How to buy?
Purchasing an artwork from Bernaerts is easy and safe. We briefly list the different steps.
You are looking for a beautiful work of art.
Find it in our online catalogue or better yet, come and have a look at the exhibition. The viewing days are freely accessible and are always held five days prior to the auctions.
The moment of truth!
There are two types of auctions.
On the Live auction, there are four ways to participate (in the auction room, online or via the app, via absentee bid, via phone). On the Timed Online, you bid online only, against the clock.
You are the successful bidder. Congratulations!
After the auction, you will receive a receipt by e-mail with the various payment methods (bank transfer/ credit card/ bancontact). You can collect your works by appointment and upon receipt of payment.
If you come to collect after 10 days, a storage fee of €5 per day and per lot will be charged. If you are unable to come, you can authorise a third party to collect the purchases, upon receipt of payment.
For smaller items, we can assist you with packaging and shipping. For larger or valuable pieces, we ask you to organise your own transport. You will find a list of our trusted transporters here, or you can access The Packengers-widget via our online catalogue.
Packaging and shipping costs are always at your expense and risk.
1. Live in Antwerp
From 30 minutes before the start of the auction, register at the reception desk with your ID. The personal bid number remains valid during the different sessions of the auction.
2. Online or via the ‘Bernaerts app’
From 2 weeks before the auction, you can place a ‘prebid’ on one of our platforms Bernaerts Live, Invaluable or Drouotonline.
You can also bid live on these platforms during the Live Auction.
Register at least 5h before the start of the auction. You can log in from 15 minutes before the start of each auction session.
You can also use our app for this, downloadable from the app stores (Apple Store or Google Play Store).
3. By absentee bid
Place a written bid via the online catalogue or mail a completed form to info(at)bernaerts.be at the latest 12h prior to the live auction.
The auctioneer will try to acquire your lot at the most advantageous price possible.
4. By telephone
Request a telephone line via the online catalogue or mail a completed telephone bid form to info(at)bernaerts.be, at the latest 12h prior to the live auction.
One of our team members will call you during the auction to bid live. This service is only available for lots from € 1000.
You are completely sure of your bid if you include a so-called ‘safety bid’, a written bid that Bernaerts can work with if the line is broken during the auction due to circumstances.
Online bidding in the Live Auction
You can bid online during the Live auction via our online bidding platform Bernaerts Live. If you do not yet have an account on this platform, create one on the site and otherwise log in with your existing account.
With this account you can then register for all upcoming auctions. Please note that you need to register separately for each auction session you want to participate in.
1. go to live.bernaerts.eu
2. create your account (new customer) or log in to your existing account (existing customer)
3. click on ‘register’ for the session you wish to bid in
4. wait for our team to approve your registration (for this we need a copy of your identity card, e.g. via mail)
5. after confirmation of your registration you will receive a bid number (‘paddle’)
6. during the auction you log in with your details and can place your bid
Half an hour before the Live auction starts, a ‘Live‘ button will appear at the top right of our site. If you click it, you will enter the live stream of the auction and you can follow the auction and/or place your bid.
To bid via other bidding platforms Drouotonline and Invaluable, you must register on the respective sites.
Bid in a Timed Online Auction
On Timed Online auctions, all lots are offered exclusively online by auction on our website and app, with a fixed end date at which bidding closes. From the moment this auction comes online, a ‘Timed Online‘ button will appear on our site in the top right corner for you to click.
After registering for the relevant auction, you can place your bid by clicking on the indicated next amount or you can set a maximum bid. In the latter case, the system will automatically bid for you against any other contenders up to the amount of your maximum bid, according to the fixed bid steps. If you are outbid, you will be notified via email and on the app. You can then bid higher if you wish. Your maximum bid is not visible to other bidders.
If you receive a counter bid, or if a higher maximum bid has already been submitted by another bidder, the text ‘OVERBID’ will appear next to the lot in question.
If several bidders have entered the same maximum bid, the one who first set his or her automatic bid will outbid the others.
When the lot is about to close and another bid comes in, bidders will be given 10 minutes to respond each time.
Commission = 30%
Download the Bernaerts app
Through our app, you can consult our catalogues, save your favourite lots or artists, register for our auctions, follow our livestream, place bids, consult older results or offer your own art objects for sale at Bernaerts.
General conditions buyer
The joint stock company Auction House Bernaerts JSC (hereafter BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS) announces to the participants of the sale that the sale will be held according to the terms and conditions listed below and any participation in the auctions implies the unconditional acceptance of the present conditions of sale.
