Attending Live Auctions
PBA Galleries is a full-service auction house working to make the auction experience exciting and rewarding for all our clients. At our Live Gallery auctions, we continue a long-established trend of offering the finest collectible properties to our clients.
Sale days at PBA Galleries are typically on Thursdays. Items offered for sale may be previewed at our gallery the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the auction from 9:00am to 5:00pm or by appointment. Property can also be previewed the day of the sale until the start of the auction, usually 11:00am Pacific Time. Our auctions are held at the PBA Galleries Auction Room, located upstairs from the PBA Galleries offices on the 2nd floor at 1233 Sutter St. in San Francisco, CA, between Polk and Van Ness Streets. Parking is available at many nearby garages and public transportation is also convenient. The number 2 and 3 bus lines go past the building, and we are within walking distance of Civic Center BART station.
Registering to bid at our Live Gallery auctions is a simple procedure. It can be done in advance through our website or in person at the auction house. Upon arrival at our gallery, a bidding paddle will be issued to all registered bidders desiring one.
PBA Galleries offers phone bidding for clients who are unable to attend the auction but would like to bid on the phone during the sale. This allows direct access to a PBA staff member in the auction room. Phone bidding reservations should be made as early as possible since we have a limited number of phone lines available.
During the auction, a PBA staff member will call approximately five lots before the interested lot. The client should have all the information regarding the lot at hand. When bidding begins, the PBA staff member will update the client on the auction progress and upon instruction will place bids on the client’s behalf. As the bidding progresses, the PBA staff member will continue to ask for guidance in placing additional bids. A phone bidder may decide to stop bidding on a lot at any time.
Placing Absentee Bids
Absentee bids may be placed in person, by mail, phone, fax, or email and should be placed at least one hour before the sale begins to provide time to process the bid. Be assured that all bids will be used competitively against other absentee bids, internet bids and floor bidders. The final selling price may well be less than the upper limit of a winning absentee bid.
It is simplest to fill out the Bid Sheet which can also be found in the back of our print catalogues. Make sure the sale number and date are included as well as the Lot number, and top bid is entered for each lot. Complete the form with name, address, and phone number. Bidders from California who are buying for resale must also indicate this on the form with the bidder’s resale number. In addition, a resale certificate form and copy of seller’s permit must be on file with PBA. The bid form then can be mailed, faxed or emailed to PBA Galleries.
We also accept absentee bids by phone. When calling, have all the information listed on the absentee bidding sheet, at hand before calling.
Online absentee bids may be placed by registered bidders directly on the lot details page for each item.
PBA Dynamic Bidding
With PBA Dynamic Bidding, a bidder will know immediately where an absentee bid stands. When an absentee bid is placed online, PBA’s Dynamic Bidding will calculate the absentee bid against competing absentee bids and determine the current high bid amount. For example, if a first absentee bid of $200 is placed on a lot with a start price of $100, the bidder will be notified of having the high bid at $100. If a second bidder then places a bid of $150, the first bidder’s bid will be incremented up to $160. The under bidder will also be notified by email that the bid was outbid and provided a link to the lot to enter a higher bid if desired. The current high bid will be new starting bid when the lot comes up in the live auction. In addition to providing full transparency, PBA Dynamic Bidding will allow bidders to make more informed decisions.
PBA Galleries features PBA LIVE for our Live Auctions. Anyone can bid from a computer, tablet or smartphone, in real time, as if in the room with the auctioneer. PBA LIVE is only available on auction days. Please note: only registered bidders with a valid credit card on file with PBA Galleries may access the PBA LIVE area.
In order to access the PBA LIVE, log in with username and password. On the PBA LIVE screen, the lot currently being offered will appear, along with current price and the next asking bid. Please be mindful that when the “Place Bid” button is clicked, a bid will be accepted by the auctioneer.
During the auction, the gallery action is streamed in real time. Although PBA’s upload is in real time, depending on the speed of the user’s internet connection the stream may be delayed on an individual’s computer. PBA advises that users should not use the stream as an indication of the current bid or even lot on auction. Instead, the written information on the screen regarding the lot and current bid is the most accurate at any moment.