How to bid in a live auction

Online bidding on allows you to participate in a live auction as it is happening.

Bidding in a live auction

Bid on as the live auction takes place and follow the sale via the real-time audio and video feeds.

You can bid online in real time against other bidders who are in the room or on the telephone.  You can do this from your home computer, or on your tablet or mobile phone. You’ll be able to watch and listen to the auction as it progresses and bid on the items you want.

Once you have browsed the lots available and found something you like, it’s time to get ready to bid. Set up an account with, if you haven’t already, then follow these simple steps:

1. Register for the auction

To participate in a live auction online you need to register your details with the auctioneer before the sale – just as you would in person at the auction house.

From the auction page, click on the blur button on the right hand of your screen that says ‘Get approved to bid’.

Get approved to bid in an online auction

Click the 'Get approved to bid' button to register for the sale and start online bidding.

2. Before the auction

Make a note of the date and time when the auction is taking place – you can even set an automatic email reminder to be sent ahead of the event.

If you want to, you can place a max bid. You just enter the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the item, and then will take care of the bidding from there. We will never go above your maximum bid, and will only ever bid just enough to keep you in the lead. It’s the most convenient way to bid at an auction.

Remember that charges such as buyer’s premium will be added to the hammer price later. Learn more about auction fees in our special guide.

Bid live at auction on your mobile phone

You can bid live from anywhere on your tablet or mobile phone via which is compatible across all devices.

3. Live bidding

To bid in a live auction as the sale is taking place, firstly log in to your account on and find the auction in which you wish to bid.

Assuming you have registered for the auction (see step one above) and have been approved by the auctioneer then you’re ready to bid live.

If the auction is already underway, you’ll see the live-sale page where you can see and hear the auction taking place via the live audio and video feeds.

The current lot being sold is shown on screen with the level of bidding displayed alongside.

Keep an eye out for when the item you want to bid on is coming up. As the auctioneer offers that item, click the big blue BID button to make a bid for the amount you see. The bid will be relayed to the auctioneer in the room and if you're in the lead, the bid button will turn green and a message 'You are in the lead' will be displayed.

If you're outbid, the blue bid button will reappear.

Even if you already left a max bid before the auction, you can still bid live beyond that level.

If you win your lot, the auction house will usually get in touch to arrange payment and delivery. You may wish to contact them first to speed up the process.

Do remember that, whether you’re in the room or online, bidding is a contractual commitment to buy.

Get bidding!

Live auctions are fun to watch and even more fun when you’re one of the bidders.

Now you know how to do it, it’s over to you to give it a go.

Good luck!

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