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 in the lower left corner of our website under Upcoming Auctions.

Step 2 – Preview items

Preview is the Friday before the auction from 1pm to 5pm.  Please contact us to schedule a visit at: [email protected]

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 [email protected]. 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. Be sure to account for the buyer’s premium and other costs that may apply to you such as sales tax, online buyer’s premium, and shipping and handling.

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 what time the lots will come up for auction. If you are unable to be here when you lot comes up, we offer absentee bidding, online bidding and phone bidding (for bids $500 and up).

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. Please note that we do NOT accept International credit cards for any payments.

Step 6 – Pick Up / Shipping Purchased Items

All items must be paid for and picked up 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. We do not have in-house shipping services. The front office can give you a list of independent movers who can ship the items to you.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do – Read and understand the Conditions of Sale
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 25% additional charge (Buyer’s Premium) added on all items that sells for up to $150,000, plus 15% on any amount between $150,001 and $1,000,000, and 10% on any amount over $1,000,000 (for those who bid through the internet, there is a 2% surcharge for Clars Online Bidding or 5% for all other bidding platforms), plus 3) sales tax unless the purchaser is exempt by law from such taxes.


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