Information for Buyers

If you are new to Shapiro Auctioneers please read the following pages together with our standard Conditions of Business (PDF) (125 Kb).
The Conditions of Business takes precedence in the event of an inconsistency. We will be happy to give assistance on any aspects about which you may be unclear.

Estimates & Reserves

The estimated selling price of each lot is printed beside the lot description and does not include the Buyer’s Premium (or GST, when this is payable on the hammer price, as indicated by the symbol +, see GST). The estimates are prepared well in advance of the sale, are not definitive, and are subject to revision.

The pre-sale estimates are intended as a guide for prospective buyers. Any bid between the listed figures would, in our opinion, offer a reasonable chance of success. However, all lots, depending on the degree of competition, can realise prices either above or below the listed estimates. Some lots will be subject to a “reserve” which is the minimum price that the seller is willing to accept for a lot. This amount is confidential and does not exceed the estimate.


Auction viewings are your opportunity to inspect each lot prior to the auction. We encourage you to closely examine each object you may be interested in so that you are completely familiar with its condition prior to sale. Our staff are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Approximately 2 weeks prior to each auction we publish an illustrated online catalogue which provides detailed descriptions and estimated values for each lot. A lot usually refers to a single item but occasionally will refer to a group of items that will be offered for sale together. The online catalogue also includes viewing and auction dates and times. For your convenience we also offer a downloadable print (non-illustrated) version of the catalogue here

Condition of Lots

The Buyer’s attention is specifically drawn to Clauses 4 and 5 of the Conditions of Business (PDF) (125 Kb) and should particularly note that all lots are sold ‘as is’. Shapiro Auctioneers makes no representation as to the condition of any lot sold and intending buyers should always satisfy themselves as to the condition of any lot prior to purchase.

Condition Reports

If unable to personally inspect property, solely as a convenience, Shapiro Auctioneers may provide condition reports which are merely statements of opinion and not of fact.

Shapiro Auctioneers staff are available during pre-auction viewing times and by appointment to advise prospective buyers on particular items or on any aspect of the auction procedure, but the ‘as is’ provision prevails.

To assist intending purchasers who are unable to view the sale, Shapiro Auctioneers is happy to fax a detailed condition report listing any significant faults, such as severe wear or discolouration. Condition reports are prepared by our senior specialists and at busy periods there may be a delay of a few days in complying with such requests. These reports are for guidance only and are given without prejudice to our Standard Conditions of Business.

The condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but may have other faults not expressly referred to in the report or shown in the online images of the lot; such as restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

Please note verbal requests will not be granted within 24 hours of the sale, or later than the end of the working day prior to a sale, as written confirmation of such reports must be received by clients prior to the sale.

No condition reports will be provided on lots estimated less than $500 or on group lots.


Please note that all dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot’s actual colour and shades.

Timepieces and Gemstones

Prospective buyers are reminded that colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Shapiro. Please note that unless the catalogue description specifically states that a stone is natural, we have assumed that some form of treatment may have been used. We do not guarantee, and are not responsible for any valuation or certificate from a gemmological laboratory that may accompany the property. 

All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Descriptions may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have not been opened to examine movements and we cannot guarantee that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we would recommend you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report.


Shapiro offers three methods of bidding; in person, absentee bidding or telephone bidding.

To assist the progress of the sale, all intending buyers must register for bidding before the commencement of the sale. We do not have a permanent bidder registration system so all existing and new clients must register prior to the sale. All intending buyers should bring with them some means of identification.

Bidding in Person

To bid in person, intending buyers will need to register during viewing or on the day of the auction and collect a buyer’s number card.

The buyer’s number card must be used to indicate your bids to the auctioneer during the sale. Should you be the successful buyer of any lot, please ensure that your buyer’s number card can be seen by the auctioneer and that it is your number which is called out. Should there be any doubts as to price or buyer, please draw the auctioneer’s attention to it immediately.

