How to Buy at Online Auction


Complete the online registration form ( to join more than 18,000 active bidders in weekly online auctions of art, jewellery, collectibles, furniture and more.  Your information will be submitted for approval and a confirmation email will be sent to you once your account is active, usually within 48 hours.  New bidders unknown to Gardner Galleries will receive an email or phone call from a representative to confirm their identity and may request a valid credit card for pre-authorization.  Do not wait until the last minute of an online auction to register as your account may not be active in time and you may miss out on an item. 


All items for sale by online auction are available to view while the auction is active on a specified date and time or by appointment.  We encourage anyone interested in buying to attend the viewings to examine items in person.  Our staff is on hand during viewing times to assist you and answer questions.  If you cannot make the viewing and have concerns about an item please, email or phone our office.  

Online Bidding

The most frequently asked question is "how does online bidding work?"

To begin, every online auction starts and ends at a pre-determined date and time.  Each auction is available to view on our website for several weeks prior to the start date and once active, run for 10 days to give prospective buyers enough time to locate, view, research and plan their bidding.    

Bidding is made easy from our fast, mobile website: First, login with your registered username and password, click on the auction and lot you wish to bid on, and simply place a bid which you will be asked to "Confirm" or "Cancel".  Do not use letters or dollar signs (ie. if you wish to leave a bid of ten dollars, simply type "10").  You must place at least the next minimum bid or higher.  Click "Confirm" and your bid is entered.  

If you place the next minimum bid and are immediately outbid, this means another bidder had placed a higher bid prior to yours, so bid again! 

You can place the maximum bid you feel comfortable with at any time.  As an example, if the current bid on a lot is $50.00, the next minimum bid is $60.00, you can place a bid of $100.00 and the system will only take the bidding to $60.00.  If another bidder places a bid of $70.00, the system will automatically outbid them with your bid of $80.00, up to your maximum.  If another bidder places a bid of $110.00, you will be outbid.  We stress that you please confirm your bid and make sure the proper amount is entered.  Online bids cannot be cancelled once confirmed.  Once a bid is confirmed, you are entering a legal binding contract with Gardner's and if successful will pay the purchase price plus premium and applicable taxes.  Always read the advertised buyer's premium for each auction before placing a bid.  The buyer's premium usually varies from 17% to 22% plus HST (13%) on top of the bid price, with a 2% discount if paying by cash, debit, certified cheque or eTransfer within seven days after the auction - see End of Auction & Payment below.

To follow your auction bidding progress, first login, click on "Account" in the top right corner and "Bidding History" in the drop down menu.  This feature will also show you what you are currently winning or outbid on.  You will receive an email notification if outbid but if you choose to wait until the last second, we recommend watching the item live from the website or using your bidding history as you may not receive the outbid notice in time. 

Experienced bidders will tell you most of the "action" takes place within the last 10 minutes of any online auction.  If bidding occurs within the last five minutes on an item, the auction will be extended for another five minutes for that item only to give the under bidder a fair chance (ie. if the auction ends at noon hour and a bid is placed at 11:57am, that lot will extend to 12:02pm).  The countdown clock may differ in seconds from one device to another, do not wait until the last moment to bid or you may lose out.

When logged in and watching/bidding on an item, a red box may appear after the countdown clock has finished and read "Bidding Is Not Available For This Item" - this means the bidding has finished for that particular item while other items may still be in overtime.  When logged out and viewing that same item, it will read "This Lot Has Sold For $...".   

For those intimidated by online bidding don't worry, you are not alone.  If you wish to make an appointment we can offer a quick tutorial on your device, or first time bidders may use our office computers. 

Bidding increments are as follows:

Bid Price          Increments

$0.00-$50.00     $5.00

$51.00-$200      $10.00

$201-$500         $25.00

$501- $1000      $50.00

$1001 and up    $100.00

End of Auction & Payment

You will receive a notification and invoice within one hour after the online auction closes to your registered email on file.  A buyer's premium and HST (13%) is applicable and all sales are in Canadian dollars.  Payment must be made within one week (7 days) by cash, debit, certified cheque, Visa, Mastercard or eTransfer either in person at the Gardner Galleries store location (407 Hamilton Road, London, Ontario, N5Z 1R8), or by telephone/email.  A 2% discount will apply if paying by cash, debit, certified cheque or eTransfer within one week after the auction.  If paying by credit card over the phone please call 519-439-3333 during business hours, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to noon hour;  If paying by eTransfer, contact our office for payment instructions once your invoice is received.   

If you live outside of London and are unable to pick-up your purchases during business hours, Gardner Galleries will pack and ship small purchases (ie. jewellery or small paintings) via Canada Post; a surcharge for handling will be added and please allow up to two weeks for items to be packaged and shipped.  If you wish to have purchases shipped through another service (FedEx, UPS, etc.) please let a representative know beforehand.  Gardner Galleries will not ship large items such as furniture but may be able to arrange delivery from Windsor to Toronto, contact our office for a free estimate. 

If you are able to pick-up your purchases but live outside of London and cannot make it in within one week after the auction, please let our office know beforehand as storage charges may apply.  If items are not paid within the specified time frame and no contact from the purchaser has been made, purchases will be re-sold or disposed of, your account will be blocked and storage and moving costs may apply.  Please read the "Terms & Conditions of Sale" section for more information.