Holding some of London’s largest weekly and monthly auctions, Criterion Auctioneers & Valuers boasts tens of thousands of registered clients worldwide interested in antiques, furnishings, art and collectibles. Subsequent to their win as Central London’s Best Auction House in SME News’ Greater London Enterprise Awards, we examine the firm and its unparalleled success.
Now five years into a ten-year mission, Criterion is already seeing and reaping the benefits of implementing vast changes to their services in an effort to become more successful. With new technology, new procedures, and new objectives, this Londonbased auction house are setting a new high standard for high quality under the hammer.
Established in 1989, Criterion has since become an institution within the auctioneering industry, boasting a highly experienced valuations team offering competitive rates to deal with general, specialist and probate valuations. The team specialise in a wide array of departments, including cultured art from across the world, fine art, post-war and contemporary art, furniture, sculptures, gardenalia, interiors, collectible, jewellery, silver, timepieces, and much more.
As part of the ongoing changes to the way Criterion works, the number of lots has been halved, thereby increasing the quality of the goods and the rate of sale. By also putting the goods online for ten days, buyers have more time to examine goods, and vendors have more time to ensure bidders see their lots. The results speak for themselves, with increased capability across all departments, a busier auction room, and a simple, easy and efficient service for all vendors.
One of the key aspects to Criterion’s continued success is the development of the staff there. Knowledgeable and informed staff can assist clients and give them the trust and confidence to buy in the auction room. In such a rapid, turnaround environment, the staff are the greatest asset for the auction house to make sure that all potential buyers and vendors feel comfortable enough in their dealings.
By employing fresh, committed and informative staff who are personable and efficient, clients can immediately feel at ease seeing a familiar face on a weekly basis. Trusting relationships can be formed, and expert advice can be given to ensure that clients continue returning for that friendly touch to their buying or selling experience.
In what continues to be quite an old-fashioned business, Criterion are committed to using the best technology in an ongoing effort to streamline their auctions. Digital labelling is accurate and clear for clients in the sale room to see, and the speed afforded by technology can help reduce the amount of human error and labour involved. Every aspect from collection to delivery, cataloguing and selling are improved with the ongoing use of technology within the auction house.
Arguably the biggest benefit to being based in London is the size of Criterion’s clientele, and the eclecticism of their item stock that they bring to auction. Buyers are often vendors, and vice versa, so the relationship between the auction house and the client is a strong one, built over many years of bringing and showcasing a wide variety of items.
In all, Criterion’s continued success is down to their determination to not stand still in a constantly moving industry. Striving for better performances, services, and customer satisfaction all whilst creating an enjoyable and safe atmosphere for the staff to thrive in, this auction house in central London is revamping the way they work to achieve greater renown.