How to buy

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

After the auction

Online results
If you weren't present or able to follow the auction live, you can find details online via the Bonhams website in the 'Auction Results' section, so that you can easily check whether or not you were successful.

The price you pay is the amount at which the auctioneer's hammer falls (the hammer price), plus a buyer's premium (a percentage of the final hammer price) and tax where applicable. You will be given an invoice made out to the name and address on your Registration Form, which may not be subsequently altered. The invoice gives a breakdown of the various costs. Full details of charges and rates can be found in the 'Conditions of Sale' and 'Important Notices' printed in each catalogue.

Methods of Payment:

If you are sending payment by post, please enclose the tear-off slip from your invoice. We cannot accept cheques drawn by third parties. If you have a credit or cheque acceptance account with Bonhams, you will be able to take your goods immediately providing the sum is within the agreed limit. (Customer Services will be able to tell you more about how to set up an acceptance account (link to Otherwise, please leave at least eight working days for the cheque to clear before collecting your purchases.

Payments can be made at the Cashier's Office, either during or after a auction.

Bankers draft
This will need to be confirmed with the issuing bank, prior to acceptance

Bank transfer
All transfers must state the relevant auction number, lot number and your bid / paddle number. If transferring from a foreign currency, the amount we receive must be the total due after currency conversion and the deduction of any bank charges.

Debit card
There is no additional charge for purchases made with these cards.

Credit card
Visa and Mastercard as well as the China Union card are accepted in all locations. The American salerooms also accept Amex. It is often a good idea to let your card provider know in advance that you intend to buy something. This can help cut down the time we need to seek authority when you come to pay.

If you attend a auction in person and are successful in your bid, you are free to collect and remove your item there and then once payment has been made. If you are not able to do so you can arrange for storage and shipping either yourself or by using Bonhams specialist services.

For bulky items, or where it is not possible for you to remove your purchases immediately, please refer to the conditions in the auction catalogue or contact the saleroom concerned. Collection and storage charges may apply for items which are not collected on the day of the auction.

We are happy to help with delivery and will provide a quote to do so, on request. We can arrange for your goods to be delivered to you once we have received your written dispatch instructions and full payment, including shipping costs. For international deliveries an export licence may be required. Please contact our Shipping Department if you need any further information.

UK shipping & transportation:
USA shipping & transportation:

  1. Customer Services (UK)
    General enquiries
    Work +44 20 7447 7447
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7401
  2. Customer Services & Bids (New York)
    General enquiries
    Work +1 212 644 9001
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9009
  3. Customer Services & Bids (San Francisco)
    General enquiries
    Work +1 415 861 7500
    FaxFax: +1 415 861 8951
  4. Customer Services & Bids (Los Angeles)
    General enquiries
    Work +1 323 850 7500
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 6090
  5. Customer Services (Australia)
    General enquiries
    Work +61 2 8412 2222
    FaxFax: +61 2 9475 4110
  6. Customer Services (Hong Kong)
    General enquiries
    Work +852 2918 4321
    FaxFax: +852 2918 4320
Contact a specialist
Click here to view a list of our specialist departments