How to buy

A simple step by step guide on how to buy at auction with Bonhams

How to place a bid

Attending the auction
If you attend in person, you will be given your bidding paddle at registration. When you want to bid on an item, raise the paddle so that the auctioneer can see you. If you are successful, the auctioneer will make a note of your paddle number and you can then pay for the item at the Cashier's Office. If you are bidding on more than one lot, you can pay for everything you have bought in one go at the end of the auction.

Live online bidding
If you have registered for online bidding, you will be able to log in with the details you have been given on the day of the auction. You will then be able to follow the auction 'live' and make your bids accordingly.

Telephone bidding
On the day of the auction, we will telephone you about five lots before your lot is announced. Once bidding begins, we will talk you through as the bids progress and ask you at each stage if you wish to continue. This will carry on until you are successful, or tell us that you want to stop bidding.

Absentee bids

Online
If you are unable to be at the auction personally you can make an absentee bid online. Just register to bid in the normal way, then, using the online catalog, select the Lot you would like to bid on and click on the 'bid/track' link. Enter the username and password you will have been given in your confirmation email and leave a bid. You will be notified by email if you are successful.

Other
You are welcome to place an absentee bid, which we can make on your behalf during the auction. All you need to do is complete a bidding form specifying the Lot(s) on which you want to leave an absentee bid. This gives us written permission to act as your representative to try and secure the Lot(s) at the lowest possible price, subject to any reserve and interest from other bidders. The bidding form can be found in the relevant sale catalog, or you can obtain one at a Bonhams saleroom or online. You should give us the maximum Hammer Price you are prepared to pay, (remembering to take into account the Buyer's Premium and any taxes payable on top of the Hammer Price). We may need to see proof of identity and residence.

Contacts
  1. Customer Services (UK)
    General Enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +44 20 7447 7447
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7401
  2. Customer Services & Bids (New York)
    General Enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 212 644 9001
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9009
  3. Customer Services & Bids (San Francisco)
    General Enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 415 861 7500
    FaxFax: +1 415 861 8951
  4. Customer Services & Bids (Los Angeles)
    General Enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 323 850 7500
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 6090
  5. Customer Services (Australia)
    General Enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +61 2 8412 2222
    FaxFax: +61 2 9475 4110
  6. Customer Services (Hong Kong)
    General Enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +852 2918 4321
    FaxFax: +852 2918 4320
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