FAQ – How to Bid


Restrictions exist regarding the import and export of species protected under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

This includes but is not limited to items made of or containing bone (whalebone, etc.), ivory, tortoise shell, seal skin, rhinoceros horn and any other animal part and is strictly controlled or forbidden by most countries. Please review your country’s laws before bidding on pieces made of or containing these restricted items. It is the sole responsibility of the buyer to inquire about and obtain the proper permits for artwork purchased that may contain restricted materials, if such permit can be obtained. Please contact the department for further assistance. For more information please visit www.cites.org


Does Waddington’s have a mobile app?

Yes! Our new easy-to-use mobile app is available for iOS and Android.

Does it cost anything to use the Waddington’s mobile app?

Using our app is absolutely free! You only pay when you are the successful bidder on a lot.

Does it cost anything to create an account?

Just like our website, it doesn’t cost anything to create an account through our mobile app. Please note that our staff may contact you for additional verification of your identity.

Does the Waddington’s mobile app provide push notifications?

Yes! Our new app provides real-time push notifications, so you can stay informed when you are outbid or a lot goes into overtime.

For more information about using our new mobile app please click here.


How do I register to bid?

To register click on the “Create Account” link found at the top of any page, or by clicking here.

How do I become approved to bid?

After creating an account you will receive an email with further information, including any account verification requirements. A member of our staff may also contact you by phone for further verification.

I didn’t receive an email after creating an account. What do I do?

Check your junk mail folder. If you have still not received our email please contact our offices.


How do I place a bid?

To place a bid on an item you must be registered to bid. Register here.

Once registered, log into your account. Once logged in, a bidding interface will be displayed near the lot details.

Click the “Place Bid” button to select the amount you wish to bid. You will be asked to confirm your bid before it is executed.

Please note that the bidding interface will only appear when a lot is open for bidding.

What is a max bid?

Max bids are bids that our system executes on your behalf up to the maximum amount of your choosing. They function similarly to absentee bids in live auctions. This type of bidding is sometimes called proxy bidding or autobidding.

Max bids are automatically executed against competing bidders up to your chosen maximum.

If your max bid is above the lot’s current bid (for example if your max bid is $1,000, but the current bid is $500) the system will bid against other bidders on your behalf up to the maximum bid you have selected.

Using the same example, if you were currently the highest bid with a bid of $550, and there was a competing bid of $600, then the system would automatically bid $650 for you. The system will continue bidding on your behalf until the lot closes or bidding surpasses your maximum bid.

Max bids can be raised or lowered at any point prior to the lot closing. However, max bids can only be lowered to the current bid for that lot — bids that have already been executed can not be retracted. For example, if bidding started at $500 and you have a max of $1,000, but the current bid is now $750, the lowest amount you can update your max bid to is $750.

How do I know if I am outbid on an item?

You will be notified by email if you are outbid. Additionally, the bidding interface on each lot will display that you have been outbid.

What are the bid increments?

Bids under $250 ($10 increments)
$250 to $499 ($25 increments)
$500 to $999 ($50 increments)
$1,000 to $1,999 ($100 increments)
$2,000 to $4,999 ($250 increments)
$5,000 to $9,999 ($500 increments)
$10,000 to $19,999 ($1,000 increments)
$20,000 to $49,999 ($2,000 increments)
$50,000 to $99,999 ($5,000 increments)
$100,000 to $299,999 ($10,000 increments)
$300,000 to $999,999 ($25,000 increments)
$1,000,000 to $1,999,999 ($50,000 increments)
$2,000,000 to $2,999,999 ($100,000 increments)
$3,000,000 to $4,999,999 ($200,000 increments)
Over $5,000,000 ($300,000 increments)

I accidentally bid on the wrong item OR I bid the wrong amount. Can I retract my bid?

Bidding on an item indicates your intent to purchase that item and is considered a legally binding contract between yourself and Waddington’s. Bids cannot be cancelled or retracted once they are submitted, even if the bid was submitted in error.

Per the Buyer’s Terms and Conditions you are legally obligated to buy an item once declared the winner.

In an effort to prevent erroneous bids you will be asked to confirm each bid before it is executed.

Who do I contact for condition reports or additional photos?

Please contact the specialist or department associated with the auction you are participating in.

Each lot has a “Contact Specialist” button which opens a form you can use to directly contact the specialist. Alternatively, you can contact us at [email protected] or 416-504-9100.

Why didn’t I receive an email when I was outbid?

Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of bids are being executed during the final minutes of an auction. Due to the high volume of bidding some emails may be delayed, or may be blocked by some email providers.

Additionally, our emails may end up in your junk mail folder. For the best reliability we suggest using a GMail account.

Do I need to refresh the page to follow bidding activity?

The bidding interface (the area where you place your bid) updates automatically, so you do not need to refresh the lot page. Additionally, the watched lots and bidding history pages update automatically.

However, we recommend not waiting too late to place a bid. The times displayed may be delayed by a few seconds due to network conditions, so we suggest placing bids early as opposed to waiting until near closing.

Are there any additional fees? Is there a buyer’s premium?

Yes, each winning bid is subject to a 20% buyer’s premium as part of the final purchase price. For example, a $1,000 winning bid will be billed at $1,200 ($1,000 hammer plus $200 premium), plus any applicable taxes.

When does bidding end?

Lots begin closing in groups of 25 lots every 10 minutes on the final day of the auction (typically a Thursday).

For example, lots 1 to 25 may close at 2 pm ET, while lots 26 – 50 may close at 2:10 pm ET. This continues until the final lots of the auction are closed.

Please be sure to confirm the time that the auctions close, as closing times may vary by auction. For example, Fine Spirit auctions typically close at 4 pm ET, and Fine Wine auctions typically close at 6 pm ET.

Why did the bidding continue after the lot’s closing time?

If a bid is placed within the last 5 minutes of bidding for a lot, the lot’s closing time will extend 5 minutes from the time the bid is placed. This will continue until there is no bidding for 5 minutes.

This feature is called “overtime” and prevents what is referred to as “bid sniping,” where a competing bidder might try to win the lot at the last second. Bid sniping is not possible with our system, so we encourage you to bid early.



When viewing lots click the ‘Watch Lot’ button to add the item to your ‘Watched List.’

Watching lots allows you to follow the action on multiple lots from a single location. To stop watching a lot simply click the button again, or click the “Stop Watching” button in your list of watched lots.

Watching a lot will also enable notifications to you indicating when the lot is about to close, or if it has gone into overtime.


WINNing Bidders

I have purchased something in the auction today, will you be emailing me an invoice? And may I pay online?

An email will be sent to you the business day following the auction closing. Payment instructions are provided along with a PDF copy of your invoice. If the day following the auction closing is a holiday you may not receive this email until the following Monday. If you have not received an invoice by the end of next business day please contact us at [email protected].


NEW features

Watch our brief videos outlining new features designed to make bidding even easier.



Can I pay online?

Yes, online payments can be made through our secure payment portal accessible here.

Can I pay using a credit card?

Yes, we accept Visa or Mastercard, not exceeding $25,000.

Following an auction you will receive an email with a link to our secure online payment portal to complete payment.

You can also save a credit card in our secure payment portal to make quick and easy payments. Credit cards are tokenised and saved with our payment processor partner, so you can be confident your credit card number is safe and secure.

Please note that we can not accept credit card information over the telephone.

I don’t want to pay online, how else can I pay?

Several options are available to you, including the credit card payment mentioned above, Money Order, Bank Draft and Wire Transfer. For those coming to our offices, we also accept Cash and Interac / debit. Please note that we cannot accept cash payments for purchases in our wine and spirits auctions.

Important: Please note that COVID-19 restrictions may affect our ability to provide onsite payment. Please be sure to confirm with our office prior to arrival at Waddington’s.



Please note that appointments are required for pick-ups.

Appointment requests must be made at least two business days prior to the desired pick up time. Appointments are between 9:20 am to 4:40 pm Monday to Friday. Appointments for wine and spirits pickups are between 9:10 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

To ensure this process runs smoothly, please note that punctuality is essential. If you are unable to honour your scheduled pick up time, please notify us as soon as possible so we can reschedule your time.

To make an appointment please use our pick-up scheduler (instructions will be provided in an email confirming your payment). You may also schedule an appointment by contacting us via email, [email protected] or by calling 416-504-9100.

All pick ups are handled by Waddington’s staff following government mandated COVID-19 safety protocols.

Who do you recommend for shipping?

Taurus Chan
905.470.6874 (Markham)
416.293.8225 (Scarborough)
[email protected]

Safer Shipping Inc. (Formerly Envoy)
Attn: Perry Hehn
416 299 3367
[email protected]

We are also pleased to provide recommendations for specialised shipping; please contact the department specialists directly for further information.

Wine & Spirits Pick Up and Shipping

For information regarding pick-up and delivery for our Wine & Spirits customers, please visit: