AT Inbox: Readers react to buyer’s premium question

Thank GOD for the buyer’s premium. My wife and I went to many auctions. Now we go to none. Greed by the auction houses cured our buying. Now we buy at shops or via a mixed price catalog.

CBIUSN, via email.

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When all is said and done, more is always said than done. So with that here is my feeling about buyer premiums.  As a barely active eBay seller, we took retirement a few years back and closed our online business where we sold for customers, plus I bought and sold for myself.  I really did not buy much from auction houses then, but since then I frequent them more and find that those that charge a buyer’s premium do not seem to suffer any consequence.

That leads me to believe that the buyer is really not always paying a premium, by that I mean I set a price I am willing to pay for an item, with auction houses that have a premium, I factor that in, therefore it is the seller who is paying the premium.  If I’m bidding on a $100 item I will stop around $90 knowing I am to pay another $9, so if I win I get the item for what I had in mind, and the seller takes the hit, or contributes to the auction house profits.

Since it is a buyer’s market, especially at our local auctions, not much of a fuss to most dealers who are currently buying cheap.

In closing let me say that if auction houses raised the fees to the seller another 10 percent, they would feel the impact immediately, so they tax the buyer, and probably will increase the percent until they see an impact. No matter which way you look at it, is is greed on the part of the auction house.

Thanks, Doug

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