the rough & tumble of the auction room.

Filmed, under the direction of Karen, one of the many lovely BBC researchers, auctioneers's tips! I went against the grain and and advised buyers to keep bidding. Too often experts advise to decide on a limit beforehand, but they loose it at market price, to later pay a dealer a retail price. The retail price will be loaded with the purchaser's time , petrol, rents, and rates. This will only be the start , he may also make a superprofit from what he may judge you and the market will bear.
My 2nd nugget of information was the 3 p's , preparation, preparation & preparation. Do your homework, go to a couple of auctions before you start bidding. This will give you a feel for the room, and the confidence to go one more bid, to secure the object of your desire.