Beginners Guide to Bidding

Beginners Guide to Bidding

The Sketch for Survival online auctions open today. This year is twice as nice – we have TWO AUCTIONS running on consecutive Sundays.

This is our biggest fund-raiser of the year, making important conservation projects possible. In 2020 we’ve pledged to rescue bears incarcerated by the bear bile trade in Vietnam; to fund community wildlife patrols in Zambia and important scientific research in Central Africa focusing on elephants, giraffes, carnivores (primarily lions, leopards and hyenas) and chimpanzees. 


Lot 19, Astra Taylor-Todd

ALL the profit from the online auction goes to the Explorers Against Extinction project fund so you are not only securing an original artwork for your home or office, you are also helping to secure a future for iconic species.

Artworks make thoughtful gifts (perfect for Christmas-giving).

All the pieces in the auction have been generously donated by the artists and photographers in support of our projects. They would like nothing more than for their pieces to sell well and go to good homes – please support!

When we say ‘all the profit’ we mean all – the artwork has been donated, and we take no salary allowing all the money raised to go into the charity. The only costs that are deducted from the final auction total are direct overheads incurred during the campaign (for example, postage, packing, printing, advertising and marketing, exhibition and online gallery fees, card fees, logistics, insurance).


The auction includes all the pieces in our gallery@oxo exhibition collection. The exhibition celebrates the beauty and colour of the natural world whilst also highlighting the impact of human activity. All lots feature threatened wildlife or at-risk wild spaces:

  • Sketch for Survival Introducing – the Wildlife 100 and Wild Space 10 artworks selected by our judges from all entries received to our competition.
  • Sketch for Survival Invitational Collection  – includes artworks by many established and collectable, award-winning artists. Great variety from affordable illustrations and sketches to street art, celebrity artworks and studio showstoppers.
  • Focus for Survival Introducing – our short-listed photographers have captured magical moments from Iceland to Madagascar. You can bid for one of these beautiful prints in the auction and support our projects in the process.



Lot 186, Jo Bemis

Participating in an online auction is a piece of cake – and it’s fun.

You need two minutes to register your contact details.  The vast majority of lots start at £50 (illustrations) £75 for an original artwork. You can set your maximum spending limit and easily control your bids and be updated on favourite lots by email alert.

If you browse the online catalogue and decide you’d really like to see the piece(s) in the flesh before bidding, then you have the option to visit gallery@oxo during our exhibition in London from 11 November to 22 November inclusive. Seeing a piece first-hand makes a massive difference – if you like it online, you’ll love it in person.

***UPDATE 3 NOVEMBER – due to the new government lockdown in England announced this weekend our exhibition at gallery@oxo has sadly been cancelled in line with restrictions. We have created virtual exhibition tours for you to enjoy and PDF catalogues which can be accessed here.***

If you prefer to buy artwork at a set price, you may prefer to browse our Affordable Art Gallery.



Before you can browse and bid you need to register your contact details – this is very quick and easy to do.

1. Follow the link from the Home Page for ‘Auction Sign-Ups’ or simply click here.

2. Complete your contact details. We need to know how to contact you, but we do not need your payment details at this stage. If you have registered before, please just log-in, review your contact details and update anything that may have changed. We use the address you provide for delivery of lots so it is very important that the details are correct. Your details remain confidential at all times.  When you bid, or place a ‘watch’ on a favourite lot,  you are only identifiable online by a number and not your name.

3.If you are registering for the first time, you’ll be sent an automatic verification email to confirm your email address – please look out for it and follow the instructions.

4.Once you have gone through the verification process, you can browse and bid. Simply scroll through the lots, or search the catalogue by artist name, lot number, or even by animal. Remember there are TWO auctions.



Lot 169, Tori Ratcliffe

The auction works in a similar way to eBay. You can enter the max amount you are willing to pay for the lot – other people cannot see this – should someone else start bidding on the lot, bidding will increase by set increments up to your maximum limit.

Bidding for each lot will close at the scheduled time on Sunday 22nd November, or Sunday 29th November as listed in the auction catalogue.

Lots are sold unmounted and unframed unless otherwise specified.

Please note: if someone is bidding against you, the time the lot closes automatically extends by several minutes for each and every additional bid received. This is to enable all bidders the chance to review their last bid, and to bid again if they wish  – just like it works in a live auction room.

The participant with the highest bid at the close of the lot is obligated to buy the item. If no one bids at or above the reserve price, the lot will close without a buyer.

There is no buyer’s premium and no hammer feewhat you pay is what you bid, plus postage.


If your bid is successful, you will receive an automatic confirmation email on the day.

We will then contact you separately by email with an invoice and details of delivery options week commencing Monday 23rd November, or Monday 30th November depending on which auction you won lots in. Sometimes these emails get caught up in Spam filters so please check, or get in touch with us directly if you have not heard anything within 4 working days of the auction closing.

Delivery options depend on where you live, and the lot(s) purchased (it’s size and weight, and whether or not it is framed/canvas etc) We work with Royal Mail, courier services as well as offering select pick up locations in central London & Norfolk.  As a guide, Royal Mail secure postage for an unframed artwork cost from £16 (UK delivery) and from £22 (International delivery) last year. Courier charges for larger or framed artworks are quoted individually. You also have the option to arrange your own courier pick-up, if that is preferable.

Payment should be made promptly please by direct transfer to the Real World Conservation Trust. International buyers have the option to pay by PayPal. All details will be provided on the invoice.

We aim to process all payments, despatch all lots and transfer funds to our nominated projects well before Christmas so your support is greatly appreciated!

Thank you.



Lot 50, Emily Lamb