FAQ Online Only

How do I bid online in an auction at VAN HAM? Here you will find all information.

What is an Online Only Auction?

Our Online Only Auctions are so-called Timed Auctions, i.e. pure online auctions which are carried out by a computer system and not by our auctioneers. This form of auction allows you to place a bid for a lot that will expire at a pre-determined time. The highest bidder wins the auction. The starting price is also the lowest bid to which an object can be knocked down.

A special function is the extended bidding. If a bid is placed 3 minutes before the lot expires, it is automatically extended by 3 minutes. This should prevent bids at the last second and give all participants a fair chance to place a counterbid.

How does the 3 minute rule work?

At a fixed time the auction starts to expire. Usually the first lot expires at 6p.m. One minute later, the next until all lots have expired. You can see the exact time for each lot.

If another bid is placed in the 3 minutes before this time expires, this lot is automatically extended by 3 minutes. This process is repeated until no more bids are placed for 3 minutes. Only then will the lot be closed.

However, the bidding battle cannot continue forever. This type of extension is limited to 2 hours.

On which platforms can I bid online?

Our Online Only Auctions are offered on our bidding platform My VAN HAM.

Can I log in with my old VAN HAM account?

No, My VAN HAM is a completely new platform where you have to register with a new account.

In which languages can I view the site?

You can choose between the languages German and English. You can set this in the menu at the top right.

I have forgotten my password, can you send me a new one?

If you have forgotten your password, you can have a new one sent to you via the button Forgot your password? when you log in. 

What are the increments that can be bid?

We have preset bidding steps. You can have these displayed in the bid submission under Valid bid steps.

What is a maximum bid?

You can enter a maximum bid for a lot. This is automatically used by the bidding system to bid for you without you having to do anything else.

If there are no previous bids, your bid will start at the starting price. In the case of a counterbid, the system automatically increases your bid by one bidding step to the other bid.

Your maximum bid can not be seen by other customers. You can therefore place a maximum bid without any worries and do not have to intervene yourself at every single step.

Can I place a bid below the starting price?

No. The starting price is the lowest amount that can be bid. If you enter too low an amount, you will get the error message "Your bid is below the minimum bid".

Where can I see if my bid has been accepted?

In the menu on the top right under My Bids you can view all bids placed.

Under Bids on hold (Online Only) you will find all bids as long as they have not yet been confirmed by us for the auction. Under Confirmed Bids (Online Only) you will find all active bids.

If you do not find your bid here, there was an error during the transmission. Please try again. 

How do I know I've been outbid?

You will automatically receive an e-mail from us informing you that you have been outbid. You can also view the status of your current bids in the top right-hand menu under My Bids.

How do I increase my bid?

To increase your maximum bid, go to My Bids in the menu at the top right. There you will see an overview of your bids. To increase your maximum bid, select Bid now in the action menu. You will be redirected to the bid mask where you can increase your bid.

Can I bid against myself?

No, it's not possible to bid against yourself. If you raise your maximum bid, there is no danger of raising your bid yourself.

How can I cancel my bid?

You can cancel your bid up to two hours before the end of the first lot. Please send a short message to online-only@van-ham.com to do this.

Why am I told that my bid is still in the "Bids on hold" folder?

After your registration for the auction you can already place bids. At this point, however, you are not necessarily already approved for the action. We will check all registrations and approve them as soon as possible.

This can take up to 48 hours. If we still need documents from you, we will contact you directly. As soon as you are approved, you will receive an automatic notification.

What is a bid limit and how can I increase it?

There is a bid limit for our Online Only auctions. This limit is automatically limited to € 5,000 for new registrations. You can also apply for a higher limit when you register. If you wish a higher limit, please send a short mail to online-only@van-ham.com

How do I know if I have won the bid?

At the end of the auction, you will receive an automatic e-mail from us if you have won a bid.

If you have been outbid in advance, you will also be informed by e-mail.

If you are unsure whether you have received a bid, you can check this in the menu at the top right under My VAN HAM under Bought Lots. Here you will find all your purchases with the highest bid listed. 

Can I place a subsequent bid below the starting price?

No. We do not accept any bids below the starting price for after sales. Please place your bid at least in the amount of the starting price.

When will I receive my invoice?

We will send you an invoice by e-mail within 48 hours after the auction. Please note that weekends and public holidays can cause delays.

How can I pay?

When you receive the invoice, you can choose from various payment options. You can pay by bank transfer. On site you can also pay in cash, by Electronic Cash or by a bank-confirmed cheque.

Which credit cards are accepted for payment?

We do not accept credit cards.

What are the shipping costs?

You can find the shipping costs within Germany, the EU and worldwide under the point Estimated shipping costs for this lot under the conditions of the respective object description.

In the case of prints without frames, the shipping costs only apply once - here the shipping costs for the work with the largest dimensions are calculated. 

Can I collect my purchases directly from you in Cologne?

Our Online Only Auctions are managed by an external warehouse. The objects are not located in our main building in Cologne. A collection is therefore only possible after prior telephone registration and it can take up to 3 days for logistical reasons until you can collect your surcharges in the main building.


Our experts are available to answer your questions about the artworks at any time: 

Anica Beil
+49 221 925 862-322
Fax: +49 221 925 862-4

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