Auctions from A to Z

All you should know about our auctions


What auctions actually are
An auction, as a matter of fact, is essentially a series of commercial transactions. Looking at the significance of our auctions in the philately and numismatic industry, however, a sale needs to be a lot more than that. We spare no efforts nor costs in ensuring that our auctions are not simply a place to buy and sell stamps, but also enjoyable social events. And we are proud to say that we have repeatedly succeeded in this.

Rapp auctions are experience auctions
Anyone who has ever attended one can vouch for this: Rapp auctions are experience auctions. Electric excitement in its pure form. The thrill starts with the auction itself. There is probably no other single spot in the auction world where so many potential buyers from so many different countries are personally in attendance. The list of Rapp’s guests is a veritable Who’s Who of philately and far beyond.

A Babylonian mixture of languages sometimes threatens to overwhelm even the outstanding multilingual skills of our employees, a rapid back and forth between the bids submitted in writing, in the hall, on the phone and via the internet, a constant coming and going between the auction hall and our many spacious viewing rooms — all of this is witness to the proverbial vitality of Rapp auctions. This thrilling atmosphere in conjunction with the exquisite items being sold is one of the major reasons why so many potential buyers do not hesitate to make the journey (often a long and arduous one) to be here in person. The spaciousness of the rooms in our auction house offers plenty of opportunities for discussions in both small and large groups. There is calm and equanimity despite all of the hectic activity of an auction.

High-quality service culture
Our experienced and trained employees are at your disposal at any time. They take care of any small and large requests that you may have. We will be quick to provide solutions, whatever the problem may be. We want you to feel comfortable in every respect and will make sure that you receive individual attention. So please focus on our stamps and coins, while we take care of everything else.

Worth knowing – from A to Z 

For decades Rapp Auctions has been one of the most powerful and successful auction houses for stamps and coins in the world. Every 18 months the Rapp auctions take place in our large premises in Wil, Switzerland. The excellent auction offering, in both areas the philately and numismatic, always draws the attention of hundreds of collectors and dealers from all over the world. All lots are presented in highest quality and true to original in our luxury printed catalogues as well as our eCatalogues on our website to our international customers.

You can participate in our auction in person, by mail, by phone, online before or during the auction and through an agent. We would like to inform you about the auction appointments as well as the possibilities of bidding.

The auction takes place voluntarily and publicly against immediate cash payment in Swiss Francs. Foreign currencies are accepted at current exchange rates or as credited by a major Swiss bank. The day of receipt or credit applies.  

We have always been dedicating greatest care and substantial funds for the best possible presentation of our auction catalogues. All our pictures of the consignments are actually lithographic prints in the highest possible quality. Every working step as well as the colour adjustments with the valuable originals is being handled professionally and with extraordinary care. To take pictures of our numismatic treasures, we have installed a camera station specifically calibrated for coins and medals. The editing is then carried out in our in-house graphics department.

There are various ways of taking part at Rapp auctions:

  • Place your bids before the auction (online form)
    For several years now, there has been the possibility of placing bids for Rapp auctions online through our secured online bidding form. This is a simple, direct and well-tested way of placing bids for the auction in advance.
  • Online bidding before the auction
    Browse through the auction offer in tabular form and place you bid directly on the website.
  • Live bidding during the auction (real-time)   
    We are also offering the possibility of placing bids live during the actual auction sale – wherever you are.
  • Bidding in person in our auction room   
    Large numbers of people bid in person at our auctions. If you wish to do this, we will allocate you a bidder number which allows you to participate and ensures that you remain anonymous.
  • Bidding by phone  
    If you prefer to bid from home, our telephone bidding service gives you a direct link to the auction room.   
  • Bidding through an agent   
    We can also help you find a professional auction agent to represent you.
  • Bidder's order by mail (before the auction)
    Submit your bids by mail or fax. If you do this, the auctioneer will act on your behalf as though you were in the auction room yourself, but will keep your identity strictly confidential. If possible, he will attempt to obtain the lot for you at the lowest price possible.
  • Online bidder's order (before the auction)
    Submit your bids online through our bidder's order. If you do this, the auctioneer will act on your behalf as though you were in the auction room yourself, but will keep your identity strictly confidential. If possible, he will attempt to obtain the lot for you at the lowest price possible.


Here you will find more information about bidding at Rapp auctions.

The knockdown of the offered lots are increased on the basis of the bidding increments. They are in Swiss francs and are as follow:

0 to 300 / increment 10
300 to 600 / increment 20
600 to 1'200 / increment 50
1'200 to 3'000 / increment 100
3'000 to 7'000 / increment 200
7'000 to 15'000 / increment 500
15'000 to 30'000 / increment 1'000
30'000 to 70'000 / increment 2'000
70'000 to 150'000 / increment 5'000
from 150'000 / increment 10'000

In our fully digitalised auction catalogues on our website we not only present you all auction lots but also all certificates and expert reports of our single lots. 

Feel free to contact us by phone or send us some copies of your collection. We will be happy to assess your stamps or coins and find out if they are suitable for an auction sale. Please note that we accept consignments starting from a net market value of 2'500 Swiss francs.

Here you can find out more about how to consign your valuables step by step.

Once we have examined your collection and written descriptions for the auction catalogue, we will send you a consignment sheet giving full details of the lots and their estimated values, and the descriptions as they will appear in the catalogue.

