FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How do I participate in an online auction?
Before bidding in an online auction, you must first login with your MyChristie’s username and password, and then register for your chosen auction.
If you do not have a MyChristie’s username and password, you can create one by clicking here .
Once you have a MyChristie’s account, you can register for a specific sale by clicking “Register to Start Bidding” on any lot detail page; then provide Christie’s with the requested information. Be aware that each online sale requires a separate registration process to confirm important details.
2. I have bid with Christie’s before. Do I need to create a MyChristie’s account?
If you have previously bid in Christie’s live auctions, but have not yet created a MyChristie’s account, you will need to do so before bidding online.
3. Can I place bids on behalf of a company?
Yes. However, please contact us to configure the account under which you will be bidding as a company buyer.
4. What if I forget my username or password?
Your username for the online auction will likely be the email address you provided as part of your registration. For your security and privacy, Christie’s staff cannot access your confidential password. If you forget your password, under the “ My Account ” dropdown menu on the upper right side of the page, click “Sign In”. Then click "Forgot Your Password?" and you’ll be prompted to enter your email address. Click “Continue” and you will be asked security questions. Our automated system will then email you a link to reset your password.
5. Why am I not receiving notification emails from Christie’s online auctions?
Christie’s emails can sometimes by blocked by spam filters. Please check your spam folder or junk mail folder and add Christie’s communications to your safe list.
6. How do I manage my email settings?
You can manage your email settings by logging in to your account and going to “ My Account ” and then “Notification Settings”. There, you can uncheck the boxes of the emails that you do not want to receive.
7. What are Christie’s Conditions of Sale?
The Conditions of Sale form the contract upon which a buyer purchases a lot. It is important for bidders to read the Conditions of Sale that apply to the sale of all lots. By registering in the online auction, you are agreeing to these conditions, which are accessible via the link at the bottom of every sale page and at onlineonly.christies.com.
8. How do I search for specific items I am interested in?
You may search an online auction by keyword or by lot number by using the search box at the top of each page. You can also sort by filters at the top of the sale page.
9. How can I learn about a lot that interests me?
Lot descriptions and condition reports are available online. We encourage you to contact us to discuss the property, via email or by phone. Christie’s specialists are experts in their fields and are eager to provide you with details about each lot, if asked.
10. What is an estimate?
The estimate is the range of values expected for the initial sale of a particular artwork or item. Estimates are based upon prices recently paid at auction for comparable property and take into account condition, rarity, quality, provenance, and other specific factors.
11. Can I view bids in another currency?
Yes. Select the “Secondary Currency” drop-down menu on the upper right of each page. Please note this number is only an estimate, based on the latest exchange rates, and all bids as well as final payments will be conducted and remitted in the sale’s primary currency.
12. How do I submit a bid?
Bids can be submitted anytime during the course of an online auction and must be submitted through the online platform.
There are two ways to bid: (i) submit the starting/next bid or (ii) submit a maximum bid.
To simplify the bidding process, Christie’s uses predetermined bidding increments. Please refer to the Conditions of Sale for a list of increments, which vary by currency.
If a maximum bid is submitted, bids will be placed on your behalf only as much as is required to ensure you remain the highest bidder (up to your maximum bid). In cases when two equivalent maximum bids are submitted, the earlier one will hold.
Please note that each bid is a binding contract indicating intent to purchase under the Conditions of Sale .
13. How will I know if my bid was successful?
After a lot closes, we will send you an email notifying you of your winning bid. You will be able to confirm your winning bid by clicking on “ My Account ” and checking the “My Bids and Checkout” tab. While there, you can also view and print online auction payment confirmations and invoices.
14. Can I change or cancel a bid?
In a time-based auction, you cannot cancel a bid once it has been submitted. You may, however, adjust your maximum bid while it is higher than the current standing bid.
15. How can I access the auction and bid from my mobile device?
We recommend that you download the Christie’s App from the iTunes App Store. The Christie’s App is available for iPad and iPhone, running iOS 7 and above. An Android version of the app is in development and will be added soon.
