Melanie Gerlis reports that Christie’ has added a 2% boost to its seller’s commission (which is often waived) for lots that exceed estimates. Many have complained that estimates have risen over the years through hype or excessive greed. If that’s the case, this new commission would give Christie’s specialists an added incentive to keep estimates low and exceed them:
Christie’s has snuck a new commission into its contracts with consignors: 2% of the hammer price of a work that meets or exceeds its high estimate. In the UK, sellers at Christie’s currently pay between 10% and 15% commission on individual lots worth under £60,000.
After this, commission is charged as a percentage of the final hammer price, sliding down from 8% to 2% until the £3m mark, at which point the commission is officially ‘as agreed’. […]
“The purpose is to incentivise and reward high performance that exceeds consignors’ expectations,” says Paddy Feeny, Christie’s head of communications.
Christie’s takes another 2% (The Art Newspaper)