Art Demystified: Auctions and Buyer’s Premiums

artnet News | Henri Neuendorf:

The pricing of art sold at auction can often be deceiving for first-time buyers, who may end up paying more than they expected after the hammer falls. In addition to the winning bid for a lot at auction, known as the hammer price, auction houses charge buyers an additional fee known as a buyer’s premium, which is calculated as a percentage of the hammer price. The modern buyer’s premium was introduced in 1975 by Sotheby’s and Christie’s; the two houses charged 10 percent then. Today, the houses charge buyers premiums of up to 30 percent… Read more

Image: Christie’s auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen. Courtesy of Carl Court/Getty Images