All lots sold will be invoiced to the name and address given against the issue of the numbered buyer’s number card and cannot be transferred to other names and addresses. Please do not mislay your paddle/card; in the event of loss, inform staff at the registration desk. This system does not apply to absentee bidders – i.e. bidders who have left bids with the auctioneer prior to the sale.

Absentee Bids

If you are unable to attend the auction in person, Shapiro Auctioneers can execute bids on your behalf. This service is free.

Lots will always be bought as cheaply as is allowed by other bids and the reserves on Shapiro Auctioneers’ books. In the event of identical bids, the first bid received will take precedence. Always indicate a top limit – the amount to which you would bid if you were attending the auction yourself. ‘Buy’ or unlimited bids will not be accepted. We will not advise any such bidder of the existence of a higher bid. Always quote the auction title, code and date and check lot numbers and descriptions. Each absentee bid form should contain bids for one auction only.

Absentee bids, when placed by telephone, are accepted only at the sender’s risk and should be confirmed before the sale by letter or facsimile. We urge you most strongly to send bids so that they are received at least twenty-four (24) hours before commencement of the auction.

Click here to download an Absentee Bidding form

Telephone Bids

If you wish to bid on a lot by telephone during the auction, complete the telephone bid form giving lot number and description, your name, address and telephone number where you can be contacted during the sale. Just prior to the lot, a Shapiro Auctioneers representative will telephone you and bid on your behalf in the room, if they are able to connect with you on the phone.

Technical faults can interfere with telephone bidding. Shapiro Auctioneers is happy to execute bids by telephone, but stress that it is not a secure manner by which to bid and therefore, Shapiro Auctioneers cannot be held responsible for any telephone failure or missed bids. Telephone bids must be confirmed in writing.

Click here to download a Telephone Bidding form

Please Note: Shapiro Auctioneers cannot be held responsible for any telephone failure or missed bids

Bidding Increments & Guidelines

The following bidding intervals are generally used subject to the auctioneer’s full discretion. Absentee and Telephone bids that do not conform with these intervals may be lowered to the next bidding interval:

$A 500-1 000 by $A50
$A1 000-2 000 by $A100
$A 2 000-5 000 by $A200
$A 5 000-10 000 by $A500
$A 10 000-20 000 by $A1000
$A 20 000-50 000 by $A 2000
$A 50 000 onwards at auctioneer’s discretion.

Challenges to Bidding Increments

Challenges are occasionally made to the bidding increment suggested by the auctioneer. For example, if the auctioneer calls for a bid of $A 3 200, the maximum that a bidder may wish to bid is $A 3 100. The auctioneer may accept or decline any challenge to the bidding increment as he/she, in their sole discretion, shall determine. However, the general rule is that, to maintain the pace of the sale, the auctioneer will accept a single challenge from one bidder. Thereafter, for that lot, the bidder who challenged the increment will not have his bid recognized. Any bidder, at any time, may call out a bid exceeding the sum asked for by the auctioneer, and continue to bid thereafter.

Successful Bids

Successful bidders receive an invoice detailing purchases, which may be collected from the sale venue or Shapiro Auctioneers’ office following the auction (please contact Shapiro Auctioneers’ offices to confirm collection point). Successful absentee bidders are advised as soon as possible after the sale and given instructions regarding payment and collection of purchases.

Payment & Collection

Buyer Premium

25% including GST on the hammer price of each lot

GST is also payable on the hammer price of any lot indicated in the catalogue or saleroom notices with a †, or any lot as announced by the auctioneer on sale nights.


Goods and Services Tax (GST)

This information is not intended to be definitive or complete and if you have any queries with regard to the applicability or effect of GST you should obtain your own independent legal and/or accounting advice.

GST is a tax on Goods and Services. In all cases the GST legislation takes precedence and the GST rate which applies is that in effect on the day liability for GST arises in connection with the relevant transaction.

