How to Bid & Bidder Registration

Bidding with Simpson's is easy. In person, on the phone, or online - join the auction!

Bidding In-Person

Join the excitement in the auction saleroom at our Houston galleries at 6116 Skyline Drive. You can register during the preview exhibition the week before or the day of the auction at the Registration window in the building lobby.
The auction begins with the first lot and the auctioneer will open each lot in order - starting the bidding at either where advance bidding has already reached or a bit below the reserve price. Competing bids in the room, on the telephone and online then increase by bid increments (see below for bid increment chart) until only one high bid remains. Don't worry about accidentally bidding by scratching your nose, our auctioneers give you sufficient time to make your next bid and will acknowledge that you have the leading bid - but make sure to raise your paddle high!

The winning bidder is noted by the auctioneer and if the reserve price is not met, the auctioneer will “pass” the lot. Any unsold lots are available for purchase offers after the auction.

Bidding Live Online

Whether you are at home or on the go, bidding is available live during the auction through the internet. Our auctions allow bidding through various online platforms, such as or or

All it takes is a simple registration on the site of your choice and then you can either leave advance bids or register to bid during our specific auction. The online bidding follows the action in the auction saleroom in real time. We will confirm your accepted registration before the auction begins. Your online bids compete with other bidders in the room or on the telephone. But bid quickly, as variable internet speeds can slow down the auction and we don't want you to miss winning your lot!

An important note: the Online Buyer’s Premium is different than when you bid with Simpson's directly.

Telephone Bidding

You can register to be on the telephone with one of our representatives so that you can bid live during the auction. They will call you a few lots before your lot(s) are coming up and will let you know when your lot is open for bidding and how the bidding progresses. When they ask for your interest in raising the bid, please clearly answer “yes” or “no” very quickly so they can offer your bid to the auctioneer.

Requests for telephone bidding must be made at least 24 hours in advance and we require a secondary telephone number so we are sure to contact you.
PLEASE NOTE: The telephone lines for bidding are limited for each lot, so only bidders who are interested in bidding within or above the auction estimate may register for telephone bidding. If you would like to place a bid below the auction estimate, please leave an absentee bid or advance bid online.

Absentee Bidding

If you aren't available on the auction day to bid in person, online or by telephone, then you can leave an absentee bid with Simpson's directly using the form linked below. You present the maximum amount you are willing to bid and our auctioneer will execute your bid as it competes with other bidders during the auction. If competition ends before your maximum bid amount, you will win the lot for just that amount. Please refer to the bid increment table below to ensure that your bids are at the appropriate increment for the level of bidding. If your bid is off increment, we can only execute it up to the closest lowest increment.
Ray Simpson, President & CEO of Simpson Galleries, explains the process of buying at auction from registering to bid to arranging shipping of your winnings.

Bid Increments

Bid Amount Increment
Up to $500 $25
$500 to $1,000 $50
$1,000 to $2,000 $100
$2,000 to $5,000 $250
$5,000 to $10,000 $500
$10,000 to $20,000 $1,000
$20,000 to $50,000  $2,500
$50,000 to $100,000  $5,000
$100,000 to $200,000  $10,000
$200,000 to $500,000 $25,000
$500,000 to $1,000,000  $50,000
Over $1,000,000  $100,000

Buyer’s Premium

Bidding directly with Simpson Galleries (in person, on the telephone or through written absentee form) enjoys a favorable buyer's premium of 22%.

Bidding Method  Buyer's Premium 
 In Person, Absentee, Phone  22%
 Online Platforms: Invaluable, LiveAuctioneers, 
25% to 27% - please review the
 exact fee for the bidding platform of 
your choice.

* Online buyer's premium is inclusive of the additional premium charged by the online auction facilitator (i.e. Liveauctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare).