Issue #53  2/3/2003
Big Surprise: Higher Buyer's Premiums At Christie's

Gee, it took all of about a week for Christie's International to announce a new buyers' premium for the majority of the firm's sales rooms after Sotheby's announced its new higher rate.

The new Christie's rates are effective March 1.

While retaining a buyers' premium of 19.5% (versus Sotheby's new 20%) on the final bid price of each lot up to and including £70,000 in London or $100,000 in the U.S., the buyers' premium on amounts exceeding £70,000 or $100,000 will increase from 10% to 12%, or a 20% hike. This new buyers' premium will apply to property sold in the firm's sales rooms at King Street, London; Rockefeller Center, NYC; and Geneva, including its current photography sales at those locations. Apparently the hike will not affect the February photography sale.

By the way, my thanks to Christie's Lisa Newlin, who was sharp enough and customer service driven enough to call me after my last newsletter. I had noted a problem with Sotheby's and Christie's records of my transactions in regards to the anti-trust action and my credits. Apparently the problem at Christie's was that they had combined my business and personal accounts for some reason in 1998. I only made claims on my personal account. Sotheby's has not responded so far, although I had made personal purchases there too in the period in question.