FAQ and Auction Terms


How do I bid with Bidsquare?

Bidders must register for the auction on the Bidsquare website (www.bidsquare.com) in order to participate. Once approved, bidders can leave absentee bids for live auctions, bid live in auctions and participate in online only auctions.

What is an online only auction?

An online-only auction takes place only online. Bidding activity takes place on the internet over a set period of time and there are no in-room, telephone or absentee bidders.

How do I know if an auction is broadcasting an audio stream?

If an audio stream is available for an auction, it is indicated by a play / pause / stop slider displayed in the bidding console.

How do I find content from a specific auction house on the Bidsquare website?

Use the Directory tab to locate upcoming and past content from a specific auction house, or designate the auction house as a filter for search when using the search function.

How can I obtain a condition report or additional info about a lot item?

Condition reports and additional information regarding any lots listed can be answered directly by the auction house selling the item. Please see our auction house Directory tab for contact information.

How do I contact the auction house?

Each auction house with sales on Bidsquare has an about page with full contact information. We encourage prospective bidders to contact the auction house directly for additional information. Please find full contact information for all auction houses on our Directory page.

There's a problem with an item I purchased at auction through the Bidsquare website

We suggest you get in touch with the auction house directly with your concerns. Contact information for all auction houses can be found on the Directory tab page.

What happens if I bid on the wrong lot?

If you are concerned that you made a bid error, please get in touch with the auction house immediately to discuss the situation.

I changed my mind after I placed a bid. What can I do?

All sales are bound by the Terms & Conditions of the individual auctioneer. Please contact the auction house as soon as possible to discuss your particular situation.

I have another issue that isn't listed here

We are happy to answer questions via email at support@bidsquare.com or by phone Monday-Sunday 9AM-5PM ET. Please call 800-657-0092.

Can you appraise my item?

Bidsquare is unable to provide information regarding appraisals on private items. We suggest that you contact one of our trusted auction houses directly. Please visit our auction house Directory tab for contact information.

What is Bidsquare’s Guarantee of the Lowest Buyer’s Premium?

If an auction has Bidsquare’s Lowest Buyer’s Premium Guarantee seal it means when you bid on Bidsquare you are receiving the lowest buyers premium possible for the sale when bidding online. This does not include an auction house’s own website.

Technical Terms

How do I know what browser I am using?

Please use http://whatbrowser.org/ to determine browser and version.

Is my device supported?

The bidding console works best from a laptop or desktop computer with the most current browser versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Can I bid from my mobile phone or tablet?

The bidding console works best from a laptop or desktop computer with the Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer browser. Bidding is possible, but not highly recommended from iOS and Android devices. Please ensure that you are on a WiFi network and connected to the Internet.

Do I have a firewall issue?

Many places of business such as financial institutions, hospitals, government agencies, and institutes of higher education have firewalls in place that may block access to the ports required for the live bidding console. Please check with your IT department for assistance in your specific place of work.

How can I get help using the site?

Not finding what you need? Please contact the Bidsquare support desk available via email at support@bidsquare.com and by phone at 1-800-657-0092 from Monday-Sunday 9AM-5PM ET.

Why does the website display incorrectly?

The Bidsquare website is optimized for use from a laptop or desktop computer running current versions of Safari, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Oftentimes clearing your browser cache will resolve an issue and is a good first step. One site to use for cache-clearing instructions is http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/

What can I do if the bidding console isn't working correctly for me?

Please use the "report a problem" link from the bid console. Your specific browser information will display for the support team to better assist them in helping you with the issues you report.

I can hear the audio, but can't see the images in the bidding console

Please make sure you have a recent version of the adobe flash player http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ installed.

It is also possible that the auction house is not streaming video for their sale and may be providing audio only.

How do I report a website bug?

We're sorry you encountered a bug on the Bidsquare website. To help us resolve the issue, Please send to an email to support@bidsquare.com and include as much detail as possible such as screen shots of an error message, the type of device you are using, the operating system/version, browser/version and URLs to assist us in troubleshooting any problems.

Why am I not receiving notification emails from Bidsquare?

Bidsquareemails are sometimes blocked by Spam filters. Please check your spam folder or Junk Mail folder and be sure to add Bidsquare to your safe senders list.

Auction Terms

View auction Terms

Absentee Bid
A method of bidding for those who cannot or do not wish to attend an auction. Absentee bids are also called "left" or "order" bids. An absentee bid may be placed before an auction begins. View the short video below on how to leave an absentee bid.

