HOW TO SELL
Gardner Galleries work closely with estate executors, family members, business owners and the general public 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 from downsizing and the disposal of collections in almost all fields of interest.
Items are sold on consignment and we strive to obtain the best results, using the online auction format to expose items for sale to the largest and most appropriate audience. Gardner's is transiting in 2019 to all online auctions, as they reach the largest number of prospective bidders with proven results. Weekly online auctions feature specialized offerings (fine art, jewellery, coins, silver, books, toys and unique collections) and estate furnishings (antique and modern furniture, rugs, lighting, crystal, bronzes, china and porcelain). In some cases an online onsite auction will be the preferred method, always bearing in mind what is best for both consignors and purchasers. Items offered online onsite are listed, photographed and sold from your home with specified viewing and pick-up days.
We have accredited members of CPA (Canadian Professional Appraisers) on staff for conducting certified appraisals. Our knowledge is based on nearly 100 years of experience in the auction industry, today conducting over 140 auctions per year with 50,000 lots sold annually. We are the preferred choice for most trust companies and estate solicitors throughout Southwestern Ontario for both auction and appraisal services, recently handling sales for TD Canada Trust, Royal Trust, Scotia Trust, BMO Trust, Oak Trust, MD Managment Limited and the Public Guardian & Trustee.
Acceptance of Items
Photographs of items are acceptable for the purpose of pre-auction estimates and whether the items are suitable for auction - email images to firstname.lastname@example.org. A representative will contact you within 48 hours once photographs are received. If you wish to send photographs by text, please contact our office for instructions. 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 require photographs of household contents prior to sending a representative.
Free auction estimates are also provided in person by making an appointment with one of our appraisers. Prospective consignors are encouraged to have a 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. Unfortunately, Gardner's can no longer accept small consignments with a total value of less than $1,000.00. Also, we will not accept any leftover items that have been offered via private sale and online platforms such as Kijiji.
Once items have been approved and listed for auction, they will be promoted on our website for several weeks prior to the auction start date with photographs and detailed listings, a weekly online newsletter with over 10,000 subscribers, viewing days in person at our gallery, social media (Facebook, Instagram) and in some cases other media such as the London Free Press. For highly unique items, we will reach out to collectors or institutions to inform them of the upcoming auction which may be of special interest.
A major sale showcased how our firm makes every effort to achieve the best 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 in both Australia and the U.K. and promotion on our website for several weeks in advance, the Captain James Wallis book was sold for $1,800,000.00 plus buyer's premium instead of a few hundred dollars if it had only been promoted locally.
Commission Rates & Reserves
Our selling commission includes 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%; 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 $1000.00.
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 low estimate. If the item does not sell, a cataloguing 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 will use discretion as most responsible auction houses do in handling consigned goods. As an example, if an item has a pre-auction estimate of $500.00, it will have a higher starting bid and will not be sold for $50.00.
Consignment Drop-off and Moving Services
Once items have been approved for auction, business hours for receiving consignments are by appointment on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm. The loading area is located directly behind our building at 407 Hamilton Road in London, with easy access off Rectory Street. There is always staff available to assist in moving heavier items such as furniture. A consignment contract listing your items will be presented to you at this time, which you will be asked to sign and date.
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 + HST. We also work with local cartage agents who can assist with the moving of large estates and households to our premises. Once items have been approved for auction and cartage has been agreed between the consignor and Gardner Galleries, contact our office to arrange this service.
Items delivered to Gardner Galleries are processed by our staff, who will label every item with its own consignment tag and safely move into our storage warehouse prior to the auction. All items are fully insured when on our premises.
Payment is processed by cheque 14 to 28 days following the auction. Consignors will receive a detailed computerized printout of the results, including an itemized list of every lot sold.