About the Buy or Bid Sale

buy or bid

In our BUY-or-BID sale, you never pay more than the Buy price.

Paulus Swaen Buy-or-Bid
is now
Rare Paper Sales Buy-or-Bid

Paulus Swaen and New World Cartographic (Chicago) have joined forces to offer more Americana, posters, ephemera and other rare papers!
From the catalog of this unique Buy-or-Bid Sale, you can buy or bid on hundreds of fine, rare paper items and you never pay more than the Buy price.
  • Each lot has a Bid-Ask Spread, which defines the range between the minimum acceptable Bid and the Buy price.
  • Bid on items in the sale and win them for less than the Buy price + a 20% buyer's premium.
  • Purchase at the Buy price any time during or after the sale and enjoy 0% Buyer's Premium.
  • Proxy bidding is available for those who wish to leave their maximum bid and let the system bid for them.
  • The username of the leading bidder is shown for each lot, so there is no confusion as to who holds the highest bid.
  • There are eight Buy-or-Bid sales per year. [See the agenda for 2024)
Visit the FAQ and Answers section to learn more about Buying, Bidding and Selling on Rare Paper Sales.

The most asked Questions and answers are below:

The 'BidAsk Spread' shows the gap between the minimum accepted price of the item and the seller's asking price; this is called the Buy price.
  • The lowest amount in the BidAsk Spread is the minimum accepted price (Reserve) of the item.
  • The item will sell at the end of the sale to the highest received bid within the BidAsk Spread.
  • The Buy price - the highest amount in the BidAsk Spread can be paid any time during the sale, and the sale is immediately closed.
    Purchase at the Buy price and enjoy 0% Buyer's Premium
The 'BidAsk Spread' shows the gap between the minimum accepted price of the item and the seller's asking price; this is called the Buy price.
If you bid below the BidAsk spread (Reserve), a label will show. Below Spread
  • You have to increase your bid to become successful.
  • Bids below the BidAsk Spread are usually not accepted by the sellers.
  • However, the seller can lower his reserve to come closer to your bid, but the item only sells when the seller accepts your bid.
    When the seller accepts such a bid, an email is sent to the bidder.
  • In the event the seller accepts an below reserve bid, a cancellation by the bidder must be made at the latest within 24 hours after the closing, or the item is automatically added to the invoice.
Item have a minimum starting bid price which can be below the BidAsk spread!

If you bid below the BidAsk spread, a label will show. Below Spread
  • Bids below the BidAsk Spread (reserve) are usually not accepted by the sellers
  • However, a seller can lower his reserve to come closer to your bid below the BidAsk Spread (reserve).
The bid increment is the amount by which a bid will be raised each time the current bid is outdone. It is predetermined based on the current high bid.
The bid increment gets larger as the bid price increases.

The minimal new bid amount is indicated on each item page.
$ 1 - $ 99 > $ 5
$ 100 - $ 199 > $ 10
$ 200 - $ 499 > $ 25
$ 500 - $ 999 > $ 50
$ 1,000 - $ 1,999 > $ 100
$ 2,000 - $ 4,999 > $ 200
$ 5,000 - $ 9,999 > $ 500
$ 10,000 - $ 19,999 > $ 1,000
$ 20,000 - $ 49,999 > $ 2,500
$ 50,000 - and up > $ 5,000

Note: A bid increment will go higher than the standard increment in two situations:
* To meet the reserve amount
* To beat a competing bidder's high bid
For bids entered within the BidAsk spread, we use the proxy-bidding process. Our system will act as your bidding agent by entering your bid competitively against other bidders.
You don’t have to worry about sitting at your computer to track the bidding process until the closing. Proxy bidding takes the stress out of the bidding process, and you get the item at the lowest possible price.

How it works
  • You can bid the maximum price you would be willing to pay for an item.
  • If there are no other bidders on a lot, the winning bid is always reduced to the lowest amount as shown in the BidAsk spread.
  • If another bid comes in, the software will place a new bid following the bid increment until the sale ends and you win or the price exceeds your set maximum.
  • In case you want to increase the current bid amount with a proxy bid you simply enter the new bid amount. You will never bid against yourself.
  • Your maximum bid is always confidential.

