Bidding

For timed online auctions, all bids must be placed online.

Please read our Terms and Conditions of Sale and Limited Guarantee before you bid. Bidding on an item in our auction indicates that you accept these terms and conditions.

Online Only Auctions

Our Online Only auctions are conducted via Invaluable.com. All bidders must register prior to the closing of the first lot. 

Absentee bids can be left on any online lot as soon as the catalog has been posted on Invaluable and bids will be accepted until the lot closes. Bids are taken in the form of a maximum bid, which the auction house cannot see. Invaluable’s SecureBid system then bids on your behalf up to that maximum. After your maximum bid has been surpassed, you will receive a notification from Invaluable that you have been outbid. 

These auctions have a slightly different format than our live sales. Lots will begin to close after the start of the sale in lot number order. In the case that active bidding is still ongoing 5 minutes before the time of the lot closing, bidding will be extended for an additional 5 minutes. This is to prevent bid “sniping” and allows all parties adequate notice to counter a last minute offer.

An additional 25% buyer’s premium will be paid to Potomack as well as a 2% premium paid to Invaluable on all successful online bids. 

 

Bidding in person

After registering in person at our gallery, you will be given a paddle with your bidding number. The auctioneer will only recognize bids from those who have a bidding number and paddle. Once the auction begins, the auctioneer will clearly announce the lot number starting bid price. To place a bid, raise your paddle to the auctioneer until he acknowledges you. The auctioneer will take increasing bids on the lot until one bidder remains. At that time, he will give fair warning and sell the lot to the remaining bidder for the last bid amount. This amount is what is known as the ‘hammer price’. He will then call out the hammer price and the bidding number of the purchaser of the lot. Some lots may have a reserve, the confidential minimum selling price agreed to between the seller and The Potomack Company. Lots with a reserve will not be sold if bidding does not reach the reserve price.

 

Absentee Bidding

Up to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time the day before the auction, you may call our offices to leave an absentee bid. You may also fill out and fax back the absentee bid form. You will need to download and install Adobe Reader to view and print our absentee bid form. The Potomack Company keeps all absentee bids strictly confidential. You will be the winning bidder so long as no one bids higher than you during the auction and the reserve, if any, has been met. In the case of identical bids, the one received earliest will be the winner.
Please use the following Bidding Increments when leaving your bids:

$0-99: $10 increments
$100-499: $25 increments
$500-999: $50 increments
$1,000-1,999: $100 increments
$2,000-4,999: $250 increments
$5,000-9,999: $500 increments
$10,000-19,999:$1,000 increments
$20,000-49,999: $2,500 increments
$50,000-100,000: $5,000 increments

Absentee and telephone bids are offered as a complementary service to our clients and are placed at the buyer’s risk. The Potomack Company cannot accept liability for failure to place such bids.

If you are the highest bidder, we will send you an invoice for your purchase after the auction.

Telephone Bidding

Up to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time the day before the auction, you may call our Gallery to register to bid on the telephone. By the same deadline, you may also fill out and fax back the telephone bid form to register for telephone bids. You will need to download and install Adobe Reader to view and print our telephone bid form. A Potomack Company representative will then call you during the auction when your lot is coming up for sale in order to execute bids at your discretion.

Telephone bids are offered as a complementary service to our clients and are placed at the buyer’s risk. The Potomack Company cannot accept liability for errors or omissions in placing such bids.

If you are the highest bidder, we will send you an invoice for your purchase after the auction.

Internet Live Auctions

You must pre-register at least 24 hours prior to the auction in order to bid online. There will also be additional up to 3% premium due for bids placed through this service.