Auctioning Photography

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Bob Carnie, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    This is a subject I rarely see on the two forums I frequent.

    I am trying to find a local (Toronto) auctioneer service that I can use to sell over 48 images I have been working on over the last year and half.

    I have talked to some very good sources, but in all cases nobody wants to take the job as its a NOT for Charity event.

    Does anyone have insight into this, I need to have the auctioneer in Toronto, as I have a great space, and I am hoping to have a ONLINE element to this event.

    any comments welcome

    Bob
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi bob

    here where i live auctioneers get the same licensing as real estate brokers.
    i only know this for working for an auctioneer in the 1980s at a time
    when businesses were being auctioned off due to bankruptcy &c. im not sure
    if Toronto has a similar licensing board but it might be worth finding out from local officials
    and they might have a list of local auctioneers and their area of expertise. art appraisers might
    also have specifics too ...

    i'm guessing you already rolled over those stones and they weren't much help ...

    good luck with your venture !
    john
     
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    Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Thanks John

    yes I have done some research with the main players here, and it seems a Charity always needs to be attached.. but I am now looking at other angles as home auctions and such
    are not Charity based

    Bob
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Other than the big auction houses Sotheby's, Bonhams etc I don't know of anyone auctioning photographs other than on EBay which is not what you are after.

    There's software (some free) available to set up your own auctions. There's not really sites that I've seen selling photographs except low end. I know someone on here was starting something up in the UK a few years ago but that petered out. George Gastreano was involved in a US/International group that folded mainly due to a couple of weak links (as in much poorer work than the rest).

    There is a need for something, whether auctioning is the best way I'm not sure as that could mean selling at less than you realistically want if there's no competition. People will pay much more at a charity auction.

    Ian
     
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    Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I am the Charity in this case... poor printer... I am trying to sort this out as I have quite a few clients that would like to participate in something like this, I am actually quite surprised nobody is doing this already .
     
  6. Luckless

    Luckless Member

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    Well, maybe you're raising money for "The Society for the preservation of photographic fine arts processes in the Toronto Area" in that case?

    But really if you're having trouble finding art auctions who want to host your work, then maybe this might be a service that needs to be created in your area? If you have clients who would be interested in pushing their work through something like this, and if you can find buyers who are interested in showing up to bid, then maybe you need to get a group together to host a decent sized formal auction on a regular basis?
     
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    Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Pretty much where I think I am going with all of this.
     
  8. Richard.L

    Richard.L Member

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    auction

    the places you've probably tried:
    heffel
    waddington

    consignor.ca
    ------------
    standard online places (you may not have tried):

    invaluable
    paddle8 <--
    artsy auctions
     
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    Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Thanks not looking for online places... and all the main players have charity auctions, or take consigment for sale and that is not what I have.

    What I have is 50 final pieces signed by the photographers of famous Musicians and Actors.. quite desirable for the right crowd.
    I have a very interesting space lined up for a weekend,
    as well a few of the photographers will come to Toronto to do Lecture or Workshops along side the evening where we want to sell.

    this project has taken the better part of two years to produce , all the prints are quite unique , we have not released the marketing of this but word of
    mouth already indicates a packed house.

    I just need the right person talking to the crowd...I have used Bonhams before for Charity events but they cannot do this one .
     
  10. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    What if you do a "silent" auction where each piece has a bid list and bidders add their name on the list with their bid? In the similar auctions I am familiar with here, no licensed auctioneer is involved. In one case I know of the entire event occurs in one evening, with the other it's spread out over a month, and includes an on-line bid-taking option.
    I have no idea how that would fit in your legal framework though.
     
  11. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    For the life of me I can''t imagine why it would matter to an auctioneer if the auction was commercial or charity. Doesn't he just yodel off the prices, keep things moving, and take a cut? I must not live in the real world and so am missing something obvious.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There may be regulations covering auctions in Canada, there are in the U.K. These regulations include premises being licensed, Distance Selling Regulations - online or mail order sales including auction where the buyer isn't present etc. Charity fundraising auctions are exempt but you'd need to be a registered charity.

    There may well be ways around this, there are small auctions of furniture etc in most towns and cities. I know who to ask in my local area but that's no help to Bob.

    Ian
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017