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Dipper Anglo at auction


Myrtle's cook
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Gardiner Holdgate have this rather attractive Anglo in their forthcoming sale. From the serial number I take it to be an early example, the pickup and RH air button perhaps being later additions(?).

 

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/gardiner-houlgate/catalogue-id-srgard10202/lot-475fd65f-a7ae-407a-94aa-ade800abfb9e

 

(I have no connection with this sale - but thought others might be interested)

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Just of of curiosity I've been running the figures. If I'm reading it correctly, the purchaser will pay 20% VAT and 32.34% buyer's commission on the hammer price, so more than half as much again.  If it sells at the top of the guide range (£3000) that means the buyer hands over £4570.20, which is probably not excessive for a Dipper in decent condition (assuming it is).   

 

However the seller doesn't receive that £3000, they will have to pay seller's commission of 15% + VAT.  The seller ends up with £2460 for an instrument they might have sold privately for £4500 or more.  The auctioneer will take more than £1250 net of VAT in commission for putting it on a website, and a few minutes of bidding in the auction room.

 

I think I've been in the wrong job all these years.

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In an auction you normally only pay VAT on the buyers premium, not on the hammer price.  In this case the buyers premium is 22% so you would pay hammer price plus 26.4%.  Still a big chunk of money on top of the hammer price.

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Next to the price it says "Additional fees apply".  If you click on the question mark for more information it says:

 

Additional Fees:

Commissions*: 32.34% Inc.VAT/sales tax
VAT/sales tax on hammer: 20.00%

*Includes buyer's premium and online commission. For more information please read the auctioneer's T&Cs.

 

Whether or not VAT is payable will depend on the VAT status of the seller.  This suggests (if it is not an error) that the seller is VAT-registered, which is perhaps unusual but not impossible.  This is definitely something I would want to clarify if I were going to bid.  20% makes quite a difference.

 

If they are VAT-registered this would alter the amount they would receive from a private sale, where they would also have to charge VAT.  Nevertheless, the seller is paying a considerable price for selling at auction rather than privately.

 

I wonder how many sellers at auction understand that as well as paying seller's commission they also bear the buyer's commission too, since it reduces the amount the buyer is able to bid?

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, hjcjones said:

Next to the price it says "Additional fees apply".  If you click on the question mark for more information it says:

 

Ah, I missed that!   I was looking at "T&Cs & Important info"

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I think the maximum of 32.34% includes online commission and VAT and only applies to online bids.  I would assume that the VAT is applicable to Gardiner Houlgate's business, not the current owner.

 

Absentee bids and telephone bids are also permitted so the buyer's premium in those cases would be 22% + VAT = 26.4%.

 

Still a chunk of change but fairly standard for auction houses and maybe worth checking to confirm if one was intending to bid. 

 

Alex West

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That seems to be a hefty additional premium just for bidding online.  Even if a buyer pays the lower rate of commission this will still be nearly £800 on a hammer price of £3000. Add 20% VAT as well and they are looking at paying nearly £1400 on top of the figure they actually bid.

 

The VAT is confusing.  The terms I referred to before clearly state that 20% VAT is payable on the hammer price.  That is nothing to do with Gardiner Houlgate - they are only agents for the seller. They must charge VAT on their services that they provide themselves ie their fees and commission, but if VAT is payable on the sale itself that can only be because the seller is VAT-registered.  However it's a further trap for the unwary, since it isn't very apparent that VAT will be charged until you start digging.   

 

Taking commission from both sides of the deal is, as you say, standard for auction houses.   There may be cases where they earn it.  There are some situations where auctions really are the best way to go.  One is where it is genuinely difficult to value the item, but I don't think that can apply here.  Another is where the item is expected to generate a lot of interest, and with these a good auctioneer can really drive up the price.  However, again I'm not sure that's the case here.  It's true that Dippers are highly sought-after, and this one may well attract a lot of interest, but the auction house doesn't seem to be doing much to push it.  They've provided only a brief, even perfunctory,  description, and not even mentioned important details such as what keys it is in. I wonder whether they really understand what they've got?

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