Sell with AFP


I am sometimes approached by people looking to sell paintings they already own, and if the work of art in question is of particular quality and likely to appeal to our clients one option is to sell it through Academy Fine Paintings. Selling privately is a hassle-free and often more rewarding alternative to consigning your painting to a public auction house, something an increasing number of people are reluctant to do knowing that a large chunk of any final sale price will be retained by the auctioneers. 

When selling a painting at auction not only must you, the seller, pay commission and VAT but often fees for storage, catalogue illustration, marketing, and shipping. And it doesn’t stop there. The small print on Christie’s website admits that should they sell your painting for a pound more than the high estimate “there will also be an additional 2% Performance Commission fee.” All this doesn’t just give sellers pause for thought; potential bidders face the prospect of paying a buyer’s premium that in some quarters is approaching 40%, a bidding fee of 6% (+20% VAT) and frequently further charges for shipping, storage, and Artist Resale Rights. Between the seller and the buyer auctioneers in the UK typically take around 50% of any final sale price. Think about it, how many other brokers manage to squeeze a fee out of both ends of the deal? Would you buy a house from a real estate agent that tried to charge you, the purchaser, a fee as well as the vendor? Of course not but auction houses (with one or two commendable exceptions) do just that every day of the week. Little wonder there are now more auction houses in the UK than perhaps ever before.

Of course, all this is irrelevant if your painting fails to sell. Well, not quite, as many auction houses will still charge you a fee. They may also agree to offer the painting again in a future sale, albeit with a lower estimate. Unfortuantely, once a picture has been ‘bought-in’ or ‘passed’ at auction its perceived market value will have diminished and its reputation tarnished in the minds of many potential bidders.  

At Academy Fine Paintings we provide a straightforward, confidential alternative to selling the art you already own at auction. Whether you are looking to sell a single picture or an entire collection we are happy to help find the right private buyer. Just drop me an email via the link below.