16. When do lots close?
A countdown clock is displayed for each lot on the lot description page. In order to achieve the best possible results in our online-only sales and to make the bidding process as fair and manageable as possible for all prospective bidders, Christie’s has implemented lot bidding extensions. Where there is bidding activity on a particular lot within 3 minutes (180 seconds) prior to the lot's allocated closing time, there will be a 3 minute bidding extension on that lot until only one bidder remains. These extensions will continue indefinitely until there is no more bidding activity on the lot for a period of 3 minutes (180 seconds) implying that there is no further interest. This extra time is designed to accommodate interested bidders and allow them the time to compete for a lot until their ceiling has been reached. This is also designed to avoid the last-minute rush where bidders log onto Christie’s at the end of the online-only sale in an effort to leave a single winning bid seconds before the sale's closing time. This is called sniping and is considered unfair practice to both buyers and sellers and the lot bidding extension has been designed to avoid this. Please note that the extension of one lot’s closing time does not affect other lots’ closing times; therefore it is possible that lots will close out of numerical lot order.
17. How is the final cost calculated?
In an online auction, you are required to pay:
• the final bid price (hammer price)
• buyer’s premium
and, where applicable:
• taxes and/or VAT, import tax, customs duty, and any local clearance fees applicable for your country
• artist’s resale right
• shipping expenses
• loss/damage liability fee to cover shipment of your lot amounting to 1% of the purchase price
Once registered, you can view all of the estimated costs associated with your purchase by clicking on the “Total Cost Calculator” under the bid button of each lot.
18. What is the buyer’s premium?
The buyer’s premium is an additional fee the buyer pays to the auction house based on the hammer price. Indirect taxes (VAT/Sales Tax as applicable) will be charged on the buyer’s premium at the appropriate rate.
For sales in USD:
On all lots except wine we charge 25% of the hammer price up to and including USD $250,000; 20% on that part of the hammer price over USD $250,000 and up to and including USD $4,000,000; and 12.5% of that part of the hammer price above USD $4,000,000.
For sales in GBP:
On all lots except wine we charge 25% of the hammer price up to and including: GBP 175,000; 20% on that part of the hammer price over GBP 175,000 and up to and including GBP 3,000,000; and 12.5% of that part of the hammer price above GBP 3,000,000.
For sales in HKD:
On all lots except wine we charge 25% of the hammer price up to and including: HKD 2,000,000; 20% on that part of the hammer price over HKD 2,000,000 and up to and including HKD 30,000,000; and 12.5% of that part of the hammer price above HKD 30,000,000.
For wine sales, we calculate the buyer’s premium as follows:
For New York-based and Hong Kong-based auctions : we charge a flat rate of 22.5% of the hammer price.
For London-based auctions : we charge a flat rate of 20.0% of the hammer price.
19. What sales tax, VAT, import tax and/or customs duty will be charged?
You can view all of the tax, VAT, import tax, and customs duty costs associated with a lot by clicking on the “Total Cost Calculator” under the bid button of each lot.
For all online auctions (outside NY-based online auctions):
For lots which Christie’s ships to the United States, a state sales or use tax may be due on the hammer price, buyer’s premium and shipping costs on the lot. Christie’s is currently required to collect sales tax for lots it ships to New York.
For Christie’s Inc. auctions:
For lots Christie’s ships to the United States, a sales or use tax may be due on the hammer price, buyer’s premium, and/or any other charges related to the lot. Christie’s is currently required to collect sales tax for lots it ships to the following states: California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas
In accordance with New York law, if Christie's arranges the shipment of a lot out of New York State, New York sales tax does not apply, although sales tax for other states or other applicable taxes may apply. If you hire a shipper (other than a common carrier authorized by Christie's), to collect the lot from a Christie's New York location, Christie's must collect New York sales tax on the lot at a rate of 8.875% regardless of the ultimate destination of the lot.
For Christie Manson & Woods auctions:
Successful bidders will be charged VAT if they take collection of the property within the EU. All lots are subject to the Margin Scheme unless otherwise noted on the lot detail page. See the Conditions of Sale for VAT definitions.
For all international non-wine shipments, we will charge customs duty, import tax, and any local clearance fees.
20. Can I provide a reseller’s certificate to claim exemption from U.S. sales tax?
Yes, you may claim exemption from U.S. sales tax by clicking the “Sales Tax Exemption” box at the time of registration and submitting appropriate documentation to us by contacting Christie’s Client Services .
21. Can I apply for a VAT refund?
VAT charges for EU private buyers cannot be refunded. If you are VAT registered in the EU and wish to be either re-invoiced outside of the VAT Margin Scheme or be re-invoiced under intra-EU rules, please contact Christie’s Client Services . For buyers outside the EU, where shipment is made by Christie’s, the applicable VAT charges will be removed at check-out. If you wish to carry out your own shipment, VAT will be charged at the applicable rates but may be refunded if certain conditions are met, including showing retrospective proof of a “controlled” export outside the EU within 30 days of release for lots marked with the star (*) symbol or the words “Starred Lot” or Omega (Ω) symbol or the words “Omega Lot” on Temporary Admission, and, for all other lots, with proof of export within 90 days of release.
