DNW says the change follows a decade of technological revolution which has brought about a sea change in clients’ needs and expectations. “The last time that we increased the buyers’ premium was in 2009 and since then the auction world has changed almost beyond recognition,” said managing director and CEO Pierce Noonan.
Costs of a revolution
“New technology has been the driving force behind this and DNW has stayed ahead of the game providing our clients with a unique range of services,” Noonan added.
“But the time has come when we have to pass on to our buyers some of the considerable costs of this revolution in the way that customers purchase lots at auction.”
Buyer’s premiums have traditionally been lower in the numismatic sector than in the wider market for fine art and antiques. Other London coin auction houses including Morton & Eden, Spink, Roma, Baldwin’s and Bonhams currently charge a 20% rate (plus VAT on the premium).
Charging a higher premium to the buyer can allow auctioneers to cut premiums to their vendors – often a key bargaining tool when competing for consignments.
However, so far other numismatics firms have not followed suit with a rise.
Olivier Stocker, chairman and CEO at Spink, told ATG: “We still believe that the current prevailing market level of 20% for the buyer’s premium ref lects a fair equilibrium point. Hence we have no intention at this moment to raise our BP for numismatics.”
In a separate initiative DNW has said that lots bought directly from its catalogues since January 1, 2013, can be resold by the purchaser at any time in the future with zero seller’s commission.
DNW is the largest London numismatics auction house with total hammer sales of £11.7m in 2018.