Buying at an Auction (Timed Online Auctions)


Please click here for Timed Online Auction Buying Guide.


Buying at an Auction (Live Auctions)

There is no need to be intimidated attending or bidding at auction. Whether you are searching for something in particular, or chance upon something that interests you, the process is simple and we are always more than happy to assist or give advice to first time bidders. Before any auction, a catalogue will be posted on our website ( under the upcoming auction section. This will allow you to browse the full lot listing of items in the current auction, as well as glance at the dates and types of upcoming auctions.

Lot listings online will give detailed information and the pre-auction value estimate for each lot, and for many auctions will also include individual photographs for each. All auctions have a scheduled public preview time in which everything in the current sale will be available for viewing and inspection in person in our large Richmond showroom. If it’s possible for you, it is always a good idea to come and investigate items that you are interested in. Our specialist staff will be happy to assist your viewing and answer any and all questions you have. If it is not possible for you to come to the preview because you are unavailable or out of town please contact the Fine Art and Antiques Department if you require information or a condition report on lots you are interested in. Remember: if you are the successful bidder, the sales contract is binding – so gather all possible information beforehand!

There are many ways to bid at auction. The most exciting way is by bidding live in the showroom! You can register to bid by filling out a registration form at our front desk, a process that takes only a minute or two. You can do this during Preview, or even on auction day, but you can also register days in advance if you want to skip the line just before the auction begins. By signing, you agree to the Buyers’ Terms and Conditions. Once you have registered, Maynards’ staff will give you a bidder’s paddle, which you can then use to bid once the auction starts.

If you are unable to attend the auction, you may leave an absentee bid, and in some cases you may be eligible to telephone bid (a staff member will telephone you as your lot comes up for auction and bid live with you from the auction room).  Absentee and online bids are the most common way to participate in an auction if you are not in the room. You can fill out an Absentee Bid Form days or weeks in advance of the sale, stating the lot number(s) that you wish to bid on and the maximum amount that you are willing to spend on each item (before premium and taxes). The auction house will confidentially bid on your behalf from the opening bid up to, but not exceeding, your maximum stated bid. If you are successful as an absentee bidder you will be notified the following business day. Most of our sales are also open for live internet bidding through our website and through

Absentee Bid Forms and Telephone Bid Forms may be downloaded here.

Please read the buyers Terms and Conditions for details regarding payment and pick-up of purchased goods. We look forward to seeing you at auction!