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Sotheby’s raises buyer’s premium in bid to ‘offset margin pressure’

New rates to come into effect for November sales in New York

by Anny Shaw  |  18 October 2016
Sotheby’s raises buyer’s premium in bid to ‘offset margin pressure’
Sotheby's New York
In a bid to raise revenue, Sotheby’s is increasing its buyer’s premium in time for the November sales in New York. In a statement, the auction house describes the changes as “modest” and are expected to impact 5-10% of all lots. Sotheby’s last adjusted its fees in February 2015.

The new pricing structure will see Sotheby’s charging 25% on the first £175,000 or $250,000 from 13 November. Christie’s, which hiked its buyer’s fees for the first time in three years last month, now charges less: 25% up to £100,000 or $150,000. Buyers at Sotheby’s will also have to pay half a percent more on lots above £2m or $3m. The changes will not affect any auction held in Beijing or wine sales.

Mike Goss, the chief financial officer of Sotheby’s, says in a statement: “We made this decision for two principal reasons: first, to offset margin pressure, particularly at the high end of our business where these changes are focused; and second, to continue to invest in improving our client experience in all aspects of our business.”

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