Artsy Auction Information

How to Bid

Bidding on Artsy is easy with our automatic bidding system. Enter any bid amount as long as it is greater than or equal to the next minimum bid shown on the bidding screen, then click the “Bid” button. This will automatically place a bid for you at the next increment and save the amount you entered (if higher) as your “Maximum Bid.” You will receive an email from us to let you know your bid has been received.

We strongly recommend that bidders don't wait until the final moments of an auction to place their bids, as factors like Internet speed may affect how long it takes your bid to be placed. Also, please keep in mind that all bidders will need to register and add their credit card information before bidding.

Maximum Bids

When you enter a bid amount higher than the next minimum bid, the amount you enter is treated as your Maximum Bid. Entering a Maximum Bid does not necessarily mean you will pay that price. You may pay less. As the auction proceeds, the system will bid automatically for you against other bidders, according to our automatic bidding increments (see below), up to (but not exceeding) your Maximum Bid, only as much as necessary to maintain your position as highest bidder.

Bidding Increments

Our automatic bidding increments determine the next minimum bid that can be placed. They are based on the current bid of each item and increase at the following intervals, when the current bid is:

  • Under $1,000: $50
  • $1,000 - $1,999: $100
  • $2,000 - $4,999: $250
  • $5,000 - $9,999: $500
  • $10,000 - $19,999: $1,000
  • $20,000 - $49,999: $2,000
  • $50,000 - $99,999: $5,000
  • $100,000 - $199,999: $10,000
  • $200,000 - $499,999: $25,000
  • $500,000 - $999,999: $50,000
  • At or Above $1,000,000: $100,000

Note: While our usual bidding increments are listed above, from time to time, we may increase, decrease, add or remove increments in order to test new bidding features, optimize the bidding experience or for other purposes. This may occur before, during or after any auction.


Some items available for bidding on Artsy may be offered subject to a reserve price (also known as a "reserve"), which is the confidential minimum price below which the item may not be sold in the auction. When you bid on an item with a reserve, if your Maximum Bid meets or exceeds the reserve, your bid will be increased automatically to meet the reserve, and bidding will continue from there. If an item is offered with a reserve, Artsy will be authorized to bid on the seller's behalf, up to the amount of the reserve.

Buyer's Premium

Depending on the seller, some items available for bidding on Artsy may be offered subject to a buyer's premium, which is an additional charge the winning bidder pays on top of the item's hammer price. If an item has a buyer's premium, this will be indicated on Artsy along with the rate of the buyer's premium. The buyer's premium is calculated as a percentage of the item's hammer price.

Buy Now

In addition to bidding, you may be able to place an order to purchase some items at a fixed price using our Buy Now feature. These items will be listed with a “Buy Now” button in addition to a “Bid” button, and the Buy Now feature will be available until bidding for the item meets the starting bid, or, if the item has a reserve, until bidding meets the reserve. If an item is ordered using the Buy Now feature, it will be withdrawn from the auction pending completion of the Buy Now purchase.


All bidders need to register by completing an online form and providing all required information, such as their full name, contact information, and credit card details. Sometimes additional information may be required, and we’ll notify you of additional requirements when they apply.

Conditions of Sale

Our standard Conditions of Sale contain terms, conditions and information that apply to all bidders, including information about payments, taxes and shipping. Please review them carefully before placing your bid.

More Information

If you have any questions about bidding on Artsy, feel free to contact us.