A Guide to Timed Online Auctions

A Guide to Timed Online Auctions

A Guide to Timed Online Auctions

We offer a full and varied auction calendar, with some of our auctions using a Timed Online format. Timed Online Auctions are purely online auctions - there is no auctioneer. Similarly it is not possible to bid by telephone or leave a commission bid direct with Dreweatts. Commission bids can be left via your online bidding account. 

How it works

Creating an online bidding account:

Before you can start bidding, you must create an online bidding account. For certain auctions, bidders may be asked to provide us with two forms of identification:

  1. a passport or photographic driving licence and
  2. a utility bill or document showing proof of name and address.

To create an online bidding account, click here.

 

Registering for an auction:

Once your online bidding account has been set up, log into your account, find the auction you are interested in and click the ‘Register to bid’ button.

Inline Image - Click the 'Register to bid' button to register for an auction.
Click the 'Register to bid' button to register for an auction.

When your auction registration has been approved, you can start placing bids.  Please ensure you register at least 24 hours in advance of the auction closing to ensure you are approved in time.  New registrants should also check the ‘Important information’ link for the relevant auction, for details on cut off times for new registrants. This is purely to allow enough time to set up and verify your account details.

Bidding period:

Each lot can be bid on ‘online’ over a defined period of time (typically 2-3 weeks).  At the end of the period, the bidder who has submitted the highest bid wins the lot, provided the bid exceeds the reserve price. 

All timed online auctions have an end-time displayed on the lot page. You can bid at any point from when the auction opens to when it closes.  On the final day, lots close sequentially at regular intervals (normally 30 seconds).   

 

Placing a bid:

So you’ve found the lot you’d like to bid on.  On screen you will see the ‘Current bid’ as well as the next bid amount (if there are no bids on the lot yet the 'Opening bid' amount will show).  Enter your maximum bid, in other words the most you are willing to bid using our pre-determined bidding increments, and we do the rest. We will bid intelligently for you, bidding just enough to keep you in the lead up to your maximum bid.  

When you place your bid, you’ll see on screen immediately if your bid is high enough to make you the ‘leading bid’.  If at any point someone bids higher than your maximum bid, the on screen message will change to "You have been outbid" and we will also send you an ‘outbid alert’ via email to let you know, so you can decide whether to bid more.

Inline Image - You are the current highest bidder!
You are the current highest bidder!
Inline Image - You have been outbid!
You have been outbid!

If there has already been bidding activity on the lot, the bidding history is also visible by clicking the bids link next to ‘Current bid’ where you will see bid amounts and the time of bidding.

Inline Image - Dreweatts timed online bidding screen showing the bidding history
Dreweatts timed online bidding screen showing the bidding history

Sniping, lot extensions and how to keep track of multiple lots

If a bid is placed within the last minute of the defined time period, a ‘lot extension’ kicks in and keeps the lot open for a further 1 minute. This is to stop ‘sniping’ – a practice used by bidders to place bids in the last few seconds to prevent other bidders being able to respond before the auction closes. 

Please note that the extension of one lot’s closing time does not affect other lots’ closing times. However you can keep an eye on more than one lot by setting your screen view to display multiple lots and in order of lots closing soonest.  This allows you to see bidding activity on multiple lots and bid quickly accordingly in just two clicks.

Inline Image - To keep track of lots closing, set your screen view to dsiplay lots in order of "End date (Soonest first)"
To keep track of lots closing, set your screen view to dsiplay lots in order of "End date (Soonest first)"

After the auction has closed

Please note, once the lot has closed, you will not see a message on screen to confirm whether you have won the lot or not, but you will have had a message to say if you were in the lead or not as the lot closes (see above).  After the auction has finished the lots you have won or lost will be showing in your online account (see "Won lots" and "Lost lots"). 

You will also receive an email with your invoice and a link to our online payment page as well as collection and shipping information. Where auctions finish late in the afternoon or evening, invoices will be sent out the following day.

To create an online account or register for an auction, please click here.

Top Tips

  1. To avoid disappointment, please ensure you register for an auction at least 24 hours in advance.  For certain auctions, bidders may be asked to provide us with two forms of identification: a) a passport or photographic driving licence and b) and a utility bill or document showing proof of name and address.
  2. Bidding increments: Dreweatts uses pre-determined bidding increments. For further details, please refer to the 'Important Information' link for each sale.
  3. Remember that at an auction it is up to you, the bidder, to satisfy yourself about the condition of an item. Ask for additional photos and a condition report if you need them. You can also view the objects in person at our salerooms.  Please check the relevant auction details for viewing times and COVID-19 restrictions. 
  4. Make sure you are aware of any additional charges on top of the hammer price (ie the winning bid amount) such as buyer’s premium and VAT on the buyer’s premium. In some cases there are additional fees such as ARR (artist’s resale rights) or import vat. Lots with additional fees will be marked accordingly.
  5. Always read the auction Terms & Conditions before bidding.

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Live Online Auctions and Timed Online Auctions: a guide to bidding at auction with Dreweatts

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