1. Auction day
The auction takes place through an oral or written bid. The highest bidder for each item is the successful bidder who will purchase the item against cash payment. At the time of the purchase and to the extent that he did not previously, the potential purchaser must register by presenting proof of identity and indicating his name, address, telephone number, the number of his identity card and his signature on the registration form of BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS. In return, he will receive a paddle with its personal number to participate in the auction. In other cases, the purchaser presents himself to complete and sign his entry form, after which he will receive a paddle with his personal number. Online sale bidders must register at least 5 hours before the beginning of the auction by filling the form on My Account. For each new online sale, the buyer must register by accepting the Terms and Conditions of sale.
2. Commitment of the bidder
By its offer, the bidder commits himself to purchase the auction items for sale at the price he has proposed. He nevertheless has no say when the sale is suspended for any reason at all.
BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS may, in case of a negligent buyer, decide to cancel the sale and sell the lot to the underbidder. BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS may then recover any costs or lost revenue from the buyer.
3. Conduct of sale, order
The judicial officer maintains order during the sale. It is he who ultimately rules all possible disputes born of the sale, including the bidding increments and the designation of the highest bidder. The auctioneer has, among others, the right to set the minimum price of each offer, not to accept the bid of persons that he does not know or whose identity or creditworthiness not seemed proven – in which case, the previous bidder remains bound-, to suspend the sale, without having to explain thereon to the bidders, to split, join or withdraw any item. In case of obstruction or disruption of the auction by violence, threat or a fraudulent way, the provisions of article 314 of the Penal Code will be applied. In case a price limit has been set by the provider/seller, BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS has the right to bid on behalf of the provider/seller. BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS reserves the right to refuse any offer made by unknown buyers.
4. Buyer by mandate or third-party buyer
The purchaser may designate a proxy, provided that he signals it to the auctioneer at the end of the sale. The purchaser answers for the solvency and the competence of its proxy; each purchaser remains responsible for its purchase, even if another person is stated as (proxy) purchaser.
The successful bid does not imply any guarantee on the part of the auctioneer responsible for the sale nor on the part of the acting judicial officer, concerning among others the authenticity. Items and art objects are sold in the state in which they are at the auction exhibition and sale, and without any guarantee. Buyers are expected to have reviewed items and objects of art and to have made their offer being informed. The estimated prices quoted in the catalogue serve for information purposes only. If necessary, the catalogue on paper takes precedence over the electronic version (on paper catalogues can be consulted or downloaded free of charges on www.bernaerts.be ). In exceptional cases, the sale of an art object can be cancelled and the hammer price refunded to the purchaser if the object bought is returned within three weeks, with evidence that it is a falsification, and provided that the object remained in the same condition as at the time of the auction.
6. Indivisibility and particularity
All obligations of purchase are by law, jointly and indissolubly, both for legal persons as for physical persons, the responsibility of all those who buy for a joint account, the final purchaser and those who bought for him, on the securities between them and those for whom they act as guarantor, as well as the heirs and successors of each of the people mentioned above.
7. Payment of the purchase price and the additional costs by the purchaser
The purchaser in the room and the purchaser who has bid by purchase order must pay, immediately after the sale or at the time of the removal of the items,
the hammer price, plus 25% on the hammer price in the room, on the absentee bid and by telephone bid, including VAT, for costs.
The simultaneous sale in live (webcast) bidders must pay the purchase price increased by 28% on the hammer price, VAT included.
The silent sales and/or aftersales bidders must pay the purchase price increased by 30% on the hammer price, VAT included.
For each item, an additional administrative costs of € 2 will have to be paid and, if applicable, a droit de suite (right to follow or resale right). The droit de suite is an extension of the copyright law that entitles a compensation to the creator of a work of art in case of a resale of the work.
This right may apply both to sculptures and to graphic works of art. A droit the suite is charged in case of a resale of original works of art of living artists or artists who died less than 70 years ago and from a price of € 2,000.00 on.
It amounts to 4% of the price up to € 50,000.00;
to 3% of the auction price segment between € 50,000.01 and € 200,000.00;
to 1% of the auction price segment between € 200,000.01 and € 350,000.00;
to 0.50% of the auction price segment between € 350,000.01 and € 500,000.00;
to 0.25% of the auction price segment above € 500,000.01 price.
However, the droit de suite can never exceed € 12,500.00.
The rate of the first segment, i.e. 4%, should be applied to the entire amount that lies within this segment. (Law of 4 December 2006 and R.D. of 2 August 2007).
Only banknotes in euros (up to an amount of € 2,999 per object, fees included) will be accepted for payment of the purchase price and costs.
In case of payment through a non-certified cheque, delivery of the items may be suspended until the crediting.
8. Compensation – confusion
The buyer cannot claim nor compensation, nor confusion, nor article 1653 of the Belgian Civil Code in case of trouble of the purchaser.
