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Phillips ups thresholds for buyer’s premium

Increase puts auction house’s fees in line with Sotheby’s; Christie’s a relative bargain

Phillips has raised the thresholds of its buyer’s premium, putting its fee structure in line with Sotheby’s and leaving Christie’s looking relatively cheap.

The new thresholds mean that buyers now need to add an extra 25% to works with a hammer price of up to and including $200,000 (this was previously set at $100,000); 20% for works between $200,001 and $3m (previously $100,001-$2m) and 12% for works over $3m (previously $2m). The last time that Phillips raised its premiums was April 2013.

Christie’s rates are still at 25% up to $100,000; 20% for between $100,001 and $2m and 12% above $2m. So, for example, a work that hammers at Christie’s for $150,000 would incur an extra $35,000 (25% of $100,000 plus 20% of $50,000) while at Sotheby’s and Phillips the extra charge would be $37,500.