Menzies' staff answer all your questions about how to go about viewing, bidding and buying fine art at auction.
Buying & Selling Art with Menzies
BUYING ART WITH MENZIES
BEFORE THE AUCTION
Keep up to date with your favourite artists via Menzies’ art alert system. As a registered account holder on our website, you can nominate your preferred artists and receive notifications via email whenever their works are being offered at auction with Menzies. Click the button below to sign up for a 'registered user' account.
All works featured in Menzies’ auctions are listed in our printed and online catalogues. Catalogue entries include descriptive information for each lot, as well as an auction estimate which reflects the opinion of our specialists as to the price expected for the lot at auction. Auction estimates are based on prices recently paid at auction for comparable works and take into account condition, rarity, quality and provenance. Estimates, unless otherwise stated, are in Australian dollars, are inclusive of GST and do not include the buyer’s premium.
The reserve is the minimum price the vendor is willing to accept and below which a lot will not be sold. This amount is confidential and will not exceed the low estimate.
Buyers are reminded that the purchase price will be the sum of the hammer price and the buyer’s premium. The buyer’s premium is 25% (GST inclusive) of the hammer price.
All works to be auctioned will usually be exhibited for several days prior to the sale at Menzies’ galleries in Melbourne and Sydney. Pre-sale viewings for all of our auctions are open to the public and free to attend. During these viewings, Menzies specialists are available to advise on the process of buying at auction and provide further information on individual lots.
Menzies is pleased to provide general reports on the condition of individual lots upon request. This service is free of charge. Please submit your request no later than 48 hours prior to the auction. You can do so via the Condition Report button below the relevant entry in our online catalogue, or by contacting Menzies directly. We remind prospective buyers that each condition report is a statement of opinion and should not be relied upon as a statement of definitive fact. Prospective buyers are advised to inspect each lot in-person to satisfy themselves as to its condition and are encouraged to consult a professional conservator for a more detailed assessment if required.
Each catalogue entry may include a history of ownership and other relevant art-historical details. Although Menzies’ specialists make every effort to ensure the accuracy of each catalogue description, prospective buyers are encouraged to conduct their own enquiries as to the provenance of each lot. The identity of a seller or previous owner may not be disclosed in our catalogue for privacy reasons, or because the previous owner’s identity is unknown.
Prospective buyers are advised to consult any saleroom notices that may be applicable. These may refer to amendments to the catalogue descriptions of individual lots, or to lots that have been withdrawn from sale. Where applicable, saleroom notices will be displayed at pre-auction viewings and announced by the auctioneer at the commencement of the auction.
Registering to Bid:
There are four ways to bid at auction with Menzies:
Bidding in the Room:
All clients intending to bid in the room are required to register for a bidding paddle by completing a Buyer Pre Registration form. This form may be submitted in advance of the auction at one of Menzies’ pre-auction viewings, or via our website. Clients registering on the evening of the sale are encouraged to arrive 20-30 minutes before the auction commences. Menzies is pleased to offer reserved seating in the saleroom for pre-registered clients. We ask that seating requests are made no less than 24 hours prior to the auction, either at the time of registration or by contacting Menzies directly.
For clients unable to attend the auction in person, Menzies offers the option of live bidding via telephone. This service is free of charge; however resources are limited and telephone bids are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each telephone bidder will be called by a Menzies staff member a few lots before the relevant work; once bidding has opened, the staff member will relay bidding activity to the client and place any bids on their behalf in the room. To register for a telephone bid, please complete a Telephone Bidding Form. This form may also be found in our online and printed catalogues, or obtained from our pre-auction viewings. Telephone bids must be submitted no later than 24 hours prior to the auction. Telephone bidders are encouraged to familiarise themselves with Menzies’ bidding increments (see below).
Absentee bids are written instructions allowing Menzies to bid on your behalf on one or more lots up to the maximum amount specified for each lot. The auctioneer will execute your absentee bid at the lowest possible price, taking into account the reserve price and other bids. There is no charge for this service. If identical absentee bids are left by two or more parties, the first bid received by Menzies will take preference. To register for an absentee bid, please complete an Absentee Bid Form. This form may also be found in our online and printed catalogues, or obtained from our pre-auction viewings.
Menzies also offers online bidding via a third-party platform, Invaluable. Clients intending to bid online will need to register directly via Invaluable. Please note that Invaluable charges a fee of 5% of the hammer price, in addition to Menzies’ buyer’s premium. Menzies accepts no responsibility for errors or technical issues encountered when using Invaluable. A live video stream and hammer results for the auction may be accessed via Invaluable free of charge.
Bidding generally opens below the estimate and advances in the following increments:
|$2,000||$5,000||by $200/ $500/ $800|
|$30,000||$50,000||by $2,000/ $5,000/ $8,000|
|$300,000||$500,000||by $20,000/ $50,000/ $80,000|
|$500,000 up||Auctioneer’s Discretion|
Occasionally the auctioneer may vary the increments during the course of the auction at his or her discretion.
All prospective buyers are encouraged to read Menzies’ full Conditions of Sale.
AFTER THE AUCTION
Auction results will be published on our website before close of business on the day following the auction. Both the hammer price and the full sale price including buyer’s premium will be listed for all works sold. Should you wish to enquire about results for individual lots, please contact Menzies directly.
If a lot does not reach its reserve price, it goes unsold and is ‘passed in’. Unsold works are generally stored on Menzies’ premises for a number of days following the auction so they may be viewed by prospective buyers. To enquire about the availability and pricing of unsold works, please contact Menzies directly.
