Frequently Asked Questions | FAQ

[Membership] Logging In

Q. I don't know my login password.

A. Follow the "Forget Password?" link on the login page to ask to have your password reset.
LOG IN

Q. I don't know my login ID.

A. Inquire by email or by phone, directing your inquiry to the Client Service Team, SBI Art Auction.
Tel: +81-3-3527-6692
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

Q. I would like to receive the e-newsletter.

A. Send the following information by email:
  Your name (or the name of your corporation)
  Your phone number
  Your email address
directing to E-newsletter Team, SBI Art Auction
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

Q. Are there any fees required for signing up as a member?

A. No, it is free of charge.

Q. The page doesn't display properly.

A. Check to see that the computer, tablet, or smartphone that you are using corresponds to the system requirements. If it does not display properly despite running on the recommended prerequisites, please contact us directing your inquiry to IT Team, SBI Art Auction.
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

Q. I am not receiving any email.

A. Emails sent automatically from our system may end up being diverted to your spam folder, so begin by checking your spam folder. Then set your computer to receive emails from the following domain:
sbigroup.co.jp

Q. I would like to place bids using the website.

A. 【For clients who are participating in a SBI Art Auction for the first time】
You need to sign up as a member first. Go to the "Create an Account" page and follow the steps there.
Create an Account

【For clients who are bidding from this website for the first time】
If you have participated in an SBI Art Auction previously, please go to the sign-up page and select “Already registered.”
Sign up

Q. I have participated in an online-only auction, but can I place bids in actual auctions online, too?

A. If you have previously participated in any of our auctions, including an online-only auction, please go to the sign-up page and select “Already registered.”
Sign up

Q. My email address has changed.

A. Please first submit the change via your old email and direct it to our Client Service Team. It may take several days for the update to take effect.
Tel: +81-3-3527-6692
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

[Membership] Signing Up

Q. Can I participate without signing-up as a member?

A. All prospective clients who wish to buy or sell with us are kindly asked to sign up as a member.
Create an Account

Q. What steps are involved in signing-up?

A.
Via this website
Please go to the "Create an Account" page. Fill out the required items and upload your identity verification documents.
Create an Account

By email or fax
Download the required documents at the link below. Fill out the required items and send them to us with the identity verification documents. If you have questions, please inquire below:
Client Service Team, SBI Art Auction
Customer registration from(PDF)

Tel: +81-3-3527-6692
Fax: +81-3-3529-0777
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

For further details, please see the following page.
How to buy

Q. What documents do I need in order to sign up?

A. Please prepare the following two documents:
  Customer Registration Form (not necessary if you sign up online)
  Identity verification documents
Click on the following link to learn more about the identity verification documents.
Create an Account

Q. Are there any fees required for signing up as a member?

A. No, it is free of charge.

Q. I would like to register as a corporation.

A. It is also possible to register as a corporation. In that case, please submit the Business License or Business Registration Certificate of your corporation. Please note that the Representative of the Corporation or a Person in Charge should also submit their identity verification documents.
If there are other relevant managers, they, too, should submit the individual identity verification documents.

[Buying] Auction Venue

Q. Where is the auction venue?

A. The auction venue is separate from our offices. Please check the following link for information about the auctions and the viewings.
Auction information

[Buying] Artworks and Items

Q. Is it possible to check the conditions of the artworks and items?

A. Yes, please make sure to check the conditions of the works ahead of time. The details, including the condition of each work, are posted on the website, and detailed images can be provided per request. Furthermore, you are invited to examine the works at the viewings before the auctions. Please feel free to consult the members of our staff.

Q. What service can you provide on the rare occasion that the artwork I successfully bid on is later discovered to be not authentic?

A. For items sold at our modern and contemporary art auctions and with sufficient proof, in principle, we will refund your payment. You will need to fulfill certain conditions to receive a refund, so please refer to our Conditions of Auction.
Conditions of Auction

Catalogue

Q. I would like a paper copy of the catalogue.

A. Please apply using our catalogue subscription page below. Subscriptions are free for clients in Japan but incur postal costs for customers overseas.
Catalogue Subscription
Subscribe to catalogue

Q. I would like a catalogue in the form of a PDF file.

A. Due to copyright restrictions, we cannot provide catalogues as PDF files, but you can check the digital catalogue of current sales on the website.
Calendar

Q. I would like a copy of a past catalogue.

A. Copyright laws and regulations state that images of a work may be listed in a catalogue and distributed (without permission from the copyright holder) if it is for the purpose of auctioning or otherwise selling the work. When the auction is over (after bidding has ended), these conditions no longer hold, so we are unable to provide catalogues from past auctions.

[Buying] Viewing and Auction

Q. Are viewings and auctions open to everyone?

A. Yes, the admittance to SBI viewings and auctions is free of charge. However, if you want to participate in buying or selling, you must sign up as a member.

