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G. B. Tate & Sons
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE : For two authoritative and objective articles on
using the services of galleries and dealers vs. auction houses... click HERE

Is it better to sell through an Art Dealer or by Auction?

We believe by a professional experienced art dealer, just like us... Here's Why...

1.  Personal Service:  we communcate quickly and directly to your inquiries, with a personal touch.

2.  Quicker Sales:  We have ready buyers for many specific artists and a art styles in the area of American and European works of art.  If we are able to sell your artworks for you, we can usually have money for you within thirty days.  If we are not able to sell for you, we will not tie you up with a long term obligation.

3.  Smaller commissions:  We have NO hidden costs or add-ons.  We pay all the expenses of creating a sale for you, usually for a commission rate of only 20% of the sale (see the seperate topic on auction commissions referred to above... click HERE).

4.  Experience:  We have conducted business since 1967... building relationships and developing a wide range of buyers for many artists and art styles.  We have extensive experience in our areas of experise.

How do I tell the difference between a reproduction and an original?

We have a separate dialog on this topic, with images... go to see it HERE

Do you buy works of art outright?

Yes. We often purchase works of art for resale. If you desire for us to purchase property from you, we simply ask that you submit a description with images and an asking price. We have a long standing policy, that we do not make random offers on property offered to us. If you will give us your asking price, we will get back to you immediately with an answer. Initial inquiries can be made quickly and easily through our Trading Post.

Do you consign property to place for auction?.. and what is the benefit?

Yes. We have developed a system to present your property and create sales for you. The benefit to you of consigning property rather than sell outright is that you will, in most cases, receive higher net proceeds. Since we are working on a commission basis, the more money we get for you, the more money we receive in commissions... a win-win situation for us both.

Is there a cost for me to consign my property to you?

No. Your only expense in allowing us to sell your property for you is the cost of sending it to us and return, in the unlikely event that we cannot sell it.  We charge a commission only if we sell your items (see below).

What is the "right price" for my items?

This is a very common question. Books and inventory lists do not always tell the whole story about price and value. Markets fluctuate regularly, as do the circumstances surrounding each sale. One should be careful not to assess too much significance to occasional isolated high and/or low prices in the marketplace... but rather consider the steady averages art brings in the marketplace, where real value is determined over time. Superstar status seldom lasts very long, and skyrocketing prices should only serve as warnings to the buyer: be careful not to fall under the spell of marketing hype.

We often receive inquiries from people who have purchased from a gallery and then desire to sell by auction. There is a natural conflict in such scenarios... seller ideologies vs. public acceptance. More often than not, auctions will not obtain "retail" prices, and if you purchased your item from a gallery recently, the odds are against you that you can recoup your investment at auction

The difference between a true collector and a dealer is growing smaller every day... the result of widespread availability and instant access to price information in this electronic age... and savvy collectors are well aware of value in their areas of interest. Accordingly, our buyers are actively using our services, because we are diligently researcing today's markets, and sell artwork commensurate with our findings.

The solution we have developed over time, is simply good service... conduct thorough research in the current markets, and offer counsel to both buyer and seller to what is true value , and let your decisions be based on good current information. Rather than attempting to purchase your goods at deep discounts in order to insure profits, we usually put our buyers and sellers together for a modest fee. The result is that sellers receive a fair price for their goods, and buyers receive an honest value for their money... a win-win for everyone concerned.

Christies or Sothebys will sell for 10% commission, why not use them?

Most people don't know that you are the one who will pay the big auction houses, whether or not they sell your goods. They may sell an item for 10% commission, but you will also pay for photography, insurance and other add-ons, which will come out of your net proceeds, driving up your "commission" costs to 25 - 30% or more. Furthermore, if your item doesn't sell, you will pay the photography, insurance, packing and shipping to get it back, or you won't get it back at all. The big auction houses regularly over-estimate the value of goods, in competition to get it "in the door". Once in, they will make money on your goods, whether sold or not... and you are the one who will pay.

We pay ALL the expenses of our service out of our commissions. There will be no add-ons or extras, and the only expense you will incur is the cost of getting your items to us... and the actual shipping costs of getting it back, in the unlikely event that it does not sell.

You can read two articles concerning this issue, written by FADA (Fine Art Dealers Association) and one of their members... just click HERE

Do you have a decent track record of sales?

Since we began working on the internet in 1997, our success ratio of sales to property presented has averaged approximately 82%. We will not waste your time or ours by asking for property we don't feel we can sell. We have worked for nearly four decades with major collections, galleries and auction houses, including Christie's and Sotheby's in New York, Skinner in Boston and other auction facilities around the country and overseas... long before there were electronic means to facilitate instant global business. You can view an archive of property sold at the bottom of our Auction Sales Service page.

