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First-time Bidders

Bidding at a Clars auction is easy and fun. Whether you are interested in fine arts, furniture and decorative arts, Asian arts, jewelry, silver, gold, automobiles or special collections, just follow the steps below.

Step 1 – Mark Your Calendar!

Clars auctions are generally held every four weeks. In addition, we occasionally hold special auctions. The auction schedule can be found on our Auction Times page.

Step 2 – Preview items

Take a catalog as you come in (blue for Saturday and white for Sunday), then walk through the gallery and look at all of the items. It’s a good time to meet other people with similar interests and staff is available to answer questions you may have. You must obtain a bidder card prior to bidding which can be accomplished at the Bid Window in front.

Step 3 – Evaluate items

If you are interested in a particular piece and desire more information, ask for a Specialist to assist you or email online@clars.com. Estimates printed in the catalog refer to the range at which similar items generally sell at auction. Bidding usually begins at half the low estimate, unless multiple higher absentee bids have been received. We are able to provide detailed condition reports for most items upon request. Most things sell significantly below the prices normally set in a retail store.

Step 4 – Set a Limit

Decide in advance roughly what your spending limit is on the item. “If it sells for $1200 or less, I’ll buy it. If it sells for more than $1200, I don’t want it.” You don’t have a lot of time during the auction of that item to debate how much to spend.

Step 5 – Attend the Auction and Bid

We generally start at lot #1 or lot #4000 in Saturday’s Intermediate Auction and sell the lots (items) in consecutive order at roughly 130-250 lots per hour. On Sunday’s Gallery Auction, we begin at lot #2000 or lot #6000 and sell at about 80-120 lots per hour. In the front of the catalog is an approximate estimate of when the lots will come up for auction.

Understand the Conditions of Sale

The Conditions of Sale are the Rules and Regulations that govern each auction. You can find the Conditions of Sale on the front cover of each auction catalog or Click Here to view Conditions Of Sale.(Please read them carefully.)

If you do not have a purchase history with Clars, you may be required to leave a valid credit card number and a refundable deposit to bid.

Step 6 – Pick Up Purchased Items

All items should be paid for and picked up preferably on the day of sale, but in any case, no later than 3 (three) days after the auction, or a storage charge may be levied. You are responsible for bringing your own boxes and packing material for the small items, and your own crew to assist with the heavier items. Our staff is not responsible for carrying the items to your vehicle. The front office can give you a list of independent movers who might be able to ship the items to you.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do – Be sure the Auctioneer sees you
Do – Remember to bring your own boxes and packing material
Do – Relax and have fun
Do Not – Hesitate to ask for help
Do Not – Delay in picking up your purchases

There is a 19% additional charge (Buyer’s Premium) added on all items, an additional 3% will be charged to online bidders to cover the costs Clars incurs for the online bidding, plus sales tax (unless you have a valid resale license on file with us.)

Note: The Buyer’s Premium is 19% up to $150,000 and 10% for any
amount over $150,000.
For items purchased via LiveAuctioneers.com the Buyer’s Premium is 22% up to $150,000 and 13% for any amount over $150,000.