Sotheby’s Raises Buyer’s Premiums for Live Auctions, Does Away With Buyer’s Premiums for Online Sales

Sotheby’s New York headquarters. COURTESY SOTHEBY’S

Sotheby’s New York headquarters. COURTESY SOTHEBY’S

Sotheby’s announced in a press release that, for the third year in a row, it will increase its buyer’s premiums for its live auction sales. Tweaks to the policies for fees, which allow the house to tack an extra charge onto the price of a work sold at auction, will go into effect November 1, ahead of its sales in New York.

The shift in fee rates comes a year after the last adjustment, and just weeks after Sotheby’s announced in its quarterly earnings call that sales were down 14 percent from the same period a year before.

The changes are as follows. There will be a 25-percent levy on work priced at $300,000 or below. Previously, the same fee extended only to works priced up to $250,000, so the new change increases the amount of work that will be slapped with the highest possible fee. The threshold for 20-percent fees now applies to works purchased for prices between $300,000 and $3 million. The fee for works priced at $3 million and higher is now 12.9 percent, up from 12.5 percent.

Read the entire article, written by Nate Freeman, on ArtNews.com.