Quick answer: To win!
Placing live bids in addition to a pre-sale maximum bid will increase your chances of winning your lot(s) of interest.
Fun Fact: In 2019 live auctions, Artsy bidders were twice as likely to win their lot of interest when placing live bids.
What’s the recommended bidding tactic for giving me the best chance at winning my lot(s) of interest in a live auction?
A combination of max AND live bids: First, place a max bid prior to the live sale start so that your bid is prioritized ahead of other bidders. Then, once the auction has begun, join in via Artsy’s digital sale page to watch the action in real time, and continue bidding on our live bidding console should you wish to bid beyond your original max bid value and beat any competing bidders to win your lot(s).
Why live bidding works and expectations for live auctions:
There are a variety of bid types competing in a sale room: Phone bids, in-person bids, absentee bids, and other online bids. As such, being the highest bidder on Artsy prior to the live auction start does not guarantee that there will be no further interest in the sale room when your lot is up on the block. In most live auctions you can expect a high level of real time bidding activity and tuning in through Artsy’s live bidding console allows you to watch this activity unfold to ensure that your bids are truly competitive.
Expectations for Winning Bid Value
Auction estimates serve as a general guide for where the auction specialists expect a lot to sell. That said, while a max bid within an estimate range should offer a chance of success, lots can also achieve hammer prices above their pre-sale estimate. We therefore encourage you to place your max bid within estimate range, if possible, and also join live to ensure that your bid level is competitive with those of other interested bidders. As a reminder, bids will be placed on your behalf for the lowest competitive price up to, but not beyond your defined maximum bid amount.
Logistical tips for preparing to bid live
- Use the “Add to calendar” button on sale pages as a reminder to tune in on time.
- Download/update the Artsy iOS app here so you can bid via phone while on the go!
- Turn your notifications on for the Artsy app, so you can be alerted of important auction and bidding updates.
- Log in and get set up on the digital sale page at the very beginning of auction so you’re ready to bid when the time comes. Then, tune in a few lots before your lot of interest is up on the block to get the hang of the auctioneer’s speed & rhythm.
If you have any questions about live auctions or live bidding strategies, please feel free to reach out to our team at [email protected].