What to Ask an Auctions Specialist

When you are exploring an auction on Artsy and have questions about a particular lot, you can contact our team of specialists for support.

Artsy Specialists are here to help you make informed purchases, providing you with data insights about any artist or artwork in a sale. You can ask them about anything from condition reports to bidding strategies to shipping costs. Here are a few ways to get started.


Ask Your Questions Early

Since auctions move quickly, Artsy Specialists suggest you get in touch as soon as you become interested in a lot. Underneath the “Bid” button, simply click “Ask a Specialist” to send a direct message to the team, and you will hear back within one business day. Alternatively, you can email your questions to specialist@artsy.net at any time.  


Ask About the Lot

“We have spoken to hundreds of bidders and have learned what questions are important to have answered before you bid online,” explains Specialist Jane Larson.

As a first step, Jane always recommends inquiring about the condition of the artwork. “We can send you a condition report for any lot in an Artsy auction.” If you still want more information about the work, Jane adds, “You can also ask for additional images of the piece so that it’s easier for you to imagine it in your space.”


Ask About Added Costs

Auction bids are binding, so make sure you understand the overall cost of a lot before placing your bid.

In addition to your final bid, the full price of an artwork can include sales tax, shipping costs, and the buyer’s premium. These fees vary by auction house and the bidder’s country of residence, so consult our team of specialists for estimates on what these added costs might be for you.


Ask About Strategy

Artsy Specialists are experts in the art market and know the best ways to win lots on Artsy.

“We have seen time and time again what strategies work well for every type of sale, from the big houses like Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips to smaller ones from around the world,” explains Specialist Erin Kim. “Ultimately, we want to help you buy the work you want at the lowest possible price.”


Stay in Touch

Winning a lot at auction isn’t the last step in the process. After the sale, the auction house will reach out to discuss payment, invoicing, and shipment. At every step, our specialists are available to assist with any questions or special requests.

To get in touch with an Artsy Specialist today, contact specialist@artsy.net.