Function Magazine

Art, Fashion and Entertainment

Private art sales are becoming more popular

Posted by elegant On August - 21 - 2014

The art auction house Sotheby’s made news recently for wrong reasons. Activist investor Daniel Loeb and two other allies were appointed to the Sotheby’s Board of Directors after months of wrangling about the company. The activist’s main claims were Sotheby’s slowness to embrace technology and private art sales.

Private art sales or otherwise known as “private treaty sales” are where the buyer and the seller negotiate and agree on the sale price for an art. This is good news for collectors hoping to dispose of works of art. On the other hand, the commission on the sale also negotiable and it makes the sale more advantageous to the seller and the buyer not the auction house. Private sales are kept under wrap for the most part to the liking of the buyer and the seller. Long-time clients of auction house prefer this type of sales and the method creates fastest sales for the auction house in the process and cutting down on expenses for holding auctions. Christie’s estimate more than 500 items are sold yearly through private art sales. Sotheby’s on the other hand generated more than $800 million over the last year from private treaty sales.

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