Online Auctions FAQs

Auctions online header

Barfoot & Thompson’s cutting-edge online auction technology

We want you to feel completely comfortable and confident with the process so we have compiled answers to common queries. If you still have questions after reading through the following, please contact one of our salespeople.


Are online auctions the only way I can bid?

No, online auctions have allowed us to expand the ways people can bid at an auction but you can still bid in-person or by telephone.

Do I need to register for every auction on which I plan to bid?

Yes. You will need to select and register for each property on which you wish to bid to be approved and to participate. You will receive a confirmation that your registration has been received and a notification when the appropriate salesperson approves your request to bid. Should you wish to register for more than one auction, please inform your salesperson. You can deactivate your account at any time within your account settings. Online registration is accessible from each listing.

How do I register to bid?

There are two ways to register.

If you are working with a specific salesperson, follow the steps below.

  • Step 1. Notify your salesperson of your interest in a property.
  • Step 2. Your Barfoot & Thompson salesperson will provide you with an email with a website link, which allows you to register to bid on a property.
  • Step 3. Complete the required fields on the form including your contact details, email and mobile number. You will also be required to upload a form of photo identification, choose your own password and agree to the terms and conditions. Once these details are completed then you can submit.
  • Step 4. Once you have submitted your registration you will receive a notification that you are pending and awaiting approval.
  • Step 5. Approval is completed by the salesperson who will be notified of your registration. They will then approve your registration and provide you with a bidding number for that specific property.
  • Step 6. Once you have been approved you will receive notification and you are ready to bid at the auction.

If you are registering yourself without the help of a salesperson please follow these steps below.

  • Step 1. Complete the registration form. Here you will be asked for your contact details, email and mobile number.
  • Step 2. You will be asked to upload one form of photo identification which may include a driver’s licence, passport or other approved methods of photo identification.
  • Step 3. You will choose your own password, accept the terms and conditions and press submit.
  • Step 4. Once this happens you will be notified by email that your registration for the properties chosen is pending and waiting for approval.
  • Step 5. Once approved by the listing salesperson, you will receive another email notifying you have been approved to bid on that property.

Who can bid during an online auction?

Anyone who has been through the registration process and has been approved can bid. The great thing about this technology is that you can bid no matter where you are. You could even be in a different part of the world! Please note that the standard foreign buyer and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations still apply. Auctions will take place according to our New Zealand time zone.

When do auction registrations close?

Auction registrations and approvals close when the auction starts. However, to ensure you do not miss out on the opportunity to bid, we highly recommend that you complete the registration form to ensure that you receive your approval well ahead of the start time of the auction.

How do I log onto my auction(s)?

It’s easy. Simply open the Bidders AUCTION LIVE app and enter your username and password. You will have a number of options available to you including viewing your Upcoming Registered Properties.

We suggest logging in five minutes before your auction is due to begin. You will not be able to place a bid until the auctioneer has started the auction.

When will auctions be streamed?

All of our auctions will be shown on our Online Auctions webpage and will be streamed live from our auction rooms. This displays all upcoming online auctions and orders of sale for the auctions on the day. You can also contact your salesperson for information about properties coming up for auction.

How does online bidding work and how do I place a bid?

This is done via the AUCTIONS LIVE Bidder app. We recommend watching this “How to Bid Online” instructional video, provided by AUCTIONS LIVE. You can also talk to your salesperson.

What happens if I make a mistake while bidding?

Don’t panic! If you have placed a bid and wish to withdraw it you can do so by pressing the ‘Withdraw Bid’ button. If you have entered an amount but not placed the bid, hit the reset button and enter the new amount you wish to bid.

English is not my first language and I have some concerns about placing bids in the event that I do not understand what is being communicated by the Auctioneer?

Over 50 different languages are spoken by our people across our 75+ branches. Should you need translation assistance, let us know and we will be happy to provide this service over the phone during the auction.

Can a salesperson bid on my behalf?

Yes. We recommend speaking to your salesperson about phone bidding.

Can anyone view the online auctions?

Yes, and you do not need to log in to view them. If you would like to see how things are selling or how the online auction system works, click here to watch our Online Auctions. You won’t be able to bid but you can watch and keep a check on the pulse of the market.

My internet service has been unreliable recently. What are your suggestions?

If you are not confident that your internet service is up to the task of an online auction, we recommend speaking to your salesperson about phone bidding.

Can I bid and view properties on my smartphone or tablet?