Q. Can I photograph the works?

A. No, in principle, you are asked to refrain from photographing the works. Consult a staff member if you feel that photographs are necessary for considering whether to bid on a work or for further checking its condition. Even if you take photographs for personal purposes, be aware that actions such as publishing such photographs on the internet or printing and distributing them may be violations of copyright law.

[Buying] Bidding at the Auction

Q. Is it open to anyone who wants to place a bid?

A. Essentially, everyone may participate, but bidders need to register in advance. Check the details below.
Create an Account

Q. What are the methods for placing bids?

A. In addition to bidding in person at the venue, you may bid by telephone, leave written bids (absentee), or bid in real time online (live bidding).
If there is a great deal of competition for a particular work, there may be occasions when we cannot accept your application to bid by telephone. In that case, it is recommended to place absentee bids instead.

How to buy
*We accept bids placed via the website, by email, or by fax.
*We do not accept bids placed on social media or via smart device applications.

Q. When is the cut-off for submitting bids?

A. Bids are accepted until 5:00PM (Japan time) on the day before the auction day.
To bid at the venue, paddles must be registered before the auction. Please arrive early and allow plenty of time.

Q. In what increments are works bid up?

A. About 10%. Please refer to the following link.
Table of bidding increments

Q. Do I need to bring anything to the auction?

A. If you have completed your membership sign-up, please bring your identification documents. The options are given below.
If you have not completed the process, you will need to do so before the auction.
Please bring any one of the following documents and allow plenty of time:
Driver's license, passport, residence card, special permanent resident certificate or national ID

If you register as a corporation, on the day of the auction, you must bring the business license in addition to your own identification document:
Driver's license, passport, residence card, special permanent resident certificate or national ID

Q. What is the starting price for the works auctioned?

A. Normally, bidding starts at a price a bit below the lower estimate for the work. It may be higher or lower at the discretion of the auctioneer.

Q. Does that mean that a successful bid will be at the maximum amount of an absentee bid?

A. No. When submitting an absentee bid, you are asked to leave a maximum amount, but it will not necessarily be a successful bid or the hammer price, because it merely indicates your upper limit. On the other hand, if there is not too much competition, the successful bid may be lower than that amount.

Q. How quickly does the auction proceed once it starts?

A. It proceeds at a pace of about 60 lots per hour.

[Buying] Successful Bids

Q. What fees are incurred with a successful bid?

A. Irrespective of the buyer’s nationality, works transferred in Japan are subject to a service charge of 16.2%* of the hammer price (the closing bid).
*This includes the buyer’s premium of 15% plus 8% consumption tax levied on said buyer’s premium.

If the work is shipped overseas, the fee is 15%* of the hammer price (the closing bid).
*15% buyer’s premium


*The consumption tax may have changed when you make a purchase, so please consult us beforehand.
Contact
Tel: +81-3-3527-6692
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

Q. If my bid is successful, will you immediately notify me by phone or email?

A. After the end of the auction, we will publish the closing prices on our website. We will also send an invoice to the successful bidders.

Q. What happens when I have successful bids?

A. After the auction is completed, we will send you an invoice. Please pay it by bank transfer and consult us for methods of receiving the work. Once we have received your payment, we will deliver the work according to the method you have designated. Residents of Japan will receive their invoices by mail.

Q. Is it possible to transfer a successful bid to someone else?

A. No, please refrain from doing this.

[Buying] Non-cancelation Policy

Q. Is it possible to cancel a successful bid?

A. No. We are unable to cancel your bid for any reason, including the condition of the work or a mistaken bid.
Conditions of Auction

Q. What service can you provide on the rare occasion that the artwork I successfully bid on is later discovered to be not authentic?

A. For items sold at our modern and contemporary art auctions and with sufficient proof, in principle, we will refund your payment. You will need to fulfill certain conditions to receive a refund, so please refer to our Conditions of Auction.
Conditions of Auction

[Buying] Payment

Q. What payment methods are acceptable?

A. We request that the buyers only pay by wire transfer into our bank account. Please be aware that we do not accept cash under any circumstances.
*The buyers are responsible for all bank fees.

Q. Why can’t I make payments in cash?

A. The use of cash is likely to be connected with tax avoidance or money laundering, so we do not accept it.

Q. Can I use a credit card?

A. No, we do not accept payment by credit card in general.

Q. Can I make installment payments?

A. No, we do not accept installment payments as a rule.

Q. What is the payment period?

A. Please pay within 10 business days after the start of the auction.

Q. What if the payment period has already passed?

A. If you do not pay the purchase price within the payment period, you will be charged a late fee. Please see our Conditions of Auction for details.
Conditions of Auction

Q. What about consumption tax?

A. If the purchased work is transferred in Japan, consumption tax will be levied on the buyer’s premium, even if the client is from overseas.

Q. What about tariffs and import duties?

A. If you take a purchased work out of Japan and import it into another country, that country may levy a tax. We are unable to answer questions about the tax systems of other countries, so please research these matters before bidding.

[Buying] Handing Over the Work

Q. What are the methods for handing over a purchased work?

There are two methods:

1. You may come to our office and pick up the work yourself;
*Packaging services are available per requested, and the client will be charged accordingly.
2. You may have us deliver the work to the address you registered or to another address.