9. Resale – irresponsible bidding
If the purchaser, the highest bidder, the guarantor and/or the indicated proxy have failed to immediately fulfil the obligations set out in these terms and conditions or to immediately meet one of the conditions of sale, the item may be resold on the basis of an irresponsible bidding, at the expense of the highest bidder. The resale is done by the judicial officer already requested, under the same conditions of sale. The failing purchaser shall pay the difference between the purchase price and the resale price, without being able to claim the balance between the purchase price and the resale price in case the resale price exceeds the purchase price. This balance will be to the benefit of the provider/seller or to the creditors. The irresponsible bidder is required in addition to the payment of expenses caused by its negligence and by the resale, as well as other charges of any kind, without prejudice to damages for any reason whatsoever. Delivery of a cheque which is not paid immediately at the first presentation, is considered failure to pay, without prejudice to the application of the criminal law if necessary, nor of the protest, discount and other grant.
10. Transfer of ownership – provisional measures
As soon as the highest bidder is determined, all risks related to the purchases will be the responsibility of the purchaser. The item is delivered in the state it is at the time of the auction, with all its apparent and hidden defects. At the auction, the item shall be kept with the utmost care. However, the buyer must take all measures for the preservation of the item. As soon as the highest bidder is determined, items only remain on-site at the risk and under the responsibility of the purchaser, which is solely responsible for the item he bought.
11. State of the items – exhibition
Since items and works of art are exhibited before the auction, and the terms and conditions have been communicated, the purchaser is supposed to be informed fully, personally and on his own responsibility of the state of the items and art objects. He has no recourse against BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, against the acting judicial officer or against the auctioneer, for error, inaccuracy, or negligence in the description of the items and works of art, nor for inconvenience, discomfort, the state of the items and works of art, their repair or restoration. All data concerning items and the works of art in catalogues, advertisements, brochures or any other written or digital communication from BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, and especially their description, are provided only for information purposes and without prejudice. Neither BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, nor the acting judicial officer assume any responsibility in this regard. The sale is preceded by an exhibition during which BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS will be available – physically or virtually – to the public to provide information to the best of its possibilities; the exhibition is intended to allow the examination of the state of conservation and the quality of the items as well as to provide guidance on possible defects or inaccuracies in the description of the catalogue. The public can also appeal to BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS or to an expert chosen by the interested person, for a thorough review and that, for the duration of the exhibition. BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS is not prepared to take the item back if the description of the catalogue is revoked during the sale and that the right description is given orally to the public. Each visitor is responsible for the damage that he causes to the exposed objects and items, even if it happened coincidentally or involuntarily. Similarly, the provisions of article 2280 of the Civil Code apply to this auction.
12. Passing of possession – removal
The buyer who has paid the full purchase price and costs will pass in possession of the item sold. Upon removal, it is required to submit a proof of payment. No item can be removed during the live auction itself. Unless expressly authorized by BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, no item will be delivered until full payment of the purchase price and costs. The damage caused during the removal or displacement of items are at the charge and risk of the purchaser. When the time period for the removal is passed, an interest of 1% per month on the hammer price will be charged, with a minimum of € 5 per day and per item. For the removal dates we refer to the terms and conditions printed in the catalogue and on the web site.
In case BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, for whatever reason, is required to repay the funds that have already been paid, no interest can be counted on this sum.
14. Written and telephone bids
Through a written bid, BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS takes care of its customers purchase bids, free of charge. The purchase of the items is done in the cheapest way possible, provided the price limits or other possible offers allow it. The price limits set by phone are accepted at the risk of the seller. They must be confirmed by letter or fax, undersigned by the bidder. You complete the ‘absentee bidding form’ [link] during your visit at the auction house, or you download [link] it and deliver it no later than 24 h prior to the auction to BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, or you send it by email (info(at)bernaerts.be) or by fax (+ 32 3 248 15 93), no later than 5 hours prior to the start of the auction. The auctioneer will try to purchase the item for you at the most beneficial price. These bids are no purchase orders nor commissions, but the orders to buy at the price indicated. In case of equal bid, the oral offer has priority on the written and digital ones. If several written bids of the same amount on the same item reach BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS and the written bids are the highest bid for the item in question, the item will be awarded to the first written bid having reached BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS. The auctioneer is not required to inform the public beforehand. The non-execution of a written bid, a telephone bid or an online bid by mistake or for any other cause (technical or otherwise) cannot be the subject of a claim for damages to BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS. The written, telephone and online bids are a free service offered to customers and cannot result in any kind of responsibility of BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS.
Each visitor is responsible for the damage caused to the exposed objects and items.
16. Court of jurisdiction
All disputes over the sale fall, as appropriate, under the exclusive competence of the courts of Antwerp, regardless of the domicile of the parties. In case these terms and conditions are a translation, the Dutch text will prevail.
Last update: May 10, 2023