Auction House Fees? Why Why Why

Hello Team,

Looking forward for some info on auction house. Per my understanding, most auction house charges 14%-20% on auction fees.

Please correct me if I’m wrong and also please include other major ones that I missed.

eBay: 0% (Buyer) 14% (Seller)
Hakes: 18% (Buyer)(Not sure on seller???)
Heritage: 20% (Buyer)(Not sure on seller???)
MyComicShop: 3% (Buyer)(Not sure on seller???)

In addition,

  1. Does GPA includes auction premium on all their sold prices ???
  2. Is the sales tax on the top of buyer premium or its excluded. i.e.
    → Ex 1. $100 (Book) + $20 (Buyer Premium) → Tax on $120
    → Ex 1. $100 (Book) + $20 (Buyer Premium) → Tax on $100

Lastly why do people use it if they charge so much (except for the exotic book you can’t get).

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8-10 % commission.

Plus you have the expense of shipping the item to them.

And if the item hasn’t sold (buy it now listings) you have to make decisions on putting it up for auction, dropping the price or paying storage fees.

Buy It Now format: initial listing period of 12 to 24 months

Buy It Now listings may be listed for an initial listing period of between 12 and 24 months, depending on value, as shown here:

  • Item with estimated market value up to $1000: 12 months
  • Item with estimated market value $1000+: 24 months

Buy It Now listings that have not been sold by the end of this period have three options:

  1. Continue listing the Buy It Now item as long as the price is within reasonable market price range (as determined by MyComicShop), and you drop the price at least 5% every 90 days that it remains unsold
  2. Or, put the item in auction
  3. Or, opt in to paying storage fees for the item, which will allow you to continue listing the item at a price higher than we think is reasonable market price range. For raw (unslabbed) comics, the monthly storage charge is 0.25% of the Buy It Now price or $0.20, whichever is greater. For CGC or CBCS slabbed comics, plus comic art and all other non-comic collectables, the monthly storage charge is 0.25% of the Buy It Now price or $1.00, whichever is greater.

The last time I consigned with Heritage (this summer) they had a 25% Buyer’s Premium in a Signature Auction. They did however waive what they said was the standard 15% Seller’s Fee (this apparently is nearly always negotiable).

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because were spoiled by ebay never doing buyer fees

Maybe I’m naive, but it seems like if you’re soaking a buyer for 25% plus shipping, charging the seller as well is egregious. Forty percent (25 buyer + 15 seller) just seems like a lot.

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Look at life in general terms. Is the owner riding around in yachts or expensive cars or is he eating PB&J 7 meals a week? There are businesses where markups in the hundreds to even thousands of percent are normal from furniture and jewelry to pharmaceutical production. The comic book industry in particular is a 50-50 business model where stores tend to get about 50% discount off cover price on average. Less on toys and accessories, more on back issues from bulk buys.

If your B&M is selling $5,000 to $10,000 a month they only get $2,500 to $5,000 a month to pay all the utilities, costs of operating, employees and themselves and probably almost nothing to put into the savings or to reinvest left over.

Somewhere like E-Bay has a much larger market share, lower actual operating expense since it appears to just be paying for bandwidth, some tech support out of country and whatever it takes for maintaining/developing the software stuff.

Somewhere like lonestar is double dipping across multiple selling avenues from walk-in to online with a mix of new and old.

I suspect most of them are charging just what they feel it takes for their particular model to keep the doors open and make a profit.

You have a variety of choices and that includes multiple options for DIYing the sale yourself. Just the other day I had a new face stopping by wanting me to buy his cgc NM98 because he wasn’t happy with what he expects E-Bay to take out. Of course there was no way I’d take it either with just a simple reduction in price of what E-Bay’s charging since there would be no way to reasonably expect to make anything for trying to sell it. Just figure out what you have to have. That’s your bottom line selling price. Then each place you list it increase the price so that it covers whatever that venues fee’s or percentages are. It should make no difference to you bottom line where it sells. You should get the exact same in every case. It’s the same thing with an auction. Set your bottom line at what you expect you have to have to be happy and have that number include the selling place you select’s fees. Then it just comes down to which option do you gamble on getting the higher end number over that amount on.

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If that’s not enough I’ve also found some of the auction houses charge ridiculous shipping fees for international customers. One wanted to charge me $200 to send a $500 book. MCS have sent similar books for $25.

I’m generalizing and mean zero offense to those who use or love auction houses, but my perception from quite a few posts/buyers/participants in these auctions is that it becomes a bit of an ego thing/look at me, I was the “big spender” at the such and such auction house sale.

I love seeing folks hauls but a book that you bought from Heritage (as an example) isn’t any more important than the same book bought from a comic shop or ebay.