Bidding Tutorial

We have produced a series of video tutorials which explain how to use the main features of our website, including how to register and bid.
Click here to view our tutorials.

How Bidding Works

First Time Buyers
If you have not bought at Morgan O' Driscoll's Online Auctions before please read the following guide. To buy an item at Morgan O' Driscoll's Online Auctions, you must create an account and login. Once logged in you are ready to bid on any of the lots.

For Further information about creating and account please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions section:

  • Starting out
  • Your Account
  • Auctions and Registration
  • Bidding
  • Payments
  • Collection, Shipping, Storage
  • Watched Lots and Searches
  • Alerts and Emails

Other sections of this Website that are useful for anyone new to using Morgan O'Driscoll's Auction services are:

An essential read are the Online Terms and Conditions and Terms and Conditions of Business.


Standard Bidding increments
The auctioneer calls out for and accepts bids following a regular pattern, known as standard increments. As the price gets higher, the increments increase in size. While the auctioneer will generally use the increments below, the auctioneer may decide to change the increment, and this decision is at his or her discretion.
  • €0 - €99 by €10
  • €100 - €499 by €20
  • €500 - €999 by €50
  • €1,000 - €2,999 by €100
  • €3,000 - €6,999 by €200
  • €7,000 - €12,999 by €500
  • €13,000 - €29,999 by €1,000
  • €30,000 - €69,999 by €2,000
  • €70,000 - €149,999 by €5,000
  • €150,000 - €299,999 by €10,000
  • €300,000 - €599,999 by €20,000
  • over €600,000 by €50,000
Leaving an absentee bid before an In Room (Live) auction
Placing a bid before the auction begins is typically referred to as an absentee bid. This allows you to get in on the action ahead of the live bidding that takes place when the auction kicks off. You can place an absentee bid on a lot in a live sale, up until the time that lot is opened for live bidding. If you are the highest absentee bidder, the auctioneer will place your bid, one increment higher than the last in-room bid, until we have reached your maximum bid.

How to leave an absentee bid:
When you find a lot you'd like to bid on, download the Absentee Bid Form enter the Date of Sale, Lot Number, Description and the maximum amount you are willing to bid, your name, address, telephone number and sign the form. By signing the form you are agreeing to our terms and conditions.

Post the form to arrive at least one week before the auction too: Morgan O'Driscoll, 1 Ilen Street, Skibbereen, Co Cork. Ireland. Make sure you do not leave it too late.  Alternatively, fill in the form, scan it and email it to this can be done up to one hour before the auction commences. If you are attending one of the previews, please ask for an Absentee Bid Form, one will be provided, fill it in and then make sure you hand it to a member of the Morgan O'Driscoll Team who will enter it into the system.

The amount you are willing to bid is the amount excluding the buyer's premium & VAT. When you submit the bid you are also registering for the auction, a paddle number will then be provided for you.

Bidding in real-time, online, during an In Room (Live) auction
Once a live auction begins, Morgan O'Driscoll uses the services of Invaluable to allow Online bidding at an in room auction. Bidders gain access to an exclusive online bidding console on the Invaluable website, this simulates all of the aspects of being at the auction in person. If you have registered and been approved to bid by the auction house, you can place live bids by following the steps below:

Sign into your Invaluable account using your email address and password
Click Upcoming Auctions
Locate the auction you would like to bid in, and click the Bid Now button to open the bidder console
When the green Bid Now button displays the price you would like to bid, just click the button to place your bid

Bidding in an Online (Timed) auctions
Online or Timed auctions are internet-only auctions that run from a set time. These auctions allow you to place bids from the time the catalogue goes live, usually two weeks before the auction, until the scheduled end time for a particular item. Each lot has a specific end time. These auctions allow you to place bids for a particular lot or several lots, if a bid is placed within the last five minutes of the allotted time, the timer is reset for another five minutes, allowing emails to be sent to interested parties, so they can place another bid, this prevents sniping. If no further bids are placed within the last five minutes, the highest bidder wins that lot. The five minute rule means the timer is reset every time a bid is placed within the last five minutes, until such a time as no further bids are placed. Whoever has the highest bid when the time runs out wins the lot. The date and time you see listed for Online auctions are the time that bidding on the first lot ends.

You can place a maximum bid on an item, if you are outbid, the system will email you to inform you that you have been outbid and invite you to make another bid if you so desire. Bids on Online auctions can be made at any time from when the catalogue is made live on the Morgan O'Driscoll website, if you are registered with us you will be sent an email indicating that the latest auction has been made live.

Timed auctions allow auctioneers to set reserves for their items, as they aren't there to monitor the bidding live. A reserve is the minimum price that an auctioneer will sell their item for. Depending on bids placed, a “Result - amount in euros” or “Result - Not Sold” message will display. If the reserve price has not been met by the time the auction ends, the item will not be sold.

