ABOUT 02. Bidding On-line


Live Online Bidding allows users to bid using their computer or mobile device from their location while the sale is live in the auction room. Online bidding platforms transmit bids to a person operating the console in the auction room. Some auction houses use proprietary branded software, meaning that a bidder must log on to their site and register. The bidder must register with each site separately and track their bids across all areas independently.

At Harmers International, we always use Stamp Auction Network (SAN) SAN is a conglomerator that hosts many different Auction Houses.  Our approach allows bidders to search across multiple companies, register once and share their information with only what they choose.   On occasion, we will supplement SAN with other online platforms.

Live-Online Bidders allows bidders to sample the flavour of the live auction from their own home.

Success Factors

  • Make Certain you are registered to bid.
  • Test your technology: speed, disable updates.
  • Bid quickly – there is often a time delay which can cause you to lose the lot.
  • Use the “pass button” to signal that you are through bidding.
  • Come prepared - Know your high bid.
  • Have our email and phone number handy and call if you have a problem.


  • We always award tie bids to floor bidders.
  • Slow internet connections.
  • The SAN account may not reflect the winning bid accurately.

When internet bidding was first introduced, about ten years ago, there were a host of problems.  Bidders experienced issues ranging from slow internet to transmission issues.  Today, the internet is improved, and technology has improved.  Internet bidding is fairly simple and reliable.  For many auctions today, the auction floor is sparse compared to the auctions of the ’60s and ’70s.  Like any technology, when it works, it is beautiful, but problems can be frustrating.   Today, if the internet bidding is not working, we will postpone the auction.  If you truly want an item, we highly recommend that you contact us so we make sure you have the opportunity to bid on that coveted item in the event you have technical difficulties.  Internet bidding is very convenient and cost-efficient; no travel expenses are needed.  Internet bidders are often multi-task from their own homes, offices or mobile device.  The platform is highly technology-dependent, so if computers challenge you, this is probably not your prefered bidding vehicle.  Changing your bid can be difficult with internet bidding, and there is no real opportunity to network with the auction house or other collectors.

Harmer’s Internet auctions are convenient and we have your back.

What to Expect

Harmers is a bit old-fashioned and more accustomed to live and phone bidders, but we teach our auctioneer patience.  He expects the internet to respond quickly, and he will not hold the lot open while you decide to bid.  Knowing your top bid will help you.  Our auction works like most other Stamp Auctions; we post breaks in the chat and use the audio.  We typically do not live stream the auction; we will post a notice if we do. SAN may not reflect the correct winning bid.  All SAN left bids are placed in the book.  To preserve competition, the SAN console operator does not have access to the auction book.  When an item is sold to the book, the SAN operator does not know if the winning bid is a SAN bid or one from a different platform.  You will receive an invoice from us 2-3 days after the auction.  If you have any problems bidding on the internet, call us. If someone is available, we will try to execute a phone bid for you – no guarantees.  For the most part, bidding over the internet is simple and error-free.

Strenths and Weaknesses