Art Brokerage

An increasing theme in fine art is the increase in private individuals instructing dealers to sell their pictures on a commission basis. This of course is in direct competition to salerooms and is commonly known as Art Brokerage.

The emergence of this alternative method of selling art has been driven by the prospect of better returns for the vendor.

Typically auction houses will take a minimum of 20% as a selling commission, additional to this will be charges for insurance and illustrations [all plus VAT]. The total commission will seldom be less than 25% with the prospect of unsold charges as well if the sale is not successful in finding a buyer. Furthermore salerooms also charge the buyer up to 25% of the sale price as a buyers premium. So the sums are very attractive to salerooms who end up with 50% of the value of the article for their total commission. All this tends to increase their focus on lower estimates to ensure that they get the hammer down on as many lots as possible. Who can blame them its their business model and it has worked.

However if a picture has a value of [say] £1000 and carries a saleroom estimate, typically of £800 / £1000 and is sold for £800 the vendor will end up with £600.

Using this example illustrates where Art Brokerage scores heavily in terms of return to the client. An item sold with our service and valued correctly at £1000 would only attract a commission of 10%. So £900 would be the return to the client representing an increase of £300 or in percentage terms one third greater net proceeds.

Please feel free to discuss this service with us either by email on s_welbourne@sky.com or telephone 07860 301822 at your convenience.