How to Sell


Gardner Galleries works closely with estate executors and family members to provide the highest level of professional service in the dispersal of estate chattels, from a single item to an entire household.  Gardner's also accept items including downsizing, family division and disposal of collections in almost all fields of interest.  We have accredited members of the CAPPA (The Canadian Association of Personal Property Appraisers) on staff for conducting certified appraisals of Canadian and international fine art, antiques, jewellery, furniture, silver, books, porcelain and more.  Our knowledge is based on 96 years of experience in the auction industry, today conducting over 120 auctions a year with 50,000 unique lots sold annually.  We are the preferred choice for most trust companies and estate solicitors throughout Southwestern Ontario for both auction and appraisal services.

We strive to obtain the best results for consignors, offering different auction formats to expose items for sale to the largest and most appropriate audience.  Gardner's is transiting in 2019 almost totally to online auctions, as they have proven to reach the largest number of prospective bidders with proven results.  Online auctions will feature specialized offerings (fine art, jewellery, silver, books, coins, rugs, furniture, unique collections, etc.) together with online auctions of general estate furnishings (occasional furniture, antiques, rugs, lamps, china, curios, etc.).  In some cases an online onsite auction or live auction will be the preferred method, always bearing in mind what is best for both consignors and purchasers.

All auctions are promoted on our website for several weeks prior to the auction start date with photographs and detailed listings, a weekly online newsletter with over 18,000 subscribers, advertised on social media (Facebook, Instagram) and other media such as the London Free Press. 

A recent sale showcased how our firm makes every effort to achieve results for clients.  Grant Gardner found a book hidden in the back of a closet for an estate with no immediate family and after weeks of research realized that the market for the book was perhaps two to five prospective buyers in Australia.  By skillful marketing and promotion he sold the book for $1,800,000.00 plus premium, instead of a few hundred dollars if it had only been promoted locally.

Acceptance of Items 

For estates or most of the contents of a home in London and surrounding area, free visits to the residence can be arranged for a general overview and estimate of total value.  If located outside of the greater London area, we may require photographs of household contents prior to sending a representative. 

Photographs of items are acceptable for the purpose of free pre-sale estimates - send to  If you wish to send photographs by text message, please contact our office for instructions.  Auction estimates are also provided in person by appointment at our galleries, 407 Hamilton Road in London.  Prospective consignors are encouraged to have a Gardner's representative give an idea of value, as our knowledge of the auction market can provide insight on what results may be expected and if the items will be accepted for auction. 

If a written appraisal from your home or business is required, the fee is based on a competitive hourly rate.  Appraisals are conducted for probate, insurance and fair market value by accredited personal property appraisers.  Refer to our appraisal page for more information (  

Unfortunately, Gardner's will no longer accept small consignments with a total value of less than $500.00.  Also, we will not accept any leftover items that have been offered by private sale or online platforms such as Kijiji.  Gardner's knowledge of value, as with any fine art and estate auction firm, would not be relevant if dealing with items from amateur sellers.

Pickup and Delivery

Once items have been approved for auction, business hours for receiving consignments are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm or by special appointment.  The loading area is located directly behind our building off Rectory Street and there is always staff available to assist in moving heavier items such as furniture.  

As part of our goal to provide exceptional customer service throughout the entire auction process, we can provide our own staff and moving van for shipment of items starting at $100.00/hour.  We also work with local cartage agents who can assist with the moving of large estates and households to our premises.  

Commission Rates and Reserves

Commission rates include everything except cartage.  Unlike many other auction houses there is no extra charge for photography, insurance, internet listing, cataloguing and advertising.  All items are insured when on our premises.  

Commission rates are dependent on the quality and quantity of goods to be consigned.  The standard selling rate is 25%; in cases where the overall quality is above average may result in a lower rate and when of low quality a higher rate or refusal of the consignment.  Our current minimum consignment value is $500.00.  

Gardner Galleries rarely accept reserves.  In some cases, the auctioneers will agree to a reserve or minimum to protect a very valuable item such as an important painting.  The reserve price will always be less than our pre-auction estimate.  If the item does not sell, a cataloging charge of $25.00 per lot applies.  Reserves are never accepted on furniture, pianos and items with an estimated value of less than $1,000.00.  However, Gardner's do use discretion as most responsible auction houses do in handling consigned goods.  As an example, if an item is valued at $300.00, it will not be sold for $50.00.   


Payment is processed 14 to 28 days following the auction.  Consignors will also receive a detailed computerized printout of the results with an itemized list of every lot sold.

Gardner Galleries is the only auction firm in the London metropolitan area dealing exclusively with art, antiques and estate furnishings, recently handling sales for TD Canada Trust, Scotia Trust, BMO Trust, Public Guardian & Trustee, Oak Trust, Royal Trust, MD Trust and many others.