22. How are customs duty and tax calculated?
Customs authorities in each country calculate duty and tax based on a number of factors, including:
• The category in which the product is classified in the international Harmonised Code (HS) system; and
• The value of the product (the price you paid)
For most countries, duty and tax are calculated on a ‘CIF’ basis (meaning Cost, Insurance and Freight), so the shipping and insurance charges you pay will also be factored in to the duty calculation.
23. Will I have to pay duty and tax when the package is delivered?
For all lots except wine, duty, import and export taxes are pre-calculated and prepaid when you purchase your lot. Christie’s partner, Borderlinx, and Borderlinx’s shipping partner handle the customs clearance at the point of entry to your country and the payment of duty and tax on your behalf.
Please note that for wine sales, international shipments are Delivered Duty Unpaid and any applicable duty and sales tax will be the sole responsibility of the buyer, to be paid prior to delivery.
a. “Wines In Bond” – what does this mean?
When a lot is offered In Bond (denoted by a ‡* symbol) it means that UK Excise Duty and Clearance VAT have not yet been paid. They must be stored in a bonded warehouse approved by HM Customs & Excise until such time that the wine is removed from bond and these fees are paid. You have the option to keep your wine purchases In Bond by storing in a bonded warehouse or collected by a bonded shipper, or remove from Bond at the time of checkout and pay the Excise Duty and Clearance VAT. Please note that we are unable to deliver wine removed from bond to another EU State.
b. What are the advantages of buying 'in Bond'?
If you choose to keep your wine lots in Bond the Clearance VAT and Excise Duty is deferred. Should you choose to sell the wine (in bond) at a later date, you will never need to pay the Clearance VAT and Excise Duty. If you choose to have the wine delivered at a later date, the Clearance VAT is payable on the original sale price of the wine, not its current market value.
c. When would I need to remove my wine lots from Bond?
If you wish to personally collect your lots from Christie’s warehouse or have your wine lots delivered to a private address or non-bonded warehouse in the UK, you will need to choose the “REMOVE FROM BOND” option at the time of checkout. The Excise Duty and clearance VAT will be calculated and applied to your final amount due. Please note that we are unable to deliver wine removed from bond to another EU State.
d. How much is Excise Duty and clearance VAT?
Type of Wine
Rate per 75cl (standard bottle size)
Port and Sherry
*Rates as of 31 May 2016. Rates are subject to change by the government at
For example: For one lot comprising of 12 bottles of still wine, a total excise duty fee of £24.96 would apply.
Clearance VAT UK VAT = 20% of the hammer price (applied after duty)
e. If I am shipping my wine outside the EU, do I need to pay the clearance VAT and Excise Duty?
If you choose for Christie’s to facilitate shipment to an address outside the EU, you do not need to pay clearance VAT and Excise Duty. At the time of checkout, leave your wine lots in Bond, provide a non-EU shipping address, and complete payment.
25. How do I pay for my purchase?
Upon the closing of an online auction, proceed to “ My Account ” and then click “My Bids and Checkout”. Click the “Checkout” tab, then select your purchases and add them to your basket.
Payment must be made online by credit card and will be in the currency of the sale site. No other forms of payment are accepted for online auctions. Christie’s will only accept credit cards with a Mastercard, Visa, Discover (including Diners Club International and JCB), American Express or China Union Pay logo. Please note that China Union Pay credit cards must feature a Visa or Mastercard logo.
Partial payment of a lot, or payment across multiple credit cards for a single lot, will not be allowed. If you purchase multiple lots, you may purchase one lot with one credit card and another lot with a different credit card but you will need to go through the checkout process twice.
Please note that Christie’s will only accept payment from the registered bidder – individual or entity. If you registered and bid as an entity in accordance with the Conditions of Sale, the entity will need to pay for any purchases via a credit card issued to the entity account.
26. How long do I have to pay for my purchases?
Payment must be received and cleared in full within two business days of the close of the auction.
27. When will my property be shipped?
The winning bidder will also be responsible for any and all shipping expenses, including costs, packing and handling, and any loss damage liability fees. Christie’s will initiate your shipment to the address provided at registration, 2-5 business days after full clearance of funds, and after confirmation that there are no outstanding charges on your other Christie’s accounts. Please note that some lots will be subject to CITES, import and export licenses. Where this is the case, Christie’s will arrange the paperwork; however, this cannot be done until full payment has been received. Note that these licenses are granted by the relevant authorities and the timeframe is therefore beyond Christie’s control.
