Sotheby's V Christie's

March 1 2013

Image of Sotheby's V Christie's

Picture: Sotheby's

Last year's overall sales totals are in for both Sotheby's and Christie's. Christie's wins it by just under a billion this time round with $6.3bn compared to Sotheby's $5.4bn. 

Last week Christie's announced it would be increasing its buyer's premium, and, surprise surprise, Sotheby's have also now followed suit. From the Wall Street Journal:

Since Sotheby's said it must continue to eat into its commission to woo top sellers, the auction house said it plans recoup some losses by charging buyers more for winning artwork. For the first time in five years, Sotheby's said it would raise its buyer's premium from March 15; an artwork's winning bidder will be asked to pay a fee of 25% of the work's gavel price up to $100,000, plus an additional 20% of its price up to $2 million, plus 12% of anything above that.

That's an eye watering premium, especially here in the UK with VAT on top.

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