Shapiro Auctioneers has to account for GST on the cost of goods and services provided by it. Accordingly GST is added by Shapiro Auctioneers to its Buyer’s Premium and Seller’s Commission.

In addition GST will also be payable in respect of insurance, storage and other services supplied by Shapiro Auctioneers or its nominated suppliers.

Additionally GST may also be payable in respect of some goods auctioned by Shapiro Auctioneers.

Whether or not those goods attract GST will be indicated in the sale catalogue by a < symbol.

If an item has the < symbol alongside it in the catalogue then GST is to be added to the Hammer Price because the Hammer Price does not include GST. The buyer will have to pay the Hammer Price as well as a further amount so that we will receive an amount (the GST inclusive amount) which after subtracting the relevant amount of GST payable will leave as the resulting amount an amount which is the same as the Hammer Price.

Where there is no GST symbol GST will not be added to the Hammer Price for the item sold (note the Buyer’s Premium plus the GST on the Buyer’s Premium is to be added to the Hammer Price).

Exported goods will be GST free when the goods are exported before or within 60 days of the date any payment is made for the goods or if earlier the date on which an invoice for the goods is provided.

Overseas Buyers

Full amount including GST should be paid. However, if proof of export within 60 days is provided to Shapiro Auctioneers by way of an export certificate, Shapiro Auctioneers will then arrange for a GST refund.

If the export is not made before the end of the 60 days period the GST free status of those goods will be lost unless the commissioner of taxation allows further time.

The exported goods will not be GST free if they are reimported into Australia.

Resale Royalty

As from the 9th June, 2010, The Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act 2009 (Cwth) (‘the Act’) will apply to the commercial resale of Artwork. Shapiro will rely on information supplied by the Seller and Copyright Agency Limited (‘CAL’) to determine whether Resale Royalty Rights (‘Artists’ Resale Royalty’) are applicable. Buyers and Sellers must inform themselves of the provisions of the Act and take professional advice if necessary on its application to a sale and purchase governed by the Conditions of Sale which appear in this catalogue. Where the lot is considered to be subject to the provisions of the Act, the Seller will be notified by Shapiro and / or CAL, and then be responsible to pay the Artists’ Resale Royalty as defined. For more information on the criteria under which the Royalty Scheme applies please visit www.resaleroyalty.org.au.

Payment Options

All buyers are required to settle and collect their purchases within three working days of the auction.

We accept payments by cash (A$10,000 maximum), bank, personal or business cheque, direct deposit, debit card (Eftpos) or credit card* (Amex, Visa and Mastercard). Please beadvised that credit card payment to the value above A$10,000 must be verified by proof of identity and subject to management approval.

We would prefer non-cash payments at this time, thank you for your understanding.

*Please note: credit card payments are subject to a 2% surcharge on the invoice total (plus GST).

Payment should be in Australian currency payable to Shapiro Auctioneers.

Direct Deposit or International Bank Transfer (EFT, TT):

BRANCH: 062 162
ACCOUNT: 1019 4088
SWIFT CODE: CTBAAU2S (international use only)

Note: Please fax through deposit slip or transfer documentation after completion as the bank will not notify us of the payment.

Purchases settled by cheque or direct deposit cannot be released until Shapiro Auctioneers is in receipt of cleared funds.

Shapiro partners with Art Money to make it easier for you to purchase work at auction. Find out more. 


Once payment has been settled, you may collect your purchases at the auction location or arrange to have them shipped to a destination of your choice. Please note that items will NOT be available for collection during the auction. Deliveries will be available afterwards, time permitting.

If you have not collected, or notified us of your collection arrangements within three business days of the auction, access thereafter will be limited, and will be arranged by appointment only. Collections and deliveries are to be arranged by the purchaser. A list of recommended carriers is available for download below but purchasers are free to make arrangements with their preferred carriers. Please confirm all 3rd party collection arrangements to Client Services on +61 (02) 9326 1588.

Download a listing of Recommended carriers (PDF)

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