If you are new to buying at auction, you might find this list of key terms and frequently asked questions regarding the auction process useful. Our team is here to help with any additional questions you may have in order to make your auction experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Absentee Bid: A bid placed prior to the auction. Your absentee bid should reflect the maximum amount you wish to bid. The auctioneer will bid on your behalf up to this amount.

Bid Increment: The established amounts by which the auctioneer will increase the bidding. Our bid increments can be found under “Conditions of Sale” on each auction page.

Buyer’s Premium: The industry standard 25% fee added to the hammer price payable by the purchaser as part of the total purchase price. Purchases made through Invaluable or LiveAuctioneers will be subject to an additional 5% charge.

Condition Report: A detailed report and/or additional images, from one of our experts, describing an item’s condition. To request a condition report, please call or email the gallery, or request a report directly from the online catalogue by clicking “request more information” on each lot page.

Hammer Price: The winning bid amount at which the auctioneer’s hammer falls.

Live Online Bid: A bid that you submit live during the auction by clicking “bid” on the live-stream portal on our website. The auctioneer will then accept your bid in real time.

Preview: During the week prior to the auction, our gallery will be open for the auction exhibition, with our experts on hand to answer any questions you might have. Schedule an appointment for preview by calling the gallery at 617.720.2020 or emailing us at [email protected].

Provenance: The history or record of ownership of a work.

Starting Bid: Where the auctioneer will open the bidding on sale day. All starting bids are initially set at half of the low estimate and will increase based on the level of demand for the lot leading up to the auction.

Telephone Bid: Bids placed over the phone live during the auction. One of our experienced bidding agents will bid on your behalf per your instruction live during the sale. Please note that you must register for telephone bids before the auction.

Terms & Conditions of Sale: The legally binding terms and conditions of bidding at auction, which you agree to when registering for a sale. The full terms can be reviewed here.

Yes! While many people prefer the comfort and anonymity of bidding remotely (either on our website while watching a live-stream or via telephone bid), you are welcome to bid live in person at our Boston gallery on auction day.

We offer live bidding on our website through your GroganCo account. Follow the prompts here to create or sign in to your account and then register to bid for a specific auction. All live auctions for which you are registered will appear under the “My Auctions” page in your account portal.

Our sales are also featured on the Invaluable and LiveAuctioneers platforms. If you have registered on one of these third-party sites, you will receive notice from them that you have been approved to bid via your chosen platform. Please note, however, that these platforms charge an additional 5% fee.

If you would prefer to bid live via telephone with one of our experienced bidding agents, fill out this form to register for a phone bid or contact the gallery.

Unable to participate live on sale day? Fill out this form or contact the gallery to leave an absentee bid in advance of the auction, which the auctioneer will execute on your behalf.

Our sale day live-streams feature both audio and video, so you can enjoy exciting bidding activity from the comfort of your own home! These live streams can be found on the day of the sale on our homepage and on the auction catalogue page. In order to bid online, you will need to create an account and register for the auction on our website prior to the sale.

To change or cancel a bid, log into your GroganCo account and click “My Bids.” From there, you should be able to see and modify all bids that you have placed for any upcoming sales. If you have placed a telephone or absentee bid, contact the gallery at [email protected] or 617.720.2020 for help changing your bid.

Our auctions typically move at a pace of 50-55 lots per hour, though bidding activity may increase or decrease from this average pace. You can follow along with the auction live online to track the timing of your lot. The auctioneer starts the sale with Lot 1, and progresses in order through the catalogue.

We accept payment in the form of check, cash, or wire transfer. If you are the winning bidder, you will receive your invoice at the close of the auction with wiring instructions attached.

To pay via credit card, please contact the gallery directly. Certain restrictions and fees may apply.

If you are interested in picking up your purchase in person from the gallery, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, we suggest contacting one of our local and trusted shippers, a list of whom can be found here. Please note that we do not handle any packing or shipping in-house, however we are happy to coordinate pick-up with a shipper of your choice. Release of all property not collected by the purchaser requires confirmation of release, sent via email to [email protected].

I'm ready to bid!

Ready to buy at auction? Create a GroganCo account to view and register for upcoming auctions, manage your bids, favorite lots, and review past purchases.