Rapp Auctions are unforgettable experiences! This promise does not only apply to our outstanding offer, but also for the special entertainment programme that we offer our clients year for year. Champagne receptions, barbecue buffet in the pavilion or cheese raclette in our cosy Swiss chalet and of course special sightseeing tours to experience Swiss culture are part of our offer.

Like you we have an interest in ensuring that your stamps realise the highest possible price. So we will divide them into optimal lot sizes, produce detailed descriptions, and fix an estimate based on our long experience of maximising sales proceeds.

Lots are awarded to the highest bidder by knock-down which creates an obligation to take delivery. A commission of 22% is added to the purchase price. Purchase price and commission are due immediately. Bidders for third parties are jointly and severally liable with such third parties. Upon the fall of the hammer, the risk transfers to the purchaser.

Rapp Auctions has the right to withdraw, regroup or refuse to knock down any lot. In the event of identical bids, the one first received takes precedence; in the event of misunderstandings, the lot is reoffered. Bidding increments are at a minimum of 5% and a maximum of 10%.

Having the customers' interest in mind, we are publishing a lot of additional illustrations of selected collections, which could not be printed in the auction catalogues. We have created a separate search area on our website, where you will find hundreds of pages with more illustrations. The corresponding lots can be identified by a small magnifier in our auction catalogues, indicating that you will find illustrations of the respective objects on our website. Benefit from this new opportunity to browse some interesting collections at your own pace and preference. You may also download the illustrations, zoom in for improved viewing and print them for your own use and studies.

Discover more illustrations here.

Once you have handed over your collection or made an estimate, your stamps will be covered against theft, natural hazards, damage in transit and all other risks – at a generously estimated sales value.

Approximately four weeks before the auction, you will receive the notification of your lot numbers. This notification will show you which lot numbers have been assigned to the stamps or coins you consigned.

Of course you will also receive your personal invitation as well as all other important information.

The auction catalogues will be sent to you under separate cover.

In order to offer you a simple and fast alternative besides our high-quality printed auction catalogues, we will put all catalogues for free and digitalised at your disposal on our website (around a month before the auction sale).
 
Thanks to the modern display in form of a browse catalogue, it feels like having the original catalogue in front of you. The high resolution of the pictures and the simplicity of browsing them, have led to written bids of potential buyers, even before the catalogues were printed and sent out.

To have a look at the previous auction catalogues and the result reports follow the link.

The auction takes place voluntarily and publicly against immediate cash payment in Swiss Francs. Foreign currencies are accepted at current exchange rates or as credited by a major Swiss bank. The day of receipt or credit applies.

If you wish, we can pay you an appropriate advance payment when you hand over your stamps so that you have a large part of their value right from the outset.

To give you a first impression of our upcoming auction offer we have created some online preview catalogues of some particular outstanding consignments.

Until full payment of the entire invoice is rendered, title to all purchased lots remains with the consignor. Prior to that time, they may neither be resold, pledged nor otherwise transfered to a third party by the purchaser. Offset pleas of any type are precluded.

Within four to five weeks of the auction, we will give you a detailed breakdown of the items we have sold for you, and pay you the proceeds in accordance with your instructions.

Your stamp or coin collection will be kept in specially secured rooms and treated with special care. The auctioneer insures it against the ordinary risks of transportation and storage at the expense of the consignor. The auctioneer is free to classify and describe the consigned objects according to his professional judgment, even differently from the receipt. The auctioneer establishes the estimated prices for the consigned items according to the market situation.

We have always been dedicating greatest care and substantial funds for the best possible presentation of our auctions catalogues. All the pictures of our consignments are actually lithografic prints in the highest possible quality. Every working step as well as the colour adjustments with the valuable original is being handled professionally and with extraordinary care. To take pictures of our numismatic treasures, we have installed a camera station specifically calibrated for coins and medals.

The editing is then carried out in our in-house graphics department, which results in top quality hardcover catalogues year by year. Collectors, consignors and buyers from all over the world are impressed, because our catalogues show exactly what stamps and coins are all about.

Straight after each auction day we publish the hammer prices for you on our website. Furthermore everyone who gets the catalogue as well as all buyers and bidders will get results report sent home after the auction. Additionally the result report will be available digitalised on our website.

If you need a hotel reservation or a pick up service during our auction please contact our office (Phone 0041 71 923 77 44). It will be our pleasure to assist you.

The general terms of auction sale for stamps and coins constitute the basis of the contract between the buyer and the Peter Rapp AG on the occasion of an auction sale.

All lots offered are subject to Swiss value added tax (VAT). The legal VAT of 8% will be levied on the grand total of the auction invoice (hammer price plus surcharge plus postage plus insurance). The value added tax shall not be applicable to any lots if the lots purchased at auction are shipped abroad by Peter Rapp AG.

Value added tax will be invoiced to purchasers resident outside Switzerland who personally collect the lots in Wil. However, it can be refunded later on if you submit to us an export certificate in the original that has been legally stamped by the Swiss customs authorities. Domestic traders can deduct the VAT amount paid to Peter Rapp AG in their own VAT account as pretax.

All lots can carefully be inspected already a week before the auction begins at our premises in Wil, Switzerland. We advise you to profit from this offer and personally have a look at the outstanding offer. Due to the big interest of the viewing it is necessary to make an advanced appointment.

Even during the auction week you have the possibility to inspect the lots and this without advanced notification. If you do not have the chance to personally visit us we will be happy to send you some photo copies of the certificates and state you the condition and content of the lot.

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