Once payment has been confirmed, we can arrange for pick-up or delivery by your designated method. If we ship your purchase, we can quote a delivery charge. Please contact us for further information.

Q. If I have successfully bid on a work, can I pick it up at the auction venue?

A. No, the work cannot be collected at the auction venue or on the day of the auction. Since bank transfer is the only acceptable payment method, we ask you to pick up the work after the transfer has been confirmed.

Q. Can I designate a shipping method?

A. Yes, please get in touch with us beforehand. Once the bank transfer has been confirmed, we will make the necessary arrangements. If we ship your purchase, we can quote a delivery charge.

Q. Can I have the work shipped to an address other than the one I registered?

A. Yes, please get in touch with us beforehand.

Q. How much are the shipping charges?

A. Shipping charges and shipping methods will vary depending on the size and weight of the work as well as the destination. Please use the inquiry page on the website or inquire by email.
Contact
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

[Selling] Valuation and Appraisal

Q. I would like to consign a work for sale, but what kinds of works can I have appraised?

A. Our main specialty is 20th century and contemporary art. If you send us all the available information about the work and clear photographs of it, we will inform you of the results within one week, so please do not hesitate to inquire.
Request an estimate

Q. How does the appraisal process work?

A. The details are at the following link. If you send us information about the work and photographs of it, we will inform you of the results within one week.
Request an estimate

Q. Are appraisals free of charge?

A. We do not charge for appraisals, on the condition that the work is submitted for sale.
Request an estimate

[Selling] Consignment

Q. How does the consigning process work?

A. The details are at the following link.
How to sell

Q. When is the deadline for consigning works to the auction?

A. The deadline is about two months before the start of the auction. Please inquire below for a detailed schedule and look for announcements on our website.
Consignment Team, SBI Art Auction
Tel: +81-3-3527-6692
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

Q. When will the next auction be held?

A. Basically, auctions are held four times a year, in January, April, July, and October. For the specific dates, please contact us or look for announcements on the website.
Tel: +81-3-3527-6692
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

Q. Are there any fees for consigning a work?

A. The following fees are levied when you consign a work, but we may make different proposals depending on different works, so please inform us about the work that you wish to consign.
Commission: no more than 15% of the hammer price (excluding tax)
Other fees: Cataloguing charge, storage fees, insurance fees, authentication fees, customs clearance fees, VAT, and copyrighted image use.
*You are responsible for the expense of shipping the work to our office.
Request an estimate

Q. If a work that I consigned was not sold, will you levy any fees?

A. We will not levy a consigning commission unless the work is sold. Please be aware that we may invoice you for other fees (fees that have already been paid, such as import duties) even when the work has not been sold, and these will be explained to you when we outline the conditions for consigning works.

Q. I requested an appraisal via your website. Have you received it?

A. We will respond to the requests within a week. If you have not received a response from us after a week, please check your spam mailbox before contact:
Consignment Team, SBI Art Auction
Tel: +81-3-3527-6692
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

Q. How long does it take to get paid after my consigned work is sold?

A. Given that the buyer has made his or her payment, we will pay you within 35 days after the day of the auction.

[Selling] Receiving Payments

Q. I would like to be paid sooner.

A. In some cases, we may be able to offer you an advance payment. If your consignment is suitable to use this service, you will receive about 60% of the lower estimate of your consigned work, and the remainder will be settled after the auction.
Advance Payment

Bidding over the Internet and Questions about the Website

Q. Can I participate over the internet?

A. Yes. Choose the bidding method that you prefer. Note that the application deadline is 5:00PM (Japan time) the day before the auction day.
Absentee
You can set your maximum amount via this website.

By Telephone
You can apply to bid by phone via this website.

To Bid Live
The Live Auction System allows you to bid via the internet in real time. For details,
see "How to Buy," which explains how to participate in the auction

Q. What should I be aware of if I bid live?

A.
- Be sure to look at the detailed descriptions of the works ahead of time to find out about their conditions. You cannot cancel for any reason, including the condition of the work.
- The deadline for applying to bid live is 5:00PM (Japan time) on the day before the auction day. Please be aware that we do not accept cancellations or changes after the deadline.
- If you wish to bid via the website in real time, login before the sale begins to make sure that you have no trouble logging in and that a paddle number has been issued. Your paddle number is displayed at the top right corner of the screen.

Other Questions

Q. What are your office hours?

A. Our usual hours of operation are weekdays, 9:00AM to 5:30PM (Japan time). On some occasions, the office may be closed on auction days, so contact us ahead of time if you wish to visit our office.

Q. I don't need a catalogue, but I would like to know about plans for future auctions.

A. Our e-newsletter provides information about plans for auctions. Please subscribe with the following information:
Your name (or the name of your corporation)
Your telephone number
Your email address
directing to the E-newsletter Team, SBI Art Auction
Mail: artauction@sbigroup.co.jp

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