Information for Sellers

If you have property you wish to sell (single item or collection) please contact our office to arrange for a consultation.

As well as assisting individual clients and private collectors, Shapiro Auctioneers conduct insurance and market valuations for a broad range of clients including museums, corporations, fiduciaries and government agencies. We have successfully assisted in the management and dispersal of both large and small estates in the areas of fine art, antiques, collectables and house contents.

Please read the following guide together with our standard Conditions of Business (PDF) (125 Kb). The Conditions of Business takes precedence in the event of an inconsistency.

If you have any questions or to arrange for a consultation, please contact Client Services on +61 (02) 9326 1588.


The first step in the auction process is to determine the auction value of your property.

We can conduct this process with you by appointment in our gallery or in situ.To arrange for an appointment please contact our office on +61 (02) 9326 1588 or email info@shapiro.com.au.

You may also send in photographs of the items you wish to consign for appropriate evaluation.

Please note that this service is for consignment only (see below).

Clear photographs of each individual item, including dimensions and other pertinent information (e.g. how you came to acquire the object, origin or date of object if known and any other information attached to the object) is required. Please send your images to info@shapiro.com.au and provide a contact name and telephone number. Please limit images to not more than 5 of each item.

Insurance appraisals, used for insurance purposes, reflect the cost of replacing property in today’s retail market. Fair market value appraisals are used for estate, tax, and family division purposes and reflect prices paid by a willing buyer to a willing seller. An auction estimate reflects our expert opinion as to what amount an individual item may be expected to sell for in a specific sale on a specific date. This estimate, expressed in a low/high range of dollar amounts, is reached after the specialist compares prices realised for similar items in recent auctions and other sales venues. Other factors that guide the setting of estimates include the condition, rarity, provenance and market potential of the item.

Estimates are not guarantees that the object will sell within the published range, but are intended to provide general guidelines for buyers and sellers and to stimulate competitive bidding.

The fair market value appraisal reflects the value of an object given the current auction market. An insurance appraisal reflects the cost to replace an object in the current retail market.

Fees for formal written valuations are based on hourly rates for specialists and travel where applicable.

Consigning to Auction

Based on appraisal, we will assist you in deciding whether your property is appropriate for sale at auction. If you decide to proceed, you will sign a contract with Shapiro Auctioneers and we will consign the property for cataloguing and photography. We will also recommend an appropriate sale in which to include your items.

Marketing and Promotion

Once you consign your property to Shapiro Auctioneers, we will begin marketing your single item or collection to potential buyers. After cataloguing we will include your lot(s) in our online catalogue. Depending on our arrangement, your property will then be professionally photographed. Our marketing and promotion of our auctions include direct mail, advertising, online promotion, special events and public preview. Our e-campaign alone goes out to a continually growing subscription base of over 8,000 members.

Commissions and Fees

Commission charges are only charged on items that we have sold. Other charges are only billed once and are charged irrespective of sale outcome. Un-sold items can be re-offered at a reduced fee.

Our standard commission rates are as follows:

(All Exclusive of GST)

Commission is charged at 20% for single items valued at A$10,000 or less

Commission is charged at 15% for single items valued over A$10,000

Insurance (mandatory) is charged at 1.5%

Photography is charged at a flat rate of $50 per item

Viscopy (Art only) if applicable is charged at $50 per artwork

Resale Royalty

As from the 9th June, 2010, The Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act 2009 (Cwth) (‘the Act’) will apply to the commercial resale of Artwork. Shapiro will rely on information supplied by the Seller and Copyright Agency Limited (‘CAL’) to determine whether Resale Royalty Rights (‘Artists’ Resale Royalty’) are applicable. Buyers and Sellers must inform themselves of the provisions of the Act and take professional advice if necessary on its application to a sale and purchase governed by the Conditions of Sale which appear in this catalogue. Where the lot is considered to be subject to the provisions of the Act, the Seller will be notified by Shapiro and / or CAL, and then be responsible to pay the Artists’ Resale Royalty as defined. For more information on the criteria under which the Royalty Scheme applies please visit www.resaleroyalty.org.au.

Commission rates and applicable fees will be fully outlined on your consignment contract which you will have the opportunity to read and sign. The consignment contract will also list the initial guide estimates and reserves for each item. You will receive a hard-copy of the contract along with the Vendor Consignment Instructions (PDF) (883 Kb) upon consigning your items.

Estimates and Reserves

For each of your items, you will work with our specialists to set a minimum price, or reserve, below which your objects will not be sold. This reserve price will be held in strictest confidence. If bidding ceases before your reserve price has been met, the lot will be bought-in, or passed, by the auctioneer and you may have the property returned to you or you may choose to re-offer it in a future auction.

Vendor Pre-Sale Advices

Approximately two (2) weeks prior to the sale you will receive a Vendor Pre-Sale report confirming the estimates and reserves of each item together with applicable fees. Upon receipt of this advice you will have an opportunity to adjust your reserve price or any other details in consultation with Shapiro Auctioneers.

Vendor After-Sale Advices and Payments

You will receive payment for your property approximately within 35 days after the completion of auction. Sales commissions vary based on the hammer price of your property and are netted from gross proceeds.

Shortly after the auction, you will receive a listing of the final hammer price for each item you consigned. We will send payment within 35 days from the day of the auction provided we are in receipt of the buyer’s payment. Commission and any other expenses, fees and charges as agreed in the contract will be deducted from your payment.

If your item does not sell at auction we contact you to ask if you would like to have your property returned to you or if you would like to re-offer it in an upcoming auction.

If in consultation with Shapiro Auctioneers a decision is made to re-offer your property, the estimates and/or reserves will be revised.

For more information, please contact client services at +61 (02) 9326 1588.

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