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Buying at Auction

All our auctions are 10 day online sales. They are called ‘timed’ auctions because they take place over a period of time.

The auctions invariably start on a Thursday at 5pm and conclude the following Sunday week (10 days later).

Closing an auction normally starts at 6pm and depending on the number of lots in any particular auction, closing will take place in blocks of between 5-10 lots at 2 minute intervals. By looking at any particular lot you will see the exact time at which the auction will close so there’s no guessing as to when an item will come up – which is what happens with ‘live’ auctions.

This gives you time to log-in at home and watch the final moments before any item in which you are interested comes up for sale. Because you are not actually present in an auction room it is easy to get side-tracked and forget to log in. It happens all the time.

We therefore suggest that you remind yourself with an ALARM ALERT. Our recommendation is that you log in to watch any item(s) that you are interested in say 8-10 minutes before your item comes to auction. So if, for example, lot number 208 is coming up at 6.40 then set your alarm for 6.30 to remind you to log in and place (or update) your bid. After every auction we get calls from clients wanting to know if a particular lot is still available because they forgot to log in. A very useful free online alarm which we are forever using is:

If you are bidding on multiple items that are close together (eg Lots 255, 256, 257) you may find they are all closing at the same time because they are in a block of 5. We recommend that in this case you get your bids in at least 5 minutes before the lots come up so that you can monitor more easily.

If a bid is received in the last 2 minutes before closing the auction will extend by a further 2 minutes to give you a chance to increase your bid if you have been outbid.

In order to bid online, you will need to register as a bidder by creating an account. Unlike many overseas auction houses, no payment details are required to create an account or register to bid at auction. We’re more trustworthy.

If you are a winner, you will receive an invoice following the auction and can either pay by bank transfer or over the phone using your debit or credit card. Using your card incurs a 2.9% surcharge. This is the bank’s charge to us. The cheapest option for you is bank transfer.

If you are collecting in person, although reluctant to do so, we are prepared to accept small amounts of cash (up to $2,000). You can also pay by card on collection.

Absentee Bidding (Let us do it for you)

If, for any reason, you are uncomfortable with online bidding, we can take instructions from you and lodge bids on your behalf up to the maximum that you are prepared to pay. There is no charge for this service. Apart from the usual contact details you must have a verifiable email address to use this service as all communications, including invoices, are sent by email. It is important to remember that the maximum amount you are prepared to bid does not include our buyer’s premium (15% +GST), which will be added to the final hammer price.

Terms and Conditions


The following notes are intended to assist bidders and buyers, particularly those who are inexperienced or new to auctions. All our auctions are governed by these Terms of Sale. Please make sure that you read carefully before bidding in the auction. If your bid is successful, you will be obliged to comply with these.

Methods of Payment

Lots must be paid for before they are collected or shipped. Lots should be paid for by bank transfer within 2 working days following receipt of our invoice at the conclusion of the sale. We accept payment by bank transfer; cash to maximum NZ$2,000; EFTPOS, credit and debit cards (Visa / Mastercard) and Paypal. Payments by Credit Card or Paypal carry a surcharge of 2.9% to cover bank charges / Paypal fees.

Collection, Storage & Shipping

All Lots should, as noted, be paid for within two working days and collected by 5pm on the Friday following the sale. We offer an inhouse shipping service on most items to New Zealand destinations (except for very large or valuable artworks). On these items we can often offer a personal delivery service to destinations in Auckland / Wellington and towns in between – at rates that are less than courier charges.

For overseas shipments (and valuable items going to the South Island we are able to supply the names of professional packers from whom you will be able to obtain a quote. Once you have made arrangements, we are then able to deliver to your chosen packer for a relatively small delivery charge.

In some cases we may be able to send very small items to overseas destinations. if so we will, on request, quote a packing/shipping charge.

Buyer’s Premium

There is a Buyer’s Premium of 15% (+GST) on the hammer price of each lot purchased. This is among the lowest in the industry. Overseas, premiums are now reaching up to 30%.

Inspection of Goods by the Buyer

As we act on behalf of the seller, we are generally dependent on information provided by the seller about their art. Because we are an online auction house, with the exception below, lots are not generally available for inspection as we have neither the space nor staff to facilitate this. Instead, we provide up to 3 (sometimes more) photos of each lot in the catalogue, being:

1. Image only (with size)
2. Image & frame (with size)
3. Signature (if any)

Inspections: Personal inspection of any lots with a low estimate of $200 or more can be arranged on 24 hours’ notice. The reason for this notice is that we are very pressed for space with lots are stored away on racks. They need to be retrieved and this process takes time.

High Resolution Photographs: As posted in the catalogue, lots are low resolution geared to the internet. If you are a serious bidder and would like to see the original high resolution photos (up to 12MB or more) which will enable to to inspect every detail then we can supply these photos on any item with a Starting Bid of $25 or more.

Export of Goods

If you intend to export any lots purchased you should find out whether, because of historic or national interest, an export licence is needed. In the case of artworks sold through Heritage Art this is unlikely to be the case.

Selling at Auction

Selling through Heritage Art Auctions could not be easier. Simply phone Henry Newrick on 027 471 2242 or email with details of what you have to sell. We can then provide you an idea of potential value based on current auction prices for works by the same artist.

One of the benefits of selling through Heritage Art Auctions is our very attractive commission rate (just 18%+ GST for low value items) reducing by degrees to 5% on artworks selling for $10,000 or more. We also offer a ‘trade’ rate to art/antique dealers & registered charities.

Auctions are normally kept open for a few weeks following the closure of online bidding, during which time we are often able to negotiate sales of works that went unsold during the auction

If you have only one or two items in our sales and they sell during the initial auction then we aim to make payment to your nominated bank account within 10 working days of our being paid.

If you have multiple items in a sale and some sell during the sale and others remain unsold, then in the 3-4 weeks following the sale we will endeavour to sell these before finally closing the sale. Payment will then be made on all paid for items within 10 working days of the sale closing.


Generally speaking we will accept a vendor’s description of an auction entry such as the artist’s name as being authentic. If the authenticity of any sold item is called into question (such as claiming the artwork is a forgery) and this is proven to be the case following receipt of expert opinion then we may seek to reclaim the proceeds of any payment made to the seller in order that the buyer may be refunded.

Unsold Artworks

Generally speaking we will offer any auction entry for sale on at least 2 occasions. If after the second offering the artwork remains unsold then we may continue to offer on the basis of lower estimates, or the works must be collected within 30 days. In the event that any work, requiring to be collected, is not removed within 30 days then storage charges will apply.

Deceased Estates

We welcome the opportunity to assist in the sale of artworks from deceased estates and are happy to give executors an idea of possible realisations based on current market values for any artworks in the estate. If we are unable to directly assist we can refer executors to specialists who can.


Heritage Art is now able to provide insurance valuations on any artworks that need an independent assessment. See our section on Valuations.


The two phrases we most often hear from clients bringing work to us for sale are:

1. We’re moving into a smaller home (unit or retirement village) and are downsizing
2. The children don’t want them (referring to the art in question)

If this fits your situation we’d be delighted to hear from you. Call Henry Newrick on 027 471 2242.