The information below sets out the different ways of bidding at our auctions. The Terms & Conditions for buyers appear after the section below.
The Four Ways of Bidding
Our auctions are held both online and inhouse with two different platforms.
1. ‘Live’ auctions which are held both in the saleroom and online at the same time.
2. ‘Timed’ auctions which are held online only, opening on a set date and closing about 10 days later in blocks of 5 lots at a time every two minutes – with extensions for last minute bidding.
From the launch date of each sale you can view our full catalogue and bid online. This allows you to bid for lots from the comfort of your own home, whilst being able to follow the sale live by logging in when the sale goes ‘live’.
In order to bid online, you will need to register as a bidder by creating an account.
Once your registration and payment details are complete you can enjoy bidding online from any device. If you win, you will receive an invoice and can either pay by bank transfer or over the phone using your debit or credit card. Using your card over the phone incurs a small surcharge, this being the bank’s charge to us.
With ‘live’ auctions in the sale room you can also leave an absentee bid up to 1 hour before the auction starts. Just enter the maximum amount you’re willing to pay and the system will enter the next increment on your behalf. The auctioneer has no idea what your maximum bid is as the process is entirely automated. Just bear in mind that the market is currently strong so if you really do want an item and are proposing an absentee bid, don’t bid too cheaply. You may get lucky – but chances are you won’t.
This is the traditional auction method. You simply turn up on the day of the auction, inspect the artworks you may be interested in and register with the front desk. Once your details are received you will be given an A5 sized card with your bidding number on it. To bid, simply hold up your card or otherwise indicate to the auctioneer that you are bidding. If the art is knocked down to you the auctioneer will ask to see your number which will coincide with your registration details at the front desk.
When you have finished bidding simply go to the front desk and wait for an invoice to be generated. This may take a little while. You can then pay by EFTPOS, debit or credit cards (Visa/Mastercard). EFTPOS and Debit Cards when used in person carry no surcharge. Credit cards carry a small surcharge equivalent to the charge made by the bank (less than 3%).
When paid, your invoice will be stamped PAID and this will be handed to a staff member who will locate your purchase. If the auction is still in progress you may have to wait a bit.
You can leave a maximum absentee bid with the office by email or over the phone. The auctioneer will then bid on your behalf from the rostrum, attempting to win the lot for you as cheaply as possible. It is important to remember that the maximum amount you leave does not include our buyer’s premium (15% +GST), which will be added to the final hammer price.
We are happy to take bids over the phone. Once this has been arranged a member of staff will contact you during the auction, several lots before the one you are interested in is offered. The staff member will take your bids when the item comes up and will stop when you have either won or dropped out.
If you would like to request a telephone bid on any of our lots please contact the office, before the cut-off time, providing your full contact details and intended method of payment. We will also need a credit or debit card as security. This will only be used if you win and then default on the agreed method of payment (eg Bank transfer).
For telephone bidding you need to contact us no later than 4pm the day prior to the auction. Telephone bids can only be accepted where the low estimate is $400 or more. Otherwise, please leave an absentee bid or bid online.
There are risks associated with telephone bidding for which we can take no responsibility. For example we may not, for various reasons, be able to reach you when calling. You may be driving and out of range. If we do connect with you the connection may be lost if you are in a weak coverage area.
Acceptance of telephone bids is conditional on the office’s approval and confirmation.
Terms & 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 our Terms of Sale. Please make sure that you read these carefully before bidding in the auction. If your bid is successful, you will be obliged to comply.
Methods of Payment
Lots must be paid for before they are collected or shipped. Lots should be paid for on the day of the sale or within 2 working days following receipt of our invoice at the conclusion of the sale. We accept payment by bank transfer; cash to an upper limit of NZ$5,000; EFTPOS, credit and debit cards (Visa / Mastercard) and Paypal. Payments by Credit Card or Paypal carry a surcharge 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 do not offer an inhouse shipping service but can transfer any purchased items to Pack & Send in Palmerston North (94 km away) for professional packing and despatch. A nominal charge of $10 per item is made for this transfer service. Onward packing / shipping must be arranged with Pack & Send (or any other entity of your choice) and we will provide you with the necessary details of your purchase to enable you to receive a packing/shipping quote. In a few cases we may be able to directly send small items such as unframed photos or paintings (if they fit flat in a courier bag) and if so we will directly quote a packing/shipping charge.
There is a Buyer’s Premium of 15% (+GST) on the hammer price of each lot purchased.
Inspection of Goods by the Buyer
As we act on behalf of the seller, we are dependent on information provided by the seller about their art. We may inspect lots and will act reasonably in taking a general view of them. You will have an opportunity to inspect those artworks going to a ‘live’ sale on the day before the auction and on the day of the auction up to 1 hour prior to the start of bidding. You should (where possible) inspect lots that you might wish to bid for. The exceptions to this are those lower value artworks for which bidding starts and finishes online. All such artworks will be photographed and described as accurately as possible.
We may be able to assist buyers unable to view for various reasons by emailing a condition report, but these are based solely on our own opinion and are for guidance only. Intending buyers, where possible, are strongly encouraged to view or have another person view for them. Condition reports cannot be prepared on the day of the sale.
Export of Goods
If you intend to export any lots purchased you must find out whether, because of historic or national interest, an export licence is needed.
Bidders attending a ‘live’ auction are requested to register with us no later than 30 minutes before the auction starts and obtain a bidding number. You may also bid online during the auction or by telephone. If you wish to bid by telephone you must place your request no later than 4pm on the day prior to the live auction. We can only accept telephone bids where the low estimate is not less than $400. Telephone bidding involves many variables and whilst we take every care to ensure the smooth operation of this service, we cannot be held liable if your bids are missed for any reason. If you register for telephone bidding one of our consultants will phone you about 3-5 minutes before the lot in which you are interested comes up.
If you are not able to bid online you may also leave an absentee bid by contacting us no later than three (3) hours prior to the auction beginning. Absentee bids must be confirmed in writing by email prior to acceptance. If you do not have internet access you will need to arrange email confirmation to be sent by a friend or colleague. The procedure therefore is to first PHONE us with your maximum bid and then immediately send email confirmation of your bid to us. Absentee bids will be based on the hammer price. In the event of two (2) identical absentee bids, the first received will take precedence. You must also allow for the 15% (+GST) buyer’s premium which is applied to the hammer price. We will endeavour to purchase at the best possible price, having regard to the reserve (if any) and any competing bids, up to your maximum bid.
As auctioneers we may bid on behalf of the vendor, where there is a reserve price, up to but not beyond any reserve price – which is generally, but not always set at 90% of the low estimate and in rare estimates at the low estimate, but never beyond it.
Unless the auctioneer determines otherwise, bidding increments will be at the rate of 10% based on the last $$$ hundreds or thousands sum. Thus, where the bidding is at $400-$500 the increment will be $40 but when $500 is reached this will change to $50, etc. In the event of any dispute during the auction for whatever reason, the auctioneer will be the final arbiter.
Terms to come
We are happy to advise on the selling of art and objets d’art from deceased estates. If any items are not suited to our auctions we will be happy to suggest avenues of disposal more suited. We are also pleased to offer law firms and estate executors our trade rate commissions.
Over the years we have seen insurance valuations that bear no relation to reality. These valuations are based on the so-called ‘replacement’ value of a particular painting or artwork. Given that most paintings are the result of inspired creativity on the part of the creator (artist), asking that artist to recreate a work if the original is destroyed seems somewhat futile. The artist may even be dead. The spark has gone, even if you do pay the artist for say 100 hours of work at $50 hour ($5,000).
We believe it is more realistic to provide insurance valuations based on current market values for a particular artist’s work, such values being determined by the price of similar sized works for that artist at auction over the last few years, adjusted for inflation where thought necessary.
Thus if a particular artist’s work of a similar size to that being insured has an average auction value of $20,000 then that will be our valuation – being the replacement value with another work from the artist at auction rather than the re-creation of the work by the artist (if still living). If you wished to insure for replacement, not just at auction but also from dealers and galleries you would need to double the auction estimate. Where possible, valuations will be supported by data showing sales of similarly sized but different works by that artist.
Our insurance valuations start at $100 and move upward from there depending on the number of works being valued and the amount of research involved. Researching an obscure European artist will inevitably involve more work that a better known New Zealand or Australian painter.
Reasons for Selling
The two most common phrases we hear at Heritage Auctions are:
1. We’re moving into a small flat (or retirement home) and are downsizing as we no longer have the space.
2. We’d love to leave the art collection to our children but they are just not interested.
We do not offer an inhouse shipping service but can transfer any purchased items to Pack & Send in Palmerston North (94 km away) for professional packing and despatch. A nominal charge of $10 per item is made for this transfer service. Onward packing / shipping must be arranged with Pack & Send (or any other entity of your choice) and we will provide you with the necessary details of your purchase (Dimensions / weight / etc) to enable you to receive a packing/shipping quote. In a few cases we may be able to directly send small items such as unframed photos or paintings (if they fit flat in a courier bag) and if so we will directly quote a packing/shipping charge.