Asking Price (a.k.a. Bid Price)
When a bidder places a bid, the auctioneer asks the other bidders if any of them will pay a specific amount above the current bid – the ask price. Bid Increment: The amount by which the auctioneer increases the bidding. In general, the auctioneer will request bids of about 10% higher than the previous bid. For instance, if the bidding opens at $5,000, subsequent bids of $5,500, $6,000, $6,500, etc. would follow. The auctioneer can vary at his/her discretion.

Bidder Number
Every registered bidder receives a unique bidder number when they register for a given auction. If you are the highest bidder - the lot number, the final bid price and your bidder number goes into the auctioneer’s book and a back-up set of records known as clerking sheets to verify your purchase. View the short video directly below on live bidding to view where your bidder number is located during a sale.

Bought-In  (a.k.a. Passed)
If there are no bids on a lot, or if bidding does not reach the lowest possible selling price, the lot in "bought in", meaning it is unsold and remains the property of the owner.

The person who placed the highest bid on an item becomes the buyer, or new owner of that item when his/her bid is accepted by the auctioneer.

Buyer’s Premium
The percentage above the hammer price paid by the buyer to the auction house that is part of the total purchase price.

A person employed by an auction house to record for each lot sold, the lot number, the final bid price and the bidding number of the high bidder.

Competing Bids
Before and during a sale, an auction house accepts competing bids for a lot from absentee bidders, phone bidders, online and in room bidders if all of these bidding methods are available.

Condition Report
A written description of the imperfections of an object (or lack thereof), particularly of characteristics that might affect value. This is essential information for prospective bidders.

Consignor(a.k.a. Seller)
The owner who is authorizing the auction house to act as agent on his or her behalf for sale.

Consignor Agreement
The contract between the auction house and consignor.

Fair Warning
When an auctioneer announces "fair warning", he/she is saying, "Bid now or I am closing the lot. This is your last chance." If there are no bids forthcoming, the auctioneer’s hammer falls and the sale is complete for that lot.

Final Selling Price
Hammer Price/High Bid + Buyer’s Premium

Hammer Price
The highest bid accepted/the winning bid for a lot at auction/the price at which the auctioneer’s “hammer” falls. Note that this does not include the buyer’s premium.

Live Auction
A live auction is hosted by an auctioneer in real time, typically at the gallery or salesroom of the auctioneer, and is held before an audience of bidders. Bidsquare is a service that allows a bidder to remotely participate in a live gallery auction via the internet. Other bidders might participate -- in person, by phone or through an absentee bid sent in prior to the auction. Bidsquare participants place their bids via a computer, bidding in response to bids placed by others. Your bids are automatically received by a remote clerk, who places your bid in real time. Bidding will continue (usually at defined increments) until competition for the lot ends. If the highest bid offered meets the minimum price designated by the seller as acceptable, the lot is sold. The auctioneer will then move on to the next lot. View the short video below to see how a live auction runs on Bidsquare.

An individual object or group of objects offered for sale at auction as a unit.

Lot Number
Every lot in an auction is given a unique lot number. The lots are sold in numerical order.

Online Bidding
The option of bidding on Bidsquare in advance of an auction or in real time during an auction through a computer or mobile device.

Preview (a.k.a. Exhibition)
Every lot goes on public display in the days before an auction, whether at the auction house or online or both. Specialists are available to answer all questions. Auction house previews are typically free and open to the public.

Reserve Price
The reserve price is the lowest price which a seller is willing to accept for his or her property. At many auction houses, reserves must be set at or below the low estimate, and if bidding ends before the reserve is reached, the property will not be sold. An auction house may disclose the reserve; mark items which have reserves or keep the reserve confidential for the seller. Most auction houses keep the reserve confidential for the seller.

Soon after every auction, the selling prices, known as the results, are posted online. Customarily, the results include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, as this is the full amount the buyer has agreed to pay.

Seller’s Commission
The commission paid by an owner to the auction house for acting as the owner’s agent in the sale of his property. The auction house deducts the seller’s commission (and any agreed upon expenses) from the hammer price and send the rest to the owner.

Starting Price
The starting price is the lowest price at which a lot can sell (unless a reserve price is specified).

Timed Online Only Auction
A timed online only auction is automated and takes place solely online. The bidding for each lot is opened at a predetermined level set by the auctioneer, usually at a set time and stays open over an extended period of hours or days. During this period of open bidding one will be able to see the current high bid on each lot. You may place a higher bid at a defined bidding increment you choose. View the short video below for a further explanation of timed online only auctions.

Terms of Sale
The contract between the bidder and the auction house that specifies the legal terms governing bidding and purchase.