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How to participate in online art auctions

In Australia, online bidding is a great way to participate in art auctions. Many people have made successful purchases through online auctions. 

There are also awards for commitment to excellent auctions in Australia.

The most popular online bidding method is through an auction house’s website. This is how art auction in Australia works:

The first step is to register for the auction.

Before you even start bidding, you’ll need to register for the art auction. This usually costs you a fee, but it also allows you to bid on any art in that auction. There are two ways to do this:

  • Register online before the auction starts; or
  • Call or visit an online art auction house during business hours and sign up in person (and pay your registration fee).

If you can register online before the auction starts, do so as soon as possible because many people will try to do so at once. If there’s a lot of demand for a particular piece of artwork from one artist, then there may be limited space left open within each round of bidding. To register for an auction, you usually need to provide your name, address, phone number, email address and credit card information.

Bid on a lot before the auction

If you’re interested in an item, bid for it beforehand and place your minimum bid. You can see the current bid amount and the high bid for that item at any time by clicking on its title or picture. The absentee bidding works owing to innovative platforms of art houses that keep track of all the live bids and the pre-placed bids. As a result, the highest bidder wins the art piece, and the art houses take care of VIP shipping worldwide.

Participate in a live online auction

Live online auctions are conducted in real-time, as they would be at a physical auction house or gallery. Online bidders see the same screens and hear the same audio as those at the auction house. You can participate from anywhere using your computer, tablet or smartphone. And like live attendees, you can hear the bids as they are made on your computer or phone screen and see them displayed on a monitor. Plus, you’ll see all of this happening through video feeds that will appear directly above or below each lot being sold (depending on whether it’s an item up for bid or not).

Additionally, many galleries hold private auctions exclusively for their clients (friends of artists or collectors). These occasions aren’t open to the general public but might be worth checking out if you’re passionate about a particular artist’s work and want to support them directly.

Online art bidding is popular.

Some provide full service, live and online art auction houses and galleries in Australia.

There are risks in buying art through an online auction, but you can take steps to limit these risks and ensure that your purchases meet your expectations.

  • Check the seller’s feedback. Buyers who have had a positive experience with a seller will leave positive feedback for the seller on their page, which gives other buyers confidence in purchasing from them. 
  • Look at what people are willing to pay for similar items in the same marketplace (publicly available information). Then, set your reserve price accordingly so that you’re less likely to get outbid by someone else interested in bidding up items they like.


This post has given you a better idea of how an online art auction in Australia works. Over the coming years, they will become increasingly common, so it pays to understand them now.

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