Buying at Auction

At Freeman’s we want to make buying at auction as easy and enjoyable as possible. You can bid and buy art online, in person or over the phone. With both specialists and client service staff available across a wide range of departments and locations, we are always on hand to help.

Before the Auction

Create Your Account Online

When you register and create an online account, you can choose your collecting interests, track bids, as well as set up personalized Lot Alerts. Enter the keywords for your favorite artists, designers, and subjects, and we'll email you when they come to auction. From Calder to Cartier, signing up for a Lot Alert means never missing out on what you love.

Create or Manage your Account

Viewing in Person

We invite you to visit the galleries at our Philadelphia headquarters during exhibition hours and examine lots in person or to discuss any questions you might have with staff members. Public viewing times and locations are listed at the front of each catalogue and on the website.  Visit our calendar of auctions and events to view upcoming sales and exhibitions.

View the auction calendar

Viewing Online

All lots are available to view online with full catalogue descriptions, images, and estimates. Images can be enlarged for closer inspection. Since all lots are sold "as is", it is important to request a condition report prior to placing a bid. If available, condition reports are posted on the lot detail page of the website. To request further information, please use the condition report button on the individual lot page. We highly recommend that potential bidders gather as much information as possible regarding a lot before placing a bid.

Terms & Conditions of Sale

Prior to placing bids please read our Terms & Conditions - by submitting a bid you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. All purchases made at auction are subject to the buyer's premium, a fee added to all successful bids.  As of March 1, 2016 our buyer's premium is 25% on the 1st $200,000 of hammer price, 20% on the hammer from $200,001 to $3,000,000, and 12% thereafter. This fee is in addition to the 8% Philadelphia sales tax. If you are a licensed dealer and wish to be tax exempt, please fill out a current Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate and return it to the Client Services along with your bidder registration form. Items being shipped out of state by a licensed shipper are not subject to the 8% Philadelphia sales tax.

Read our Terms & Conditions (PDF)

How to Register & Bid

Freeman’s offers multiple methods to bid depending on your personal preference, comfort level and availability.  Whether you prefer complete discretion to bid privately from your computer or wish to attend an auction in person, we are ready to assist you. A conservative auction pace is one lot per minute, meaning 60 minutes into the auction, we would be close to lot 60 and so on. This is a helpful way for you to gauge your timing. We ask that all requests be submitted no later than 24 hours prior the scheduled start of the sale.

In Person

All of our auctions are live events, taking place in Freeman’s first or third floor gallery at 1808 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Please arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of your lot(s) to register the day of the sale. Complete a bidder registration form and present it along with a photo ID to Client Services, located on the second floor, to receive a paddle.

Download the bidder registration form (PDF)

By Telephone

Telephone bids can be placed by completing the bidder registration form and submitting it to Client Services in person, by fax to 215.599.2240 or email to

The same form is used for both telephone and absentee bids. If you would like to telephone bid simply leave the maximum amount column blank and check the box with the telephone icon. Please include a primary and alternate phone number to be used for the day of the sale. Please expect a call from our Client Services & Bidder Registration department to confirm your telephone bids once they have been entered into our system. On the day of the sale, a representative of Freeman’s will call you, approximately five lots before your indicated lot, to bid with you over the phone live in the saleroom.

Live Internet Bidding

Watch or bid live on the internet with Freeman’s via Invaluable.  Many clients, especially those outside of the United States, prefer the ease of bidding live online at our auctions. It’s easy to register with us online and you can watch the auction as it happens and place bids from the comfort of your computer.  Please note that Invaluable charges an additional 5% to the buyer’s premium for their services.

Bid live online

Absentee Bids

Create an account via the website to submit bids online. Your email and password will be emailed to you and you are free to enjoy all the benefits from being able to track lots, submit and review your absentee bids, all from our website. Absentee bids submitted through our website must be received 24 hours prior to the sale. A member of our Client Services department will email a confirmation of your bids once they have been processed. Completed bid forms may be sent via fax to 215.599.2240 or by email to

Leave a bid with us

Payment & Pickup

If you were successful, after the sale you will receive an invoice with the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium as well as any applicable taxes.  You will also receive payment instructions along with a list of our recommended shippers.

Freeman’s will email and post you an invoice that includes the hammer price + buyer’s premium + sales tax (if applicable). Payment is due within ten (10) days of the sale. We accept cash, bank transfers and personal, business, or cashier’s checks payable in USD. Please disregard sales tax if you are shipping out of the state with a licensed shipper. Freeman’s does not accept credit cards. Purchased lots will be released once funds have fully cleared the bank. Payments over $20,000 must be submitted by cash, wire transfer or bank check.

To ensure the safety of your property, Freeman's requests removal within 10 business days of the sale date. Collection hours are Monday - Friday 9:30am-4:30pm. For any pick ups that require use of our loading dock, please contact Darren Joyner at to schedule an appointment.

Freeman's does not handle packing or shipping, however we are happy to recommend shippers to our clients. Please view our list of recommended shippers for a list of those who have worked with Freeman's clients in the past and can provide quotes for the packing and shipping of your property.

Download our list of recommended shippers (PDF)