Nope OA. You frequently make this assertion about Auctions.
In this case You (or I or anyone else) have NO idea what the hammer would have come down at auction. So no, you would not have had a £300 hit on £1800 necessarily. Your costs would be commensurate with whatever the hammer price was. It could have been less, or considerably more.
Besides, who says the item must be sold through an Auction house? Lots of ways of skinning this particular cat.
The finder does NOT have 'Zero Expenses' either.
You have to fund your machine and kit, you factor in your time and effort getting it to point of sale, petrol, and cost too if you are paying to dig. Plus you have to pay half to the land-owner. Then, as you have said yourself, there are fees if you Auction.
I'm for the original poster getting as much as he possibly can for this item
. Totally. I have no qualms about it. I would expect others within the hobby to be happy with this.
And as for the repeated mantra of 'independent assessors or experts'...No-one is ever
independent. They are ALL employed by, funded by, appointed by, given the gig by, given some influence by...someone. And that someone is the person who can end it all.You are an 'independent expert' and give consistently high valuations? Well you clearly risk being off the roster and losing out on the expenses paid trips to London and whatever else comes by the way from these things.
My husband served on the 'Independent' arbitration scheme funded by the Pub Companies. No prizes whatsoever for guessing that those industry experts who showed too much sympathy with the pub tenants were not asked back again.