Successful Bids & Payment:
The fall of the auctioneer’s hammer indicates the final bid. If your bid is successful, you will be notified the day after the auction and sent an invoice via email or post. Payment is due seven (7) calendar days after the auction unless Menzies has provided written approval of extended payment terms. Payment may be made by electronic funds transfer, credit card, cheque or cash (cash payments must not exceed $10,000 in value) Please note there is a 1.1% surcharge for credit card payments. If payment is made by personal cheque, the property will not be released until funds have been cleared. If you pay by electronic funds transfer and wish to collect your property on the same day, Menzies will require a detailed remittance advice from your bank. Payment by electronic funds transfer should be made to:
Menzies Art Brands Vendor Trust A/C
ANZ Banking Group Ltd. 353 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
BSB No. 013 040
Account No. 8369 13715
Please include your account code as a reference.
For queries regarding payment please contact Menzies on +61 1300 346 327
Once payment has been received, buyers may arrange for collection of artworks in person or via an authorised carrier. Please advise Menzies beforehand if a third party will be collecting an artwork on your behalf For buyers located in the city where the auction has taken place, artworks will be available for collection from 12 noon on the day following the sale. For clients located interstate and in closer proximity to Menzies’ other gallery, Menzies offers complimentary shipping to its other premises. These artworks would generally be available for collection five (5) calendar days after the sale, from 12 noon. Due to space constraints, Menzies requires that purchases are collected within seven days of payment. In the event that property remains on Menzies’ premises after this period, we reserve the right to securely store these items at the owner’s expense.
Should you be unable to collect your artwork(s) in person, Menzies would be pleased to assist with a quote for delivery with a professional art carrier. Most professional carriers also offer optional transit insurance where required. Menzies takes no responsibility for items that are lost or damaged in transit and it is the client’s responsibility to ensure the suitability of the packing, mode of transport and insurance offered by their nominated carrier. Unless agreed otherwise, all post-sale shipping (including insurance) is at the owner’s expense. To enquire about post-sale shipping of artworks, please contact us directly.
Export Licensing Regulations:
The export of certain artworks from Australia and their importation into another country may be subject to the provision of export and import licenses. It is the buyer’s responsibility to conduct their own research into the requirements for exportation and importation of artworks and, where necessary, to obtain the relevant licenses. Clients are advised to contact the Department of Communications and the Arts for further advice.
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SELLING ART WITH MENZIES
Requesting an Art Appraisal:
We are constantly seeking high-quality entries for our auctions. If you are thinking about selling a work of fine art, Menzies would be pleased to provide a free initial estimate of its auction value. Appraisal requests may be submitted via our Online Appraisal Form or by contacting one of our specialists directly. Menzies also offers appraisals in person at our Sydney and Melbourne galleries on Wednesday afternoons, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Clients are welcome to bring along their artworks at this time; there is no need to make an appointment. In some circumstances, Menzies’ specialists may be able to appraise artworks in situ at your property. Onsite appraisals are generally free of charge but a fee may be applicable depending on the scope and diversity of the collection. This appraisal fee would be fully refundable in the event that these artworks are consigned to auction with Menzies.
Consigning your Artwork:
Should a work be suitable for auction with Menzies, our specialists would advise on the proposed conditions of sale. These would include an auction estimate and reserve price for each artwork, along with any associated costs. Each consignment is subject to a seller’s commission which is calculated as a percentage of the hammer price of each artwork and is therefore payable only if the work is sold. In some instances, the consignment may include one-off fees associated with a third party – e.g. a copyright fee or resale royalty payable to the artist or their estate. These are applicable regardless of the sale outcome. Should you choose to proceed with consigning your artworks to Menzies, you will be provided with a formal consignment agreement for your signature.
In accordance with the Commonwealth Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act, 2009 Australian artists and their beneficiaries are entitled to a royalty in the event that an applicable artwork is commercially resold. The royalty equates to 5% of the hammer price of artworks sold for in excess of $1000 and only applies to artworks acquired after 9 June 2010, when the legislation came into effect. Resale royalties are only applicable to works by Australian artists under copyright (ie. artists who have been deceased for 70 years or more are exempt). To assist with determining whether a resale royalty may apply to your artwork, you may be required to complete a Resale Royalty Declaration form which will be provided at the time of consignment. The resale royalty scheme is administered by the Commonwealth Copyright Agency, and further information may be found on their website.
During the fortnight preceding the auction, you will receive a pre-sale advice form. This form provides the vendor with the option of authorising Menzies to reduce the reserve price of an artwork consigned to the sale. The vendor is under no obligation to agree to any alteration of the existing terms of their consignment agreement, but in some instances, a modest reduction to the reserve may greatly reduce the chances of an artwork going unsold.
Withdrawal of Property:
Without any prior notice to the Vendor, Menzies reserves the right to withdraw from sale the property or to have the property listed at any auction.
Within a few days of the auction taking place, you will receive an after-sale advice listing the final hammer price of each lot, or, in the event that the artwork went unsold, notification that it was ‘passed in’. Payment for lots sold will be processed approximately 35 days after the sale. Please ensure that you have advised Menzies in advance of your preferred method of payment. The final proceeds of sale will be equal to the hammer price of each lot sold, less seller’s commission and any additional costs as agreed at the time of consignment.
Should your artwork go unsold, Menzies’ specialists would advise of any post-sale offers. Menzies generally recommends that unsold works remain on our premises for several days after the auction, so that they may be viewed by any prospective buyers. After this time, unsold artworks will be available for collection provided that any outstanding fees relating to the consignment have been paid in full. For vendors located interstate and in closer proximity to Menzies’ other premises (ie. the gallery that did not host the auction), Menzies offers complimentary shipping of unsold works to that gallery. Due to space constraints, Menzies requests that vendors arrange collection of all unsold works within fourteen (14) days of the auction.