Why is your service better than me posting my own property on eBay myself?

We do occasionally use eBay for specific kinds of items, using a reciprocal relationship with them, that we have developed since 1997. Simply put, we have developed and excellent and accurate system for making presentations for works of art. Buyers as a whole, feel more confident purchasing items from an experienced company, that knows the business and will stand behind every word of their presentations... as opposed to someone who has just pulled an item from the attic, and is making unsubstantiated claims. Our staff specializes in writing complete, informative and interesting narratives, as well as taking quality images to present them online. Our conscientious effort and experience virtually guarantee the highest prices possible.

Do you offer appraisal services?

Yes. We have been doing appraisal work for home, business and insurance companies for over thirty years. However, there is one caveat... that we cannot serve you best by first appraising your property, and then trying to purchase it, as this creates a conflict of interest. We do offer our appraisal services prior to consignment of a work of art for auction or private sale. The appraisal must be a separate transaction from the consignment. Nonetheless, your fees will be reimbursed to you from our commission, if you wish to consign the items to us for sale. If you wish to obtain an appraisal for your items, you can make initial inquiry by going to our Appraisal Services Page.

What are your commissions and other related fees?

In working with artists, we offer promotion and sales service combined that go beyond normal gallery services... we do this on a commission basis, with no fees charged up front. We endeavor to create new and expanding markets for artists, in return for a 40% commission. In addition, from our commission we pay all expenses associated with every sale... that is: research, writing, generating images, making presentations, promotion and advertising, internet work, etc... as well as we pay all the fees and commissions charged by any associate services we may use... such as Sotheby's or eBay's online services. If your artwork does not sell, we pay the fees regardless, at no expense to the artist.

On recognized estate property, we charge a commission rate of 30% on the first thousand, and 20% over that, of actual completed sales... In addition, from our commission we pay all expenses associated with every sale... that is: research, writing, generating images, making presentations, promotion and advertising, internet work, etc... as well as we pay all the fees and commissions charged by any associate services we may use. If the items do not sell, we pay the fees regardless, at no expense to you.

Note:  In transactions where we hold funds in trust, there is a small fee to cover our administration, attorney fees and other related expenses... not to exceed 1% of the sale amount or $100, whichever is greater.

Can I set a minimum sale price for my property offered at auction?

Yes. The minimum bid at auction is called the reserve. We generally do not use a reserve system (with minimums set higher than our opening bids) with our auctions... however, we do establish minimum auction starting prices, in agreement with consignors. The same applies to private sales... we offer our counsel regarding the setting of proper values on your property. However the last word belongs to you, and you have ultimate control over the minimum prices we can accept.

Can you sell my property privately, instead of by auction?

Yes. Discreet private sales are our preferred way of selling your works of art. Over the years, we have established relationships with customers, both corporate and private, for all different types of goods, and we often negotiate private sales through our network of contacts.

Who pays the fees and commissions of other services you use, like eBay?

When we do occasionally use eBay, we pay all the fees associated with such a sale, including the listing fees and commissions charged by eBay. If your items do not sell, we pay the fees regardless, at no additional expense to you.

Can you simply help me sell my own property on eBay?

Yes. We offer technical counsel and other valuable information and tools necessary to make the most effective presentations on eBay. We do this on a simple fee basis, giving you the tools needed, so you can generate your own presentations and make your own independent sales. Once the service has been completed, you can use the information and techniques ongoing to make your own sales, without further obligation to us.

Can I get our agreement in writing?

Yes. We have a "plain English" contract that we have used for many years that serves to protect both you and us. We always offer a copy of our contract for you to review, prior to finalizing any agreement to sell your property. In addition, we can do a contract by email, the electronic loop to and from us making a completed circuit and a valid contract.

Physical Information: If you are shipping your property to us, please do so to:

G. B. Tate
414 South 19th St.
Laramie, WY  82070

You may reach us by telephone at: (307) 399-3316
Or by email to:: gbt@gbtate.com
Or right online through our Trading Post

Shipping and handling. Buyers normally pay for shipping prior to delivery according to estimation for U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail or FedEx for all items purchased from us. We also ship internationally to any location in the world, by Global Priority Mail or FedEx (insurance and customs declarations at the discretion of the buyer). Any item shipped without insurance is only done so at the request of the buyer, and by so requesting, the buyer assumes full responsibility for damage or loss.

Sales Tax. Residents of Wyoming are required to pay a 6% sales tax added to the purchase price, unless you can provide us with a valid resale number.

Payment. Payments for items purchased can be made by  PayPal, bank wire transfer or we are happy to accept your personal check or money order, made payable to
**G. B. TATE**, and mail to:

G. B. Tate
414 South 19th St.
Laramie, WY  82070