Yes! You can view and bid on properties using your smartphone or tablet. Here’s how:

To bid on an auction, you will need to download the AUCTIONS LIVE Bidder app

If you do not want to bid you can still watch the auction here.

Can I bid using my desktop computer?

No, this is done via the AUCTIONS LIVE Bidder app from your smartphone or tablet.

What if I want to bid on an online auction but don’t have a smartphone or tablet?

You can arrange with a salesperson to bid via telephone. The salesperson will place bids on your behalf.

I have won my auction - what happens next?

Congratulations! Your salesperson will be in touch shortly to complete the contracts and arrange the deposit. The auction document will be sent to you for signing. Remember, all bids submitted via our online system are legally binding.

Who should I contact if I have technical issues?

Please contact your salesperson.

Do I need to register to bid?

Yes. All online bidders will be required to register online. Whilst we can approve bidders up until the start of the auction, we highly recommend you register a minimum of two days prior to the commencement of the auction to ensure you are approved in time.

I am having trouble downloading the app. What should I do?

If you are having problems downloading the AUCTIONS LIVE Bidder app, make sure you are connected to the Internet. It could be that the settings of your devices may be prohibiting the download.

I don’t have a scanner to scan my identification documents. What should I do?

You may also take photos of your documents to send via email. They must be legible and capture the documentation in its entirety.

I am not comfortable with technology. Is there help available to assist me in setting up my profile?

Of course! Simply contact your salesperson and give them permission to register on your behalf. They will be happy to help.

How long in advance of the auction should I register?

You can register as soon as the property is available at Best practice would be for you to register as an online bidder at least two (2) working days prior to the auction. This will enable you to be approved as a bidder ahead of the auction. However, if you find a property on which you wish to bid after the two-day window, don’t worry. Simply contact your salesperson and they will make bidding arrangements for you.

How will I know if I am registered correctly?

Once you are registered, you will receive an email notifying you that your registration is pending approval and then a second email once you have been approved.

What can I bid on once I am registered?

Your active AUCTIONS LIVE Bidder Profile will allow you to place bids on any enabled property for which you register via the AUCTIONS LIVE Bidder app. Note, you must register to bid for each individual property on which you intend to bid. Your salesperson can provide guidance should you have any questions. You can register to bid on more than one property but we highly recommend notifying your salesperson of this strategy.

Who decides whether or not I will be approved to bid?

If a salesperson has sent you the registration via email they will process your approval. If you have registered directly from the property page it will be the listing salesperson who processes the approval. The salesperson reserves the right to accept or reject any application to bid online.

How do I pay the deposit if I am the successful bidder?

Prior to the start of the auction, all prospective buyers will be informed by their salesperson as to how the deposit is to be paid, should they be successful in purchasing the property. Be sure to have the deposit accessible and in your bank account as it will need to be transferred in a timely manner. Note that banking institutions may have daily transfer limits.

I plan to purchase a property with my partner. Do we both need to register to bid?

No, you are only required to register as an individual. Should you be successful in purchasing the property, be sure to advise the selling salesperson.

What should I do if I forget my password?

Don’t panic, this is easy to rectify by taking the following steps.

  • Step 1. Open the AUCTIONS LIVE Bidder app.
  • Step 2. Tap the Forgot Password prompt.
  • Step 3. You will be redirected to From there enter the email address with which you registered.
  • Step 4. You will be sent an auto-generated email. Tap the link in this email to change your password.
  • Step 5. Enter a new password.
  • Step 6. You should be able to log in now. If you are having technical issues, please contact your salesperson.

Can I change my mind on a bid?

Up until the virtual hammer falls you are able to retract a bid, but not once the property has been knocked down. Once the hammer falls it is too late for either party to change their mind as auctions, including online ones, are legally binding. We cannot re-open bidding once a sale has been deemed final.

How long does an online auction take?

The length of a virtual auction should be in line with our traditional in-house auctions, although they could take a little longer as we manage multiple bidding channels.

I would like to know the reserve price before the auction starts. Is this possible?

No. The reserve price is confidential.

May I still arrange for special conditions?

Yes, although these must be agreed by the vendor and confirmed in writing prior to commencement of the auction. Please speak to your salesperson about this.

Can a vendor negotiate after the auction has ended?

No. All final auction sale amounts are legally binding and cannot be changed following the close of the auction.

Can I make an offer prior to an online auction?

Yes. Salespeople and vendors welcome pre-auction offers.

What happens after a property is passed in and I am still interested?
Simply contact your salesperson and they will work with you to negotiate with the vendor.