I recently sold a clock at an established provincial auctioneer. On enquiring at their office, I was told that the seller’s fee was 15% plus VAT. No further information was volunteered.
The clock sold for a hammer price of £1400, on which the buyer paid a premium of 21% plus VAT, giving a total purchase price of £1752.80.
My deductions, based on the hammer price, were £252 commission, £25.20 warranty and £12 for a photograph, which meant that I received £1110.80.
This represents 63.4% of the purchase price, so in effect I paid 36.6% commission including VAT.
Why can’t we dispense with the term ‘buyer’s premium’ and show it for what it is, namely another deduction from the money due to the seller?