How Much Does it Cost to Sell at Auction?

How Much Does it Cost to Sell at Auction?

Understanding the cost of using auction services to sell your items can sometimes be confusing. Simpson Galleries has a very simple and straightforward commission-based fee structure. Watch the video below as Ray Simpson, CEO of Simpson Galleries, talks about how much it costs to sell with an auctioneer.

What is an auction seller’s commission?

All auction houses charge a seller’s commission to consignors to sell their items at auction. A seller’s commission is a percentage of the auctioned item’s hammer price that is charged to the consignor for each of their items that sells. The seller’s commission percentage is determined and agreed to between the consignor and the auction house at the time the consignor agrees to consign their items to auction. The percentage can vary on occasion and is based on the value of the items being consigned. Very high-value items may be allowed a lowered seller’s commission percentage.  The seller’s commission is typically deducted from the settlement check that is sent to the consignor after the auction. Unlike most auction houses, this is the only fee Simpson Galleries charges our consignors.


Typical Auction Consignment Fees

Many auction houses charge fees in addition to the seller’s commission. These fees may be significant and can reduce a consignor’s overall profit. Here are some examples of fees many auction houses charge.  may charge. Remember, Simpson Galleries includes all of this at no additional charge.

Marketing Fees

An auction house may charge a consignor a fee for marketing their piece. The fee may include or be in addition to researching, cataloging, and advertising your consigned items in print or through digital media.


Photography Fees

Consignments are typically professionally photographed, and those images are used in print and digital advertising to showcase each item and be available for bidders throughout the globe. There is often an additional photography fee for each consigned item, but at Simpson Galleries, this is included at no additional cost.


Insurance Fees

Consignments must be at all times when they are at an auction house. Many houses pass that cost on to their consigners by charging an insurance fee based on the value. Simpson Galleries covers the cost of the insurance with no additional fee.


Handling and Storage Fees

Many auction houses charge a handling fee or storage fees for items on consignment while they are being prepared for auction. Simpson Galleries does not charge any handling fees and provides storage for free while your items are being prepared and waiting to be auctioned.


What if Some Items in my Consignment don’t Sell?

On the occasion, a consigned item doesn’t sell at auction. When this happens, Simpson Galleries does not charge the consignor anything. Many other auction galleries still charge the fees mentioned above, even if a consignment doesn’t sell. Feel confident that Simpson Galleries will always do our best to achieve the most value for you for every item you consign.


Learn More

Learn more about selling at auction with Simpson Galleries. Call today to discuss your needs with a highly trained auctioneer and auction specialists.


Video Transcript

Welcome back to Simpson Galleries. My name is Ray Simpson, and today, I’d like to talk with you about the cost of doing business with Simpson Galleries.

Like most auction houses, we do charge a commission which is based on the overall value of the consignment. In other words, the more the value is or the higher the amount that the consignment is worth, the lower our commission rate is.

No Outside Fees

Another important part about the cost of doing business with Simpson Galleries is that we don’t have any outside fees. Other firms may charge you for things like marketing and photography, and insurance or handling, even storage leading up to the auction. Simpson Galleries doesn’t charge for any of those things. Our fees are strictly commission-based and straightforward.

In the rare instance that one of your items doesn’t sell at auction, there will be no cost to you at all, and I’ll be covering that in another video later on.

To learn more about our commissions, please call us at 713-524-6751, or visit us on our website at