How to Buy

Buying at Greenhouse Auctions says three things about you. One, you are looking for new models to support the primary market. Two, you care about social impact initiatives. Three, you have outstanding taste. Obviously. So now, explore the process for buyers, and as importantly, check out the unique advantages for buying at Greenhouse Auctions.

Before the auction

  • So here is what we suggest.  Make yourself comfy, play some of your favorite tunes for inspiration, maybe grab a bag of chips, and get in there. The online catalogue is up and running for at least two weeks before the auction. Study the images, spend time with them, see what you find yourself thinking about the next day. Do you see those videos  accompanying each artwork? The artists made these just for you. They want you to hear directly from them about the artwork. Nary an essay about post-structural existentialism to be found on this website. You’re welcome.

  • The pre-sale estimates noted under each work of art are all, without exception, between 25 – 50% under their normal gallery price. That means that each lot presents the potential to buy a terrific work of art, directly support the artist, and contribute to the scholarship fund at a very attractive price. Keep in mind that these estimates are predictions only, of course, and the final selling price may wind up above them. If you would like to know the specific retail price for a certain artwork, ask us.

  • You heard us right. Fall in love with the artwork. What you are looking at is much greater than pigment on a surface or a molded object. It’s a labor of love that a wonderfully creative mind with boundless talent was able to put together with their bare hands and some alchemy. Art is meant to be fallen in love with. So find your special artwork (or multiple, the artists won’t mind sharing you), and—now comes the best part—imagine living with them.

  • Each artwork evokes a different sentiment, and there is no right or wrong reaction. But there is such a thing is the wrong dimensions for where you had in mind, so double check the details around each artwork. And if you’re not sure, ask us.

  • Makes sense. While Greenhouse does not handle shipping, we work with a third-party who can generate a shipping quote for you at the click of a button. If you have a more complicated question, email us at . Note: just to be safe, try to put in your shipping inquiry at least 48 hrs ahead of the auction. You may also contact the shipper of your choice, if you wish.

  • You’ve done this before, and chances are your computer has enough muscle memory to do most of the filling out for you.

    1. On any given lot you will see a ‘Register to Bid‘ button. Hit that.
    2. If you haven’t registered with us before, hit ‘Sign Up.’
    3. Put in your email address.
    4. Verify your email address–this is crucial as you won’t be able to complete your registration otherwise.
    5. After you’ve verified your email address, go back to the Greenhouse page and complete your registration with your financial and shipping/billing info.


    We have created a blogpost featuring a video walking you step-by-step on how to set up your account (this applies to new and past bidders with Greenhouse.)

    Registering should take less than eating a bag of chips. We hear.

  • Life happens, and your plans changed at the last minute. But you’ve already fallen in love and measured your wall four times. Worry not. At any point—from when the catalogue goes live two weeks prior to the live auction up until a few seconds before your desired artwork comes up on the day of the auction—you can leave an early bid. That’s basically the equivalent of a secret handshake between you and us that is left in advance of the auction. It’s the maximum final bid (or hammer price) that you are willing to bid up to. Remember, you will have to add 20% Buyer’s Premium to your final bid, so factor that into your calculations. Our system will only run up your early maximum bid if there are other interested bidders pursuing the exact same artwork. You can’t blame them for having good taste.

Day of the auction

  • The day of the auction has arrived. You even dreamt about the artwork last night. You’re ready to do this. You have registered. Maybe you have even repainted the wall (overachiever.) You have your maximum bid in mind. Make sure you have strong Wi-Fi, a comfy spot. You got this.

  • Sorry, folks, but the auction is only viewable for registered bidders.

  • Registered bidders will be allowed to view the live bidding. Remember, there is no physical auction room, it’s all virtual and completely anonymous, so no need to change out of your comfy clothes. We will set up a the virtual bidding room the day of the auction, you will be prompted to enter it on the homepage. Once bidding starts, be ready to act quickly. And as you might suspect, when one lot closes, the next opens, with a minimal pause in between lots. The bidding on each lot will open at (or just below) the low-estimate, but if multiple, competing early bids had already been left before the auction begins (in other words, multiple clients had pledged a secret maximum amount), bidding may start within the presale estimates or even above it. Stay focused.

  • Correct. All buyers have to pay a 20% buyer’s premium on top of the hammer price  so make sure you budget yourself accordingly. For example, if you end up being the winning bidder with a $6,000 bid, you will have to pay $7,200, before tax (if applicable) and shipping. Keep those expenses in mind.

  • We get it, we like to be the last person standing, too. But alas, every time someone leaves a bid, all bidders are given a fair warning to leave their bids last time. If not bids have been left despite the warning, then the lot closes for bidding. Remember, you would want to be given a fair chance, too.

  • Yep. The system will do the bidding for you. Go enjoy those chips.

  • Absolutely. You will be notified during if you were outbid and given the option to raise your bid. When an artwork has had no new bids despite multiple prompts by the system, the lot will close.

After the auction

  • First of all—congrats! Remember that you did not merely buy a new terrific artwork, you are supporting an incredibly talented artist and you just contributed to the TMCF college fund. A big round of applause to you. We will send you an automatic email confirming your successful bid. Treat yourself, this is a cause for a celebration.


  • You will receive your invoice—which will include any applicable sales taxes—within 24 hours after the auction. All successful buyers will have ten (10) calendar days to pay in full, including the Buyer’s Premium and sales tax. You will have multiple options of paying, we take most credit cards (up to $10,000), as well as wire transfer and electronic checks.

  • Once payment has been fully cleared (which may take a few business days), we will connect you by email with the seller, be it the artist or the gallery representing the artist. They’re thrilled to be connected to you, as you surely are as well.

  • As the buyer, you are responsible for covering the shipping cost. During and following the auction, you may generate a customized shipping quote on the lot detail page. Should you choose to go with that quote, you will be sent a link with payment instructions. Should you wish to use your own shipper, we recommend that that you consult with the seller in advance seeing how our sellers may already have their own recommended shippers.

  • All artwork remains with the sellers for the duration of the online preview and auction, and given the international makeup of our sellers, not everyone is in New York. But if you are either near the location of the artwork (as disclosed in the artwork details) or plan on being near it, you may absolutely pick it up in person, assuming it is approved by the seller. Please note that if you plan on picking up in person artwork that is already located in New York, NY Sales Tax would apply.

  • Per the buyer’s agreement, you may not sell your new artwork at auction for five years after the auction, and sellers are given first right of refusal. Should you need to sell the artwork after, you must approach the seller first and give them the first right of refusal.

What does that mean for the buyer?

  • Directly support artists & galleries
  • Contribute to a scholarship fund for HBCU students
  • Final selling price is confidential
  • Build a relationship with the seller