If you want to sell antiques it can be difficult choosing where to go to obtain the best price. At Nicholas Muston we help you to make the right choice.
The options to sell antiques are limited to an antique dealer, an auction house, or an online auction site. All of these options have their drawbacks but our expert team can advise on the best route for your specific items.
Sale to a dealer
If you are looking for an antique valuation and have little knowledge about what you are selling or its value you could fall victim to an unscrupulous dealer that might take advantage of your ignorance of the subject matter. After all they are trying to maximise their profit.
Sale via auction
This is probably the best way of achieving true market value but it comes at a price. Most people are aware that they will have to pay a seller’s commission, which including insurance, photography, a lotting charge and VAT, generally totals up to about 20%. This is deducted from the price the lot fetches in the auction. However, there is another charge which often only appears in the small print and that is called a buyer’s premium. Most people assume this only affects the buyer but it doesn’t, it affects the price you achieve because the bidder will factor this charge into the amount they bid.
For example if a buyer’s premium is charged at 25% plus vat = 30% and the buyer only wants to pay £130 for a lot he will only bid £100 (hammer price) because with the buyer’s premium this will total up to the £130. From this £100 hammer price the 20% seller’s commission will be deducted leaving you with £80. So the auction house has earned a total of 40% plus vat = 48%. For this reason auction is a particular bad way to sell standard gold coins like sovereigns or krugerrands, damaged or plain gold jewellery and plain silver and flatware.
Sale via an online auction platform
Aside from the time involved in listing and posting a number of individual items the various auction sites also charge a commission. More importantly if you don’t know what you have you could also run the risk of under selling.
Why get a valuation with us?
We can handle everything on your behalf from the identification and valuation of the pieces to the eventual sale.
The route to sale will vary according to type of antiques or collection involved. For example for rare, specialised or very valuable pieces auction, in spite of the high costs, might be the best method of sale. As an independent firm we can recommend the most suitable company for each individual case. From the commission you are charged by the auction house they pay us an introductory commission of between 5% and 10%, depending on the item and the value.
With the rise in total auction deductions from the price achieved, a sale to a dealer can often be the most straight forward and profitable method of sale. We know the value of the items we will be selling on your behalf and because we work on commission we will be bargaining hard, on your behalf, to achieve the very highest price.
We have a large data base of private collectors on our books and for certain pieces or collections we can broker a sale directly to one of these collectors on your behalf. For negotiating a sale we charge a 10% commission (no VAT) of the total price achieved subject to a minimum charge of £50.
Get in touch for an expert valuation from a RICS accredited valuer.