How to place your bid
There are multiple ways to place bids on Artsy.
When you find a lot you want, one option is to set your bid at the next available bidding increment, which is known as a Minimum Bid. If someone outbids you, you can return to the auction on Artsy to place a higher bid to stay in the lead.
However, the recommended option is to place a maximum bid, which you can set to the maximum price you would pay for the lot. Artsy will bid on your behalf, up to (but not exceeding) this amount to maintain your position as the highest bidder as the sale progresses. This way, you can sit back and relax during the auction and still buy the work at the lowest possible price. If you place a maximum bid, you can still raise that maximum bid or join live bidding, if applicable, to continue bidding beyond your max if desired.
Your maximum bid is entirely confidential, and will never be shared with the auction house or nonprofit hosting the sale.
Bidding in live auctions
Bidding live gives you the best chance to win the lot. If you are not able to bid live you can submit a maximum bid anytime before the lot opens, and Artsy will do the work of bidding for you.
If you plan to bid live, we recommend:
- Adding the live auction to your calendar ahead of time.
- Saving works you’re interested in by clicking “Watch lot” for the artwork you’d like to bid on. For lots that are over 8 lots (approximately 10 minutes) into the sale start, notifications will be sent to you a few minutes before you lot via email if you’ve already bid on a work or saved it.
- Make sure you have the Artsy app downloaded before the sale begins. As live auctions move quickly, Artsy does not send you emails during the sale if you are outbid, so make sure to download the Artsy app to follow along on-the-go.
- Watch the sale 10 to 15 lots before your lot of interest so that you can jump in and bid live as soon as your lot opens.
Bidding in online-only auctions
In online-only auctions, you can place a maximum bid anytime while the auction is live.
For the best chance at winning an online-only auction, we recommend:
- Making sure you’ve added your phone number to your Collector Profile to receive text notifications if you are outbid. You can add your phone number to your Collector Profile here. We’ll also notify you by email.
- Add the online-only auction close time to your calendar. Bidding is the most active during the last 10 minutes of the sale so, if you are available, it’s a good idea to monitor the auction at this time.