Auction House Fees Out of Line

Fees, Fees, and More Fees. When Did Our Belongings No Longer Belong to Us?

There was a time when a person could take his belongings to an auction house and pay a 5% fee on the final sales price for the service. That left 95% for the seller. Not any more.



Auction houses today increased the sellers fees, particularly for less expensive items. I’d say the average fee is about 25% with fees up to 50% for less expensive items. But still, this wasn’t enough dough. So, the auction houses began to charge the buyers a fee to buy. These fees run 20-25%. Now they get paid on each side of the sale, so this caused buyers to reduce their bids. This reduced bid affected the sellers final price.

Wow! Sellers went from getting 95% of the sales price to under 50%. I may be an old fossil, but when did our belongings no longer belong to us? When did we gain an equal partner in our own belongings?

Next came the eBay stores, a place where the seller took their things to a public place who listed them for the seller on eBay. Their fees were up to 40% of the sales price. eBay got up to their 15% and Paypal got up to their 5%. I’d say that leaves the seller 40% of the sales price for their own stuff. That makes you an unequal partner in your own belongings. Fortunately most of these operations died a quick death, as they should have.

But, now there’s a new plan emerging.

The seller finds a company to appraise their items, then that company consigns them to the auction they think fits them best. And yes, there is a fee for this. It can be 5% or more. (This might seem fair if the customer was able to obtain a discount from the auction house. Like 10% off their regular seller fees.) Let’s do some math. 5% for the company who consigns your own belongings to auction, 20-25% to the auction house when they sell your belongings, another 2-5% in fees for insurance and advertising for your belongings, and then whoever buys your stuff gets charged 20-25%. Please tell me where else someone gets charged to buy something – other than a government sales tax?

By the time you’re done with the transaction it comes to 46-60% in fees paid to a company to sell your own stuff. You, the seller, would end up with about best. I wonder how long the public will put up with this. You just started out wanting to sell you own belongings for a fair fee, didn’t you? I’ll let you decide what is fair.


Taking on the big boys like this doesn’t make me the most popular man in town. But, I”m not expecting to win any popularity contests. Just trying to protect you, the seller and the buyer and offer something better than what’s out there.


That’s why I ask you to take a look at the 31 Club Gallery & Marketplace when you want to sell your high quality items. We offer much lower fees than anywhere else you’ll find. And buyers, there is never a fee to buy from us. Buyer and seller will benefit most by becoming a member of the 31 Club. Look here for fee details.

If anyone has comments and opinions on the auction house fee situation, please make a comment here. I think this is a very important subject.

Buyers — buy high quality items for fair prices at 31 Gallery and Marketplace.

Sellers — sell your high quality items for low fees at 31 Marketplace and Gallery.

Treasure Hunters — partner up with 31 Club on high quality treasures you find. You find, we buy, we sell, you net 35%.

Our Members are Newbies to Seasoned Dealers, making more money than they thought possible. Join Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club, today.

My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. Join Today!

Check out the new Paintings and new items in our Gallery and Marketplace here.


One Response

  1. Thank You

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