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Thursday, 13 January 2011

VAT & Auctions vs. Shops

The recent VAT increase has been a topic of much debate and the change is applied differently across industries, the antiques trade included!

Firstly, a quick clarification that the prices at Graham Smith Antiques have not risen as a result of the VAT rise and we have no plans to change any prices going forward either!

Most Antique shops with established stocks before the VAT increase will not have gone around and increased their prices to cover the extra VAT they now have to pay on each sale.

This makes 2011 a very good time to get along to your local Antiques shop rather than trying to buy at auction where the only person losing money is you, as you struggle to guess how much items are worth, if they're genuine and, most recently, feel the full impact of the VAT rise!

Because you have to pay a commission plus VAT at auction, the prices have instantly gone up when selling and buying.  You can pay as much as 25% commission at some of the finer auctions and with VAT this makes it a huge 30% on top of the hammer price (the price the auctioneer says as he bangs his gavel). From the other side, if you are selling items at auction and are charged approximately 15% sales commission this now has 20% added on instead of the old 17.5%

The increasing costs at auction houses should be making every antiques buyer look to established antiques dealers who are registered members of national organisations such as LAPADA, BADA or CINOA. (For the record Graham Smith antiques has been a registered member of both LAPADA & CINOA for ten years!)

Antique shops are often a great place to sell antique items you want rid of and the great thing is that they don’t charge you - you get every penny of the agreed price! Take a look at the table of costs below to see the difference between buying at auction and buying in antiques shops.

Auction Houses in General
Graham Smith Antiques
Cost of selling items?
Approximately 15% (+20% VAT)
Cost of buying items?
Hammer price + Approximately 25% (+20% VAT)
Fixed Ticket Price
Is Delivery Included?
Not Usually (Add at least £60 on for this service)
In the UK yes, locally always and nationally for most items
Is Restoration included?
No, items sold as seen
Yes, items are sold ready to use
How do I know the item is the age you have said it is?
You don’t, buyer beware
We are regulated by both LAPADA & CINOA to ensure we represent items accurately (as well as having 40 years experience!)
Do you guarantee clocks and barometers will keep working once I’ve bought them?
Yes, we offer a free one year guarantee on all clocks and barometers
Do items cost more now that VAT is 20%?

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