In effect, it means the auction house's fee for buyers will increase for both middle-market works and top-end lots, taking it beyond rivals Sotheby’s current levels.
The changes apply to Christie’s sales in London and across Europe as well as in New York, Hong Kong and Geneva, and the increase affects all collecting categories except wine.
In Shanghai, Christie’s will apply a flat rate of 20%.
Under the new rates, the buyer of a work knocked down at £500,000 at a Christie’s auction in London will now pay an extra £2500 in buyer’s premium – the total transaction being £611,250 instead of £608,750 under the previous rates.
A work knocked down at £10m now commands an extra £72,500 fee – £11.56m under the new schedule compared to £11.48m under the old rates.
A statement on Christie’s website reads: “Following an internal business review, Christie's International announces an updated Buyer’s Premium schedule that will result in a modest increase in the fee paid by the successful buyer of an item at auction. Christie’s last updated its Buyer’s Premium fees in September 2017.”
The new buyer's premium rate in the UK and US is as follows:
25% of the hammer price of each lot up to and including £225,000 (up from £175,000)
20% of the hammer price from £225,001 up to and including £3m (no change)
13.5% above £3m (previously 12.5%)
25% of the hammer price of each lot up to and including $300,000 (up from $250,000)
20% of the hammer price from $300,001 up to and including $4m (no change)
13.5% above $4m (previously 12.5%)
For Christie’s wine sales, a 22.5% buyer’s premium will be charged in London, Paris and Geneva, but this rate rises to 25% in New York and Hong Kong.
More information about the changes can be found on the Christie’s website here.