Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is Buying at Auction Always a Good Deal?

While private dealers have not had much to celebrate the past several years, the inching up of buyers' premiums and all the auction house charges associated with selling property, may be a bright spot that makes everyone a bit more competitive. We will focus on this in 2012 as an important consideration in art buying with shrinking budgets. Wouldn't it be fascinating to know what the auction houses are netting on private sales that don't have the scrutiny of public transactions.


Sotheby's Auction House
Euros - The buyers premium is 25% of the hammer price up to and including 15,000 euros, 20% of any amount in excess of 15,000 euros  up to and including 800,000 euros, and 12% of any amount in excess of 800,000 euros.
US dollar - The buyers premium is 25% of the hammer price up to and including $50,000, 20% of any amount in excess of $50,000 up to and including $1,000,000, and 12% of any amount in excess of $1,000,000.
Christie's Auction House
United States
 25.0% - Up to $50,000
 20.0% - $50,001 - $1,000,000
 12.0% - $1,000,001 +

United Kingdom
25.0% - Up to £25,000
 20.0% - £25,001 - £500,000
 12.0% - £500,001 +
Euro
25.0% - €0 to €20,000
 20.0% - €20,001 to €800,000
 12.0% - €800,001 +
Heritage Auction House
The new Buyer's Premium structure will affect the following auction categories:
• American Indian Art
• American Art
• European Art
• Furniture & Decorative Arts
• Illustration Art
• Jewelry
• Lalique & Art Glass
• Luxury Accessories
• Modern & Contemporary Art
• Music & Entertainment
• Natural History
• Photography
• Pre-Columbian Art
• Rare Books
• Silver & Vertu
• Texas Art
• Timepieces
• Vintage Guitars
• Western Art
For auctions in these categories, buyers will pay a premium of 25% of the hammer price on the first $50,000 of each lot purchased, 20% on the portion between $50,000 to $1,000,000 and 12% on any amount more than $1,000,000. The minimum BP of $14 per lot will also continue to apply.
The Buyer's Premium for auctions in other categories will remain unchanged at either 15% or 19.5%.

1 comment:

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