PLACING A BID
In the auction room
You will need to register as a bidder ahead of the event, up to the morning of the sale, by providing photo ID (such as a driving licence or passport). Before the sale, you’ll be given a paddle or a numbered card to hold up when you want to bid on something (so you needn’t worry about scratching your ear at an inopportune moment!)
By leaving a ‘commission’ or ‘absentee’ bid
If you can’t attend a sale, you can register for the auction and leave a maximum bid – a cut-off point – for the lot you’re interested in.
If you register as a phone bidder (phone lines are allotted on a first come, first served basis, so sign up early), a member of the auction house staff will call you a few lots before the lot you want. When your piece is up, they will pass your bids on to the auctioneer on the day.
While the top auction houses have their own digital services, regional auction houses use the-saleroom.com to host their sales online. You can register beforehand, and leave a maximum bid, or bid live. One great feature for collectors is that you can set up alerts for key pieces, so you never miss an opportunity to bid.