Provided that your purchased lots are paid for in full, cleared funds by the payment deadline, Christie’s will store your lots free of charge until the relevant deadline for shipment (or if we permit you to collect your lot, until the date which we have agreed you must do so by), at which time purchases will be shipped to you at your expense to the address you provide at time of sale registration. Payment for your purchase, including any applicable charges for shipping, must be returned to Christie’s by the payment deadline to qualify for this extended free-of-charge storage. You must indicate if you wish to have your purchases shipped to the address registered to your account or if you wish to collect it in person at the time of checkout. If shipping arrangements have not been confirmed for any items sold or such items have not been paid for in full, and funds cleared by the payment deadline, administration and handling fees may be charged at Christie’s full discretion. If such shipments can be facilitated, purchases will be shipped to the address you provide at checkout
28. What is the cost of shipping my purchase internationally?
The cost of international shipping will vary depending on the object, its weight and dimensions, and is comprised of:
• Express shipping charges to your designated delivery address from the origin country to the destination country
• Expert fine art packing and materials
• Loss/damage liability coverage
• Customs duty (for all lots except wine)
• Import tax
• Any local clearance fees applicable for your country
29. How long does international delivery take?
Your purchase will be shipped by international air express. Delivery will take approximately 2-5 business days from the date of dispatch.
30. Can my package be delivered to a PO Box?
Unfortunately not. For air express delivery, a full street address and a contact phone number are required.
31. What happens if my purchase is lost or damaged during shipping?
On rare occasions, a package may be lost or the contents damaged during international shipment, no matter how carefully it is handled. Any claims for loss or damage may be covered by Christie’s “Loss/Damage and Liability” policies (LDL), which you obtain when you purchase your lot. LDL will appear as a charge amounting to 1% (one percent) of the total purchase price of the lot, to be charged at check-out. If your package is lost or damaged in international transit, you will need to submit a claim within 14 days of the date of delivery, or within 14 days of the date you received confirmation that it was lost. To make a claim, please contact us here.
If for any reason you elect not to ship through Christie’s and arrange your own shipment, then although we shall use reasonable efforts to take care when handling, packing and facilitating any shipment of a purchased lot, neither Christie’s nor the seller is responsible for any acts or omissions of any third party retained for these purposes, including, without limitation, any packing, shipping or delivery of purchased lots.
If you have any questions about the collection or shipping process, please contact Christie’s Client Services.
32. Are there any countries that I cannot ship to?
For all lots except wine, Christie’s generally works with Borderlinx as shipping partner. Borderlinx can ship to more than 60 countries. If you live in any of those countries you will be able to arrange international shipping when you make your purchase. If you live in a country which Borderlinx does not ship to, you will not see international shipping as an option when you make your purchase.
Shipping is not possible to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and any other country subject to US or international embargoes. If the country you wish to ship to is unavailable or you have questions about international shipping to any particular country, click here.
33. Can I collect my purchase(s) instead of shipping?
Yes. Provided that your purchased lots are paid for in full and funds cleared prior to collection, you may collect them from the sale site which hosted the sale by selecting the Collection option at checkout. If you opt to collect your purchase(s), please contact us at least 48 hours in advance to arrange a time and to ensure your purchase(s) will be available for collection. Should you send someone to collect on your behalf, please complete a Letter of Authorization and send it to us at email@example.com. Your representative must present a valid picture ID at the time of collection, such as driver’s license or passport. If you have not collected your purchase(s) within two weeks of the sale closing, Christie’s reserves the right to ship them to you at your expense and/or to deal with them in accordance with the Christie’s storage terms and conditions. Please note that collection is only available at the Christie’s location where the property currently resides.
34. How do I read the site in different languages?
Many elements of our site are translated into Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and French. To access a language other than English, please select a language from the drop-down menu on the upper right of each page. If you require any further translations, please contact the department holding the sale.
35. Who do I contact if I have questions or technical difficulties?
If you have any questions or technical difficulties while trying to participate in an online auction, please contact Christie’s Client Services .
36. What do I do if I want to make a complaint about an item I have purchased?
We always look to resolve issues directly with our clients and Christie’s Client Services will be happy to assist with your queries.
In addition, if you are a purchaser and your primary residence is in the EU, then under European Legislation if you are not satisfied with the way that we propose to resolve any issue you have with an item you have purchased from us via our website, you may also raise a complaint with the European Online Dispute Resolution Platform. You can raise a complaint by following this link to the EUODR platform.