How to Bid | Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own

How do I register to bid?

In order to bid in the Freddie Mercury auctions, you must first set up a transactional account.

Online or via the App
The easiest way to create an account is via Sotheby’s App or (download the app here).  Simply select ‘Log In’ then ‘Sign Up’ and you will be prompted to enter your name, email address, telephone number, home address, and credit card details. You will also be asked to provide a copy of photographic identification such as a passport or driving license. Once you have created your account, navigate to your chosen auction page and select ‘Register to Bid’.

In person
If you prefer, you can create your account in person at Sotheby’s by providing the above information to one of our Front of House team members.

We recommend that you create your account at least 24hours before your chosen auction to avoid disappointment.

How do I place a bid?

Once you have created your account, you can place your bids.

Live Auctions

There are four ways to bid:

1. Bidding in the Auction Room
Bid in person to experience the live excitement of an auction first hand. Please note that the Freddie Mercury live auctions will be ticketed. Please email to register your interest.

2. Bidding Online or via the App
Place your bids in real time at or via Sotheby’s app by selecting ‘Join the Auction’ when the auction opens for bidding.

3. Bidding via Absentee Bid
Place your maximum bid amount at or via Sotheby’s app and it will be executed by the auctioneer on your behalf. In some Live auctions you will be alerted if you are outbid and will be able to increase your bids at any time.

4. Bidding via Telephone
Register to telephone bid with a Sotheby’s representative who will relay your bids to the auctioneer during the sale. Please note for some auction there is a minimum lot threshold of £2,000 in order to use this service. For lots under £2,000 we invite you to register to bid online or to submit an absentee bid.

Online Auctions

Head to or Sotheby’s app, find your chosen auction and select ‘Place Bid’. Confirm your maximum amount and it will be executed by our system on your behalf. You will be alerted if you are outbid and will be able to increase your bids at any time.

Lots will close at 1 minute intervals. Should a bid be placed in the final minute of bidding, the lot will be extended for a further 2 minutes to allow ample opportunity to bid.

Please note that we may require additional information in order to process your registration.

Please note that absentee bids and telephone bids are offered as a courtesy for no additional charge, at the Bidder's risk and subject to our other commitments at the time of the auction. We recommend that registration requests are submitted to us 24hrs before the sale. Please see our full Conditions of Business for Buyers here.

If you require further assistance with registration or bidding, please contact the Bids Department at +44 20 7293 5283 or

How do I pay for my purchase?

Successful bidders can pay immediately after buying, on the day of the auction; otherwise the Post Sale Services team will send you an invoice and shipping quote in accordance with your account preference.

The final amount due will include the hammer price, the buyer's premium, the overhead premium, any applicable UK Import VAT/ UK domestic VAT. Other taxes such as government fees (for example, US sales tax) will be charged for purchased goods based on the item’s destination. Sotheby’s is responsible for collecting tax from buyers based on client’s shipping destination and origin of the lot.

You can pay by bank transfer, cash up to a maximum GBP Sterling equivalent of US$10,000, or certain credit cards up to £30,000 are also accepted in person, online and via app. Payment must be sent from the invoiced party and not from a third party. See our Conditions of Business for the full details. Whilst cheques are accepted, property will only be released when the cheque has cleared unless you have a pre-arranged cheque acceptance agreement.

How will I receive my property?

Shipping Services

Sotheby's Post Sale Services team can arrange expert and insured shipping and convenient delivery of your property.

Log into your Sotheby's account online to view and accept your shipping quote to the invoiced address. Should you require shipment to another address or your quote please contact

Some purchases may be eligible for Customs Duties dependent on the country of import: customs duties are a tax on international shipments collected by customs and handled directly between clients and customs agents.

In Person Collection

Smaller items can normally be collected from New Bond Street, however large items may be sent to Sotheby's Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility.
In order to collect your property we require the following:

  • Your payment in full (including any interest, handling and storage charges due) must be received and cleared
  • The person collecting must present valid identification
  • You must provide written authorisation for anyone collecting on your behalf. Please include the person's full name and the property to be collected

If you require further assistance with invoicing, payment, shipping or collection, please contact the Post Sale Services Department at +44 20 7293 5220 or