Bid acceptance (Online Auction)
You can view your bidding history on any lot you placed a bid on in your Morgan O'Driscoll Account. To do so, follow the instructions below:

  1. Sign into your Morgan O'Driscoll account with your username and password
  2. Click on the My Account link in the upper right
  3. Click the 'Active Bids' link
  4. This will show you a list of your active bids.

Also if you go to the lot you are bidding on, whilst Logged into your account, the information there will tell you if you have the current winning bid. If you get outbid an email will be sent immediately to you.

Viewing Active Bids (Online Auction)
To view a list of the active bids you have placed on Morgan O'Driscoll, please follow the steps below:

  1. Sign into your Morgan O'Driscoll account with your username and password
  2. Click on the My Account link
  3. Click the 'Active Bids' link to the left of the page. All active bids will be displayed
  4. You can also view 'Winning Bids' from previous auctions, showing what you have purchased.

Increasing your Bid (Online Auction)
To increase the maximum amount of your bid, please follow the steps below:

  1. Sign into your Morgan O'Driscoll account using your username and password
  2. Click on the My Account link in the upper right
  3. Click Active Bids in the Dashboard on the left to view a list of your current bids
  4. Click Increase bid next to the lot, enter your new maximum bid

Cancellation of Absentee Bids
For In Room (Live) Auctions: You can cancel an absentee bid placed in an In Room (Live) auction up until the start of the auction.
For Online (Timed) Auctions: You cannot cancel a bid that has been placed on the Morgan O'Driscoll website.

Occasionally, for objects of high value, the consignor and auction house will make a contractual agreement on a minimum price, or reserve. If an item does not meet the reserve, it will not be sold. Property may also be offered without a reserve, meaning that there is no minimum price, or the minimum is at the auctioneer's discretion. The reserve on any item is never higher than the lower auction estimate given. For example, if an item has an auction estimate of 1500.00 to 2000.00, the reserve will not be higher than 1500.00. This does not mean the reserve is set at 1500.00, the reserve price is private and confidential, known only to the auctioneer and consignor.

Highest bidder
Being the highest bidder on an item means that you currently have the highest bid on that Lot.
For Live Auctions: If you are bidding online being the highest bidder on a lot in a live sale is not a guarantee that you will win the item, as your bid will be competing with live floor bids. The Invaluable system will place bids on your behalf on increment until your maximum bid amount is reached. If your absentee bid was highest, your bid history will show you the time when your bid was presented to the internet clerk during the live auction.

In the event of two absentee bids having the same maximum, the winning bid will be the first one entered into the system. Due to the slight delay of internet bidding at a live In Room Auction, a person bidding in the room may win the lot as the hammer falls, even if a higher bid was placed online at that exact same moment. Once the hammer falls the Lot is sold. The Auctioneer has the final say. The Auctioneer has the right to refuse bids. The Auctioneer has the right to make bids on behalf of the seller of the Lot, up to the reserve price.
For Online (Timed) Auctions: If you are the highest bidder when a lot in an Online (timed) auction closes for bidding, you will be the winning bidder of that item, provided any reserve has been met.

Make an Offer on items that do not sell
If an item has not sold during an auction, you can of course make an offer. Items usually do not sell because they have not met their reserve price. At an In Room (Live) Auction, if you are present, please wait until the very end of the sale, then approach either the Auctioneer or a member of staff and ask about the lot you are interested in. Or you can go to the website, find the lot you are interested in and click on the make an offer button. With Online auctions, simply find the lot that interests you, in the online catalogue and click on the make an offer button. In the days after an auction you can also contact the Team at MOD either by telephone 00353 (0) 28 22338 or email and discuss the unsold lot you would like to make an offer on.

Buyer's Commission / Premium
The purchaser shall pay the hammer price together with a buyers' premium of 20% plus VAT @ 23% (24.6% incl. VAT). For live Online Bidding through the Invaluable website, there is a further 3% service charge.

Email Notification
If you are not receiving emails from please check the junk / spam folder in your email application. Add to your safe senders list. You will be notified by email that you successfully bid for a lot / lots, an Invoice will be sent outlining the Hammer Price and Commission payable.

App Tutorial

  • 1. Find The Artwork

    Find the artwork you would like to visualise on our website and click the button if you are already on your mobile device or if you are browsing on a computer you'll see a QR Code. Simply open up our app and click on the Scan QR icon and scan the code.
  • 2. Point your device

    Point your device at a clear space on your floor. It is important that the room is well lit and clear of obstacles to get the best calibration.
  • 3. Lock it in place

    Move to the wall where you'd like to see the painting and align where the wall and floor meet then pin it in place.
  • 4. Move the painting

    You can drag the painting to see it at any position on that wall. Then you can move around or stand back and see what it looks like. You can even take a photo or add it to your wishlist