Information for Buyers

Before bidding, you need to register with Tate Ward.

Once you’ve registered, there are three ways to buy in our auctions.

1. Bidding in the Auction Room (except wine and online only sales)or live via our website
2. Absentee Bidding via a pre sale written bid.
3. Telephone Bidding


1. Bidding in the Auction Room

There is nothing like the excitement of bidding in person in an auction room but If you can't make it down to East London on sale day but still want to bid whilst the sale is in full flow you can do so via our website Both are very simple to do and equally exciting.

a. Register for the auction either pre sale or in the saleroom during the pre sale view or on the sale day (make sure you arrive early in case there's queue or if online at least 30 mins before the sale)

b. You’ll then receive your auction paddle number. This number is unique to you and that specific auction. This means that you can bid on any work in the auction, but if you want to bid in another auction you will need to request a new number.

c. bid and hopefully win the lot.


2. Absentee Bidding

Placing an absentee bid is one of two ways (see telephone bidding) for you to bid if you can’t join the auction in person or live online. This is as simple as bidding in person. The auctioneer will have a copy of your bid in his auctioneers book so will place bids on your behalf as if you were in the room. Both you and your maximum bid will stay anonymous.

You can place absentee bids on as many lots as you like.
It's as easy as a,b, c

a. Find the lot you want to buy and select Leave Absentee Bid

b. Enter your 'maximum absentee bid’ – the highest amount you are willing to pay for the lot. Don't forget this amount should be the hammer price. There is also a buyer's premium to be added (See Buyer's Terms and Conditions for details).

c. If there are no other bidders, then the auctioneer will sell it to you at the reserve (the minimum price at which the lot can sell)

However, if there are bids from other people, including other absentee bids, the auctioneer will bid against them on your behalf. The auctioneer will never go higher than your maximum amount and will never increase your bid if there is no one else bidding. 

If you are the successful buyer, an email with your invoice and instructions on how to pay will follow shortly after the sale has concluded. One of the team will be in touch to discuss collection or offer advice on delivery.

Registration for absentee bidding closes one hour before the auction begins, so please leave yourself enough time to get your bid to our team.


3. Telephone Bidding

Bidding on the telephone is the second way to bid (see absentee bidding) if you can’t join the auction in person. It is very easy to set up and do. Here are the steps you need to follow.

a. Find the Lot you want to buy and select Telephone Bid.
Please make sure you list your phone numbers in order of preference (landline and mobile.) You don't have to but we recommend that you also leave an Emergency Bid. This will be used by us in case we are unable to reach you on the telephone (like an absentee bid).

b. One of our team will then give you a call during the auction, usually a few Lots before the Lots you wish to bid on. They will ask you to confirm your name and the Lots you would like to bid on.

When the lot(s) comes up to be sold the Tate Ward staff member will describe what is happening in the auction room, what the current bid is and ask whether you would like to join the bidding. You can join the bidding by just replying "yes".


Once you have paid your invoice you can then arrange a shipping quote with our recommended Fine Art shippers: Southbank Logistics - or if you prefer to collect in person this can be arranged directly with us by emailing or for wine lots