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This page updated February 1, 2018.

Our Personal Ranking of Online Auction Houses

The following ratings are as objective as I can make them. Several criteria are employed to arrive at an overall rating:
1. General appearance of website.
2. Defining of terms (ie. buyer premium, etc)
3. Thoroughness of descriptions.
4. Quality of photos.
5. Overall general quality of offerings. (Subjective observation)

NOTE: The following entry provides an example of the reviews we will post here. I chose these two houses because they are above and beyond the majority of the thousands of auctioneers in the U.S, not to mention the world. Ensuing reviews will essentially follow the same format, so if you subscribe to our newsletter, Spotlight for Collectors. we will give you a heads-up whenever new reviews are added.

James D. Julia Inc., div. Morphy Auctions  Fairfield, Maine and Denver, PA -

Note: Julia has now merged with Morphy Auctions and is now a division of Morphy Auctions, expanding the specialty auction areas they represent. They have consistently brought to auction the very finest examples in the respective specialties: Rare Firearms; Rare Lamps,Glass & Fine Jewelry; and Fine Art, Asian and Antiques. The merger opens new specialty areas including Toys, Petroliana and Autmobiliana, Coin Op, Advertising, and more.

The websites of both houses are very well designed and laid out.

The Morphy digital catalogues are beautifully produced with concise, accurate descriptions. (In my case, the catalogue pages tend to load a trifle slowly) The Julia catalogues are equally beautiful, and the descriptions are complete and thorough.

These two companies now joined, are poised to approach total sales of 80 million dollars annually, making them  one of the top Auction houses in the U.S.

Both houses consistently offer the best of the best, no matter which category is being offered. Currently there is a small difference between them in buyer's premium, Julia charging 21% and Morphy, 20% of hammer price with both adding an extra 3% for those paying by credit card. (Please refer to their separate Terms of Sale for full disclosure.)

If you are considering consigning to either house, the commissions charged to the consignor are for Julia, based on a sliding scale starting at 20% at the top and going down to 0% for highest selling items. I have no details on Morphy commissions, but they probably are similar. Contact each house independently for specific details regarding consignment and commissions.


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