For example:
  • if the BidAsk spread is $50 - 100 and you place a bid of $ 80, and no other bids exist, the high bid will be reduced to $50.
  • If another person places a bid of $55, our proxy system will increase your bid to $60 since that is one increment above the other bid.
A buyer pays on the hammer price a commission of 20% on the first $40,000 and 10% on the excess.
Purchase at the Buy price any time during the sale and enjoy 0% Buyer's Premium.
Illinois residents will be charged 7% sales tax on the hammer price, commission and shipping, unless we are provided a copy of an Illinois reseller's permit.
In the My Buy-or-Bid Watch List, you can see all winning and losing bids. You can add as many items to the list as possible. The item is automatically added to the list after making a bid.
Beginning at five minutes before the closing, the computer will check each item at 5-minute intervals.
  • If there has been a bid in the past 5 minutes, that individual item will remain open until there have been no bids received for 5 minutes.
  • Put your bids in as early as possible and at least one minute before the closing.
    Remember that internet connections can fail, and you need time for a second try.
  • My Buy-or-Bid Watch List is the best way to follow the closing of the sale. You can see all your winning and losing bids on one page.
After the closing My Buy-or-Bid Watch Page shows, your winning bids and also the items on which you were not successful.
  • Unsold items are for another 24 hours available at the reserve price.
  • If you have made a bid below the BidAsk spread, which is accepted by the seller, you may cancel your initial bid until 24 hours after the closing. Each such item is indicated, and you click the label : I do not want this item
    When you want to keep the item at your initial bid, there is nothing you need to do.
  • Visit the invoice section, invoices can be paid in US$ or Euros by most credit cards, PayPal, or direct bank transfer.
    Read more about what happens after the closing.
    Certificate of authenticityWe warranty the authenticity of each lot offered in our sale. There is no time limitation to this guarantee.
    • Defects in lots have been carefully noted.
    • If there are no remarks regarding splits, tears, discoloration, etc., there are no issues to be found for the item!
    • All items are carefully and personally examined before being packed "in-house" and shipped by UPS, USPS, DHL or registered mail.
    • We do not sell reproductions.
    • A certificate of authenticity is provided for each acquired item and can be downloaded from your invoice page.
    • Certificates can be found in the Invoice and Certificates center.
    Invoices are available in the Buyers Center two hours after the closing of a sale.
    • The invoices are in US$ and can be paid by most credit cards, PayPal, or wire transfer.
    • European buyers can pay the invoice in Euros, against a conversion at a middle rare. Most credit cards, iDEAL or direct bank transfers in euros are accepted.

    Maps are shipped in solid tubes or flat between solid cardboard. Fully insured, signature required, and with online tracking. Shortly after shipment, you will get the tracking number by email.
    The standard is that we ship items by UPS or  DHL for European destinations, and a flat shipping fee is added to each shipment. It is a one-time fee even if you buy multiple items. This fee covers shipping and insurance (up to the invoice amount) to:
    - North America, Canada, Europe  $ 30
    - Asia $ 40
    - For South America, Mauritius, Africa and Australia a shipping fee of $ 50 will be charged.

    We charge only a one-time shipping fee if you have won 2 or more items.

    hold option
    Hold Shipment Service
    Rare Paper Sales allows you to put your shipping on hold at no additional charge. This can be incredibly convenient for people who want to buy several items at different auctions and ship them together. The service is free, and you pay only one shipment fee.
    Contact us if you want to use the Hold Service.

    When you want to buy, bid, or sell on this site, you have to agree to our terms and conditions.
    The buyer conditions are laid out on the Buyer Terms page.
    The terms for the seller are laid out on the Seller terms page.
    We are happy to include quality antique maps, old master prints, or posters.
    • Among our 12.000 clients are collectors, museums, and dealers worldwide constantly looking for fine-quality merchandise.
    • With Real-Time Bidding, collectors can participate in the Buy or Bid sale from anywhere in the world, bid, and make purchases easily and quickly from their computers.
    • The items do not suffer from the wear and tear of being handled by hundreds of people during viewing days.
    • If an item does not sell, there are no costs.
    • Sellers can set a minimum reserve price - below which their item will not be sold.
    • Our unique Buy-or-Bid system give sellers move freedom in accepting received bids.
      A reserve price can be adjusted by the seller, during and up to 2 hours after the sale closes.
    • Together, New World Cartographic and Paulus Swaen have been in the map business for more than 60 years.
      Let our experience help you in selling your items. Learn more [+]

    Rare Paper Sales
    1200 W. 35th Street, #425
    Chicago, IL 60609, USA
    tel. : (312) 496 - 3622
    email : @

    Paulus Swaen Old Maps and Prints
    Clearwater, USA - Amsterdam NL
    tel. USA +1 727 687 3298
    tel. NL +33 (0)6 27839704
    email : @