HUGE mistake by Sotheby’s !!!

It has recently come to my attention that Sotheby’s in the UK have introduced a minimum value for works that they will auction of £3000 which is in line with their move away from the middle-range auctions with the discontinuation of their lower-value Kensington Olympia sales to concentrate on the top end of the market. Beyond the fact that Sotheby’s are trailing behind Christies in market share there are many reasons why Sotheby’s are making a huge mistake, such as:

-Sotheby’s already have a reputation as a bit of a snobby company so by introducing a minimum value they are alienating potential future clients.

-It is quite common for clients of auction houses to have lesser value works of art to sell as well as high value works so Sotheby’s is in danger of loosing these clients.

-Many people who sell art through auction have artworks in their homes that they do not realise the value of so by having a minimum sale value Sotheby’s are severely limiting their access to clients who may unknowingly have major works in their posession.

sothebysauction05 2006 HUGE mistake by Sotheby's !!!

I will certainly be interested to see whether this minimum value rule lasts!!

nick nice1 HUGE mistake by Sotheby's !!!**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

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  • http://www.sternart.com Debby Luzia

    I don’t agree.
    There are plenty of mid-range auction houses.
    After personally witnessing the impressionist evening sale in New York in May and watching the millions fly, after seeing the museum-like fashion in which the works were presented for viewing, after seeing the Rockfeller Rothko sell for 74 million -
    they are definitely on the right track!

  • Jim Miles

    That’s an interesting post. Your second and third points never occurred to me, nor, I assume Sotherby’s.

    btw. “so Sotheby’s is in danger of loosing these clients.” – losing?

  • http://www.artforprofits.com artforprofits

    Debby,

    Thank-you for your comment. There are indeed plenty of mid-range auction houses who stand to gain all the clients that Sothebys have rejected. Vendors who sell artworks worth $1000 may also have artworks worth $10,000,000 to sell and will probably not want to have to deal with two separate auction houses so will probably go with an auction house that can accommodate the sale of the $1000 and $10,000,000 artworks.

    Thanks

    Nicholas Forrest

  • http://GOLDNET1@BTINTERNET.COM DES CARPENTER

    I HAVE A VAN GOUGH PAINTING ONLY TO FIND THE POWER OF SOTHERBYS ,WHEN THEY SAY NO EVERYBODY SAYS NO THE ART WORLD HAVE CLOSED THERE DOORS ON ME,ALL BECAUSE SOTHERBYS HAS BEEN FOUND OUT TO BE CON MERCHANTS. IF ANYBODY HAS ANY ANSWERS OUT
    THERE CONTACT ME.
    SOTHERBY ARE FULL OF CRAP AND THEY ARE CONNING PEOPLE EVEN THEIR DIRECTOR WAS SENT TO PRISON FOR PRICE FIXING.

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