Buying

Whether you’re bidding with a mouse, a phone, or a paddle, every experience buying at auction is unique and exciting. Skinner experts will gladly inform you about the history and condition of items, and assist you with the auction process. Conditions of Sale

Live Online

SkinnerLive!

Bid live in any Skinner auction from the comfort of your own home. See each lot in real time, listen to the auctioneer, and press the “bid now” button to send a bid when you’re ready to participate. Just interested in following the action? You don’t need to register or log in to view a live sale. Please read the Conditions of Sale for more information.

Click the “Bid Live” button on the auction schedule to register for online bidding in an auction or watch a live sale.

Before the auction

Before the auction starts, use the “bid live” button on the auction schedule to log in and register for participation in that auction.

If this is your first time bidding through the Skinner website, you will need to create an account first.

Skinner will email you with a confirmation for live bidding once your request has been approved.

During the auction

Use the “bid live” button on the auction schedule to see and hear the auction taking place live.

Click the “log in” button to enable bidding.  If you have not yet registered to live bid in the auction, you’ll be prompted to do so. Please note: your account must be approved by Skinner before you can start bidding. We suggest completing this step in advance of the auction.

If you’d simply like to watch the auction, no registration is required.

Register separately for each auction

Each auction is a unique event. Even if you have participated with SkinnerLive! in the past, you will need to register to receive a paddle number for each upcoming auction you’d like to bid in. Thank you for using SkinnerLive!

Questions?

Contact Online Support for assistance during auction hours, or Monday through Friday, 9AM – 5PM.

508-970-3279
online@skinnerinc.com

In Person

In Person, from the Auction Floor

There’s nothing quite like the thrill and drama of participating in a live auction. To bid in person, you’ll need to arrive in enough time to register and receive a paddle number before your lots of interest are offered. If it is your first time bidding with us, please bring a form of picture identification, such as a passport or driver’s license.

Skinner holds auctions at its galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts. View hotel and dining suggestions for each location.

Driving directions    Plan your visit

Registration

Registration typically opens 30 minutes prior to the auction start time. Visit the registration desk to register and receive a paddle number. You are then welcome to take a seat in the auction gallery.

Bidding

The auction will begin when the auctioneer asks for an opening bid on the first lot. Bidding proceeds according to Skinner’s standard increments, or at the auctioneer’s discretion. The auctioneer will accept bids from the floor, the telephones, internet and absentee bids, also referred to as left bids or order bids.

Each lot in the auction catalog will be presented in order, and the pace of bidding can be as much as 100 lots per hour. Estimate your time accordingly and plan to be here at least ten lots before your item of interest comes up for bid.

When your lot does come up, be prepared to raise your paddle. The auctioneer will accept your competitive bids along with all others until the final hammer price is reached and the auctioneer announces, “sold.”

Winning!

If you are the winning bidder, congratulations! Please refer to our post-auction services to learn how to pay and take possession of your new purchase.

Phone

Telephone Bidding

Join the action of a live auction from your telephone. On auction day, a Skinner representative will call you and bid with you over the phone as if you were in the saleroom. Phone bidding is available as a convenience at select auctions. Phone bidding is not offered for online-only timed auctions. 

At least twenty-four hours in advance of an auction, you may complete and submit the Skinner Absentee Bid Form to request phone bidding. Please write “phone bid” in the “bid price” column to indicate that you wish to bid by phone.

Download Absentee Bid Form

Boston Auctions

Marlborough Auctions

Please consult the auction schedule to verify the start time and location of each auction. 

Winning!

If you are the winning bidder, congratulations! Please refer to our post-auction services to learn how to pay and take possession of your new purchase.

Questions?

Use our contact us form or phone 508-970-3000.

Absentee

Absentee Bidding

Absentee bids will be executed by the auctioneer on your behalf during a live auction. There are several ways to participate:

  • Leave bids online until one hour before the auction starts.
  • Download an absentee bid form to submit by email.
  • Place a bid in person or over the phone with a Skinner representative.

Register to Leave Bids Online    Download Absentee Bid Form

Your absentee bid should be the maximum amount that you are willing to bid. The auctioneer will bid competitively for you up to that amount, meaning that you could potentially end up winning your lot for less than your absentee bid price.

All absentee bids should be submitted no later than one hour prior to the auction start time.

How to Leave Absentee Bids Online

To leave an absentee bid online log in to, or register first on the Skinner website.

Find the lot(s) that interest you, and use the “Leave Bid” button to place your bid. You will be able to track the lot from your Skinner account, and the bid will be confirmed prior to the auction.  Online absentee bidding offers convenience and privacy. Keep in mind that online absentee bidding closes one hour before the start of the sale.

How to Use the Absentee Bid Form

You may download the Absentee Bid Form, complete the information and email it to the Skinner location where the auction will take place at least twenty-four hours before the start of the sale. 

Boston Auctions

Marlborough Auctions

Please consult the auction schedule to verify the start time and location of the auction. We are unable to accept absentee bids over email.

Winning!

