Dix Noonan Webb London
The premises of Dix Noonan Webb in London.

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DNW says the change follows a decade of technological revolution which has brought about a sea change in clients’ needs and expectations. “The last time that we increased the buyers’ premium was in 2009 and since then the auction world has changed almost beyond recognition,” said managing director and CEO Pierce Noonan.

“New technology has been the driving force behind this and DNW has stayed ahead of the game providing our clients with a unique range of services. But the time has come when we have to pass on to our buyers some of the considerable costs of this revolution in the way that customers purchase lots at auction.”

Buyer’s premiums have traditionally been lower in the numismatic sector that in the wider market for fine art and antiques. Other London coin auctioneers including Morton & Eden, Spink, Roma, Baldwins, Bonhams currently charge a 20% rate (plus VAT on the premium).

Charging a higher premium to the buyer can allow auctioneers to cut premiums to their vendors – often a key bargaining tool when competing for consignments.

In a separate initiative DNW has said that lots bought at DNW since January 1, 2013 can be resold with zero sellers’ commission by the original purchaser at any time in the future.

DNW is the largest London numismatics auctioneer with total hammer sales of £11.7m in 2018.