UPDATED MAY 2020
Sotheby’s and Christie’s launched their Banksy online only sales last year with impressive results, even this March in the midst of impending global doom Sotheby’s Banksy online only sale did well, however the pressure to consign the number of quality prints into these sales is on for these auctions where the fees to sell far outweigh the bonuses. MyArtBroker looks at why so many consigners are turning their back on auction in favour of more convenient collector networks.
With major contemporary art collectors looking for the best return on their investments it’s no wonder they’re favouring online platforms offering the same global reach and world class expertise as leading auction houses, for a fraction of the price. The facts are quite simple: if you are looking to sell your Banksy exactly when you want, without cost, and without ever having to move the work until it’s sold (these are the demands of most of our clients) then an auction house simply can’t help you.
At MyArtBroker our seller’s fees are always at 0%, you have the ability to sell whenever you want, at the very best time to release the value of your work, and what is more, as far as Banksy goes, we own the largest dedicated international online network of buyers and sellers of contemporary and modern prints and editions in the world, and as a specialist online platform, that audience is undiluted and focuses primarily on Banksy, KAWS and Stik.
‘There are few better opportunities for financial growth to be found… Banksy is a growing investment asset for those looking to diversify their portfolio, and we’re very pleased to be able to offer one of the few dedicated networks of like-minded collectors to service that growing need.” Ian Syer, Founder of MyArtBroker
So, if figures show auction sales steadily decreasing why are the same auction houses still reporting a 16-18% net income increase over the same periods?
The traditional auction model takes food off both sides of the table. Let’s look at how it works if you want to sell at auction:
– Choose an auction house and approach them, first off is the task of finding the right auction for your work of art, this will be in consultation with one the house’s specialists, who will normally want to see the work in person, will advise on pricing strategy, and then suggest which sale would be best for it.
– The slated auction will likely be a few months down the line even if the auction is soon, consignment deadlines are usually 2 to 3 months prior to the next auction day.
– Once everything is decided between you and the specialist, an administrator will contact you with your paperwork. It will be then be up to you to manage and pay for the work to be shipped to the auction house’s storage facility ahead of the auction.
– If the work sells at auction you will receive payment a few weeks after the sale completes, if it doesn’t sell you’ll be expected to manage and pay for the safe return of your work, and pay the unsold fees to the auction house – often 1.5% of the average of the high and low estimate they put on it.
– You will then have anything from two weeks to a month to collect the unsold work from their storage facility before it starts accruing storage fees.
What does it cost to sell at auction?
The seller’s commission at auction houses such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s is up to 15%, on top of that you’ll be asked to pay shipping, LDL (loss, damage and liability insurance), as well as a hefty marketing and cataloguing fee.
As a buyer from an auction house you’ll await the auction date and be there in person, or you can be logged in online at the right time at the right lot (they recommend allowing 60-100 lots per hour), or you’ll leave an absentee bid and hope for the best. If you are in the right place, at the right time with deep enough pockets and manage to win the lot, you will pay 25% on anything you bid up to and including £225,000. You’ll then pay VAT on that commission, and in most cases you’ll be required to produce KYC identification details prior to bidding.
What does it cost to sell at MyArtBroker?
Nothing. We now offer 0% seller’s fee – guaranteed, with no hidden fees.
You make contact, we assign you a dedicated broker, you agree a price, we offer your work immediately, and start looking for a buyer.
Once a buyer is found and the funds are cleared, we pay for and help ship the work direct, no storage facility needed.
How can we offer this service at 0% sellers commission and auction houses can’t?
There is a lot of cost attached to operating the archaic functionality of an auction house, and whilst we invest heavily in digital innovation and put marketing your work at the top of our priority list, we can offer all this via our existing network and our specialist brokers.
The reality is we’ve listened to our buyers and sellers and understand what’s important to them. For buyers we offer the time to carefully consider each purchase without the pressures of a live auction room, and can bring a greater selection of artworks to market in a simple, secure way.
The major galleries and auction houses are doing their best to compete by partnering with online channels but much of their better works will always be slated for the big live evening sales, meaning the online portion tends to equate to a secondary tier in quality.
So, that’s it, it all happens online now?
No. Art will always be a tangible and very personal investment, an online platform alone – however smart – isn’t enough to sustain the new collecting market, and certainly not the previous generation of collectors with substantial inventory. When you want to sell with MyArtBroker you are assigned a personal broker with experience in the artist market that you’re selling, they will guide you through the whole process, find the right artwork or buyer, and even offer to handle the process of authentication, price negotiation, and delivery. The clincher being that not only are our rates for this kind of service considerably cheaper than the average commission rate at major auction houses, but they also provide a comprehensive service that you simply wouldn’t get at auction house unless you are consigning the Evening Sale’s top lot.
While the issue of artist authenticity was an early stumbling block for the online art trade, there is growing trust in online buying platforms as businesses gather pace, reviews, and reputations. Platforms such as eBay have tried to offer the same solution but just aren’t safe enough, whilst buying through a fine art professional offers absolute assurance. No longer are online art platforms the space for young tech wizards alone, but rather they are created by leading specialists aware of the shift in how buyers and sellers want to trade. We feel we’ve got the balance just about right. Take a look at our testimonials here.
Additionally, we offer the perfect opportunity to post listings for wanted artworks within a global community of buyers and sellers – ideal for collectors searching for particular works that are more difficult to come by. Search and post Art Wanted here.
With 75% of new online buyers stating that they were driven by value potential more than any other motivator it’s easy to see why both buyers and sellers have well and truly woken up to the opportunities of the online market and how the crowds are following suit. Join us today.