If you are the winning bidder, congratulations! Please refer to our post-auction services to learn how to pay and take possession of your new purchase.

In the event of a tie between absentee bids, the absentee bid that Skinner received first will take priority. That’s a good reason to get your bids in early.

Questions?

Contact the bids department in the location where the auction is being held with questions about absentee bidding.

Skinner Boston Auctions – 617-874-4318

Skinner Marlborough Discovery Auctions – 508-970-3211

Skinner Marlborough Specialty Auctions – 508-970-3208

Timed Online

How to Bid in Timed Online Auctions

In addition to live auctions, Skinner offers fixed-time, online auctions. These online-only auctions allow Skinner to bring more high-quality items to auction in an easy-to-use, web-based format. Please read the Conditions of Sale for more information.

Skinner timed online auctions are available only through our website and are distinguished on the auction schedule by a red stopwatch symbol. To bid on the lots presented in a timed online auction, you will need to take the following steps.

1. Create an Account

If you have previously created an account on the Skinner website, you may proceed to step 2.

Create an account on www.skinnerinc.com in order to participate in the auction.

When you have successfully created an account, you will receive an email confirmation.

2. Visit the online auction

Visit the auction schedule and click “View Lots” to browse all lots in the auction. A red stopwatch indicates that an auction is a timed, online-only auction. Use the search box in the upper right hand corner of this page to search for items by name, category, or keyword.

You may also view the catalog in a downloadable PDF or “flipbook” format from the auction page.

3. Log in

Click on any “Log in to Bid” button to register for the auction.

Fill in your email address and password. If you recently created an account, please wait for an email confirming that your account has been approved.

If you have forgotten your password, use the Login Reminder to retrieve your credentials.

4. Receive approval to bid

Each auction is a unique event. Even if you have bid in Skinner timed online auctions in the past, your registration will be individually processed. You will receive an email when you have been approved to bid in the auction.

While your status is pending approval, please browse the catalog and add lots to your “watchlist.”

5. Add lots to your “watchlist”

Check off boxes in the right hand column labeled “watch” and then click the “Watch Lot” button to add lots to your watchlist.

To view items on your watchlist, follow the “View my watchlist” link or click “My Activity” in the left-hand menu.

6. Bid online

Use the red “Leave Bid” button to place a maximum bid on an item. The system will automatically bid for you using standard increments up to this amount.

High bid
When the high bid is with you, you will see a message on screen and you will receive an email confirming your current bid amount.

Outbid
If another bidder places a higher maximum bid, you will see an outbid message on screen and you will receive an email alerting you that you have been outbid.

Reserve Not Met
Some items are offered subject to a reserve. You will see “Reserve Not Met” beneath the Bid Now button if the current bid does not meet the minimum required bid.

Change bid
Use the red “Change Bid” button to increase your maximum bid amount.

7. Keep track of your bids with “My Activity”

Click “My Activity” in the left-hand menu at any time to access a personalized view of the timed online auction. We recommend monitoring your active bids using “My Activity,” especially towards the end of the auction.

My Activity
View a list of all of your bidding activity and your watchlist.

Lots won
View a list of all lots that you won.

Lots not won
View a list of all lots that you bid on but did not win.

My bids
View a list of all of your current bids on lots that are still open for bidding.

Watchlist
View a list of all lots that you have selected to watch.

Important Information

Timed online auction bidding

The only method for participating in a timed online auction is through online bidding. Skinner cannot accept absentee bids, phone bids, or live internet bids for fixed-time online-only auctions.

Bid Increments

Bids will be placed in standard increments. All bids are in United States Dollars. If two bidders bid the same maximum amount, the first bid placed will be the accepted bid.

Pending Status

Auction registration requests will be processed during business hours, Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM ET. We appreciate your patience, as we process each request individually. Please browse the catalog and add lots to your watchlist while waiting for approval to bid. You will receive an email when your registration has been approved.

Email notification

You will receive email notification when you have the current high bid, or when you have been outbid. Please add online@skinnerinc.com to your safe senders list to ensure that you receive our emails.

Staggered end times

Lots in a timed online auction will end over a period of time. Please refer to the countdown timer beside a lot to determine when bidding will end. We recommend using the “My Activity” area, especially towards the end of the auction. The timers will automatically synch themselves at regular intervals, but you may also refresh your internet browser to manually synch the timers.

Auto-extend

In the event that competitive bidding takes place within the last five minutes of the auction, time will be added in five minute increments. This feature is intended to prohibit sniping software and activity. Please refer to the countdown timer beside a lot to determine if time has been added.

Buyer’s Premiums

A buyer’s premium of 25% applies to timed online auction purchases. Please read the Conditions of Sale for more information.

Winning bidder

The winning bidder is the current high bidder when bidding closes. If you are the winning bidder, you will be notified by email after the close of the auction. Information on payment and post-sale services is available here.

Terms and Conditions

Sales are subject to the Skinner Conditions of Sale.

Questions?

For questions or more information about fixed-time auctions, please contact us at online@skinnerinc.com or 508-970-3279. Support is available Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM ET.