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Tips for a successful sale using online art auction

13 October - 2023
by Online Gallery


As a new service, Online Gallery now offers online art auction. A great and dynamic way for artists and art owners to sell artwork. There are methods to increase the chance of a successful online auction sale. Here are our tips:

1: The right description and presentation

Make sure the description is correct and complete. Include all available information: on history and provenance, the artist, art movement. If there is damage, mention this. Decide on a realistic opening price and use good images of the artwork. Only use the best photos. Mention the auction on your social media to generate interest.

2: Realistic price for the opening bid

Use the gallery price as a starting point. A realistic opening bid is approximately 20 per cent of the gallery price. If there is no such reference, consider a valuation of the artwork.

A known ‘technique’ at auction sales is to start with a very low auction price to encourage bidding. Do bear in mind this carries a risk: if the winning bid disappoints, the hammer price is binding.

3: Only use good photos

Only use good photos to present your art for auction online. Use a good quality camera and make sure the photo is in focus. Use a neutral background and (with sculpture, design pieces) take photos from all sides; also take a photo of the signature. Avoid shadows, do not use a flash, use day light. Make sure the image is level, use a tripod. To straighten the image afterwards, use the photo editing program on your laptop or mobile phone.

Would you like to organise an (online) art auction yourself?

Great that you are considering organising an auction yourself! We are the perfect party to support you in this.

  • You are responsible for uploading both the objects and preparing the catalogue.
  • You are responsible for the marketing of the auction.
  • A 5% commission is charged on sales, with a minimum invoice amount of €500.
  • The condition is that you can demonstrate that you will show sufficient commitment to marketing the auction.
  • Option to follow live bids on screen. If you want to organize a physical auction with objects in a room, you can place a QR code with each object that then links to the object at auction. People will then immediately place bids during the event. It is of course nice to be able to follow all the bids live. This is also possible via Online Gallery! All live bids can be shown on a large screen with an overview of the highest bids.
  • Private auction option, for example: Visitors then enter their own environment and cannot click through to Online Gallery. The Online Gallery menu is not visible.
  • You are responsible for arranging the resale right, if applicable.
  • Prices are exclusive of VAT.

If you would like to organise an auction, it is best to contact us. We are happy to help you! Here you can see an example of an auction that the Kunsthal Rotterdam organised in collaboration with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen with the help of Online Gallery.