Strategies for Bidding in Artsy Auctions

Whether you are currently bidding in an auction on Artsy or still waiting for the perfect piece to come to market, follow these five tips to make sure that you never miss out on the works you want.


Always Register

Registering for an auction is free—and required to participate in sales on Artsy. For live auctions, note that you need to register more than 24 hours before the sale to place bids.

You can register for all upcoming auctions here.


Follow Artists

Stay on top of the auctions calendar by following your favorite artists on Artsy, and you will get an email when new works by these artists come up for sale.

If you would like to update your email preferences on Artsy, you can log into your Collector Profile to specify the type and frequency of emails you want to receive.


Set Max Bids

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.

The second, recommended option is to place a “Maximum Bid,” which you can set to the maximum price you would pay for the lot. Artsy will automatically bid on your behalf, up to (but not exceeding) this amount to maintain your position as 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.

Your “Max Bid” is entirely confidential, and will never be shared with the auction house hosting the sale.


Look Out for the Rush

If you are bidding in an online-only auction, be sure to note when the sale closes as there is often a rush of bidding in the final hours.

Artsy will notify you by email if you are outbid, giving you time to decide whether or not to raise your bid in response. If you would like to receive text notifications as well, you can add your phone number to your Collector Profile here.

If you are outbid in the last few minutes of an online-only sale, you may not have time to increase your bid before the sale closes. For this reason, our specialists encourage you to log into Artsy to monitor the very end of the auction.

For live auctions, you can join the sale on your computer or mobile device to continue bidding from anywhere. Artsy will send you a text when the sale goes live and will notify you by email when your lot is approaching. 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.


Contact an Artsy Specialist

If you have questions about your bidding strategy or want to learn more about your favorite lots, contact our team of Artsy Specialists. Underneath the “Bid” button, click “Ask a Specialist” to send a message to the team, and you will hear back within one business day. Alternatively, you can email your questions directly to specialist@artsy.net at any time.  


Explore current auctions on Artsy, and start bidding on your favorite lots today. Remember to register, follow, bid, and look out for the rush—and always reach out to the specialist team if you have any questions.