How to Consign Art For Auction
Consigning artwork with an auction house for the first time can seem a bit daunting.
At 500 Gallery we like to keep the process of consigning your artwork with us as straightforward as possible.
The first step is to submit your artwork for valuation. This can be done by appointment with one of our specialists, online, or via text. (Please note, we do not accept consignments from artists.)
When submitting a consignment, we ask that you provide as much information as possible about your item. This includes the following: medium (e.g., oil painting, watercolor, drawing etc.), artist/maker, title, when the artwork was created, and the dimensions. Please also include the history of ownership (provenance), literature or any price history which you have.
If submitting inquiries via text or online please include several detail images taken in a well-lit room, ideally with as much natural light as possible.
With the information you have provided, one of our experts will compare your artwork to similar items recently sold at auction to determine accurate valuations. We will consider important aspects including the artist or maker, country of origin, date of execution, materials used, dimensions, rarity, subject matter or type, color and apparent condition. We will respond as quickly as possible, but the process may take up to 7 business days.
Once our auction house elects to accept your work for a sale, our auctioneer will explain the seller’s agreement and the structure used to determine 500 Gallery’s commission.
The Seller’s agreement refers to the contractual terms of the consignment. This covers everything from what happens if property is lost or damaged, who is responsible for shipping costs, and the vendor’s commission, which is a percentage of the sale which the auction house will take upon completion of a successful sale.
500 Gallery uses a sliding scale to determine the vendor’s commission. Typically, the higher the value, the lower the commission percentage.
Our auctioneer will also discuss a “reserve price,” which is the lowest price you, the seller, would accept for the work. If bidding does not rise above the reserve price, the work will not sell.
The Seller’s Agreement also mentions the payout timeframe. We send proceeds within 30 business days of receiving payment from the successful bidder.
The last step in consigning is getting your artwork to our auction house. Items can be delivered in person by appointment.
We offer local (75-mile radius) pickup service for large pieces or collections. Most of our long-distance consignors choose to have their items shipped via a local trusted delivery service, usually a UPS or FedEx Store. For larger, fragile, and more valuable works we are happy to refer you to a white glove, door to door moving company which serves your area.
Once your artwork arrives at our gallery, one of our specialists will write a catalogue entry and take photos that will be used in the lot description of your item. Your artwork will usually be offered for auction within the next 30 business days and we will continue to be present it in subsequent auctions until it is sold.
You may use the form on this page to start the consignment process, or email directly to info@500Gallery.com.
“For years I accumulated artwork with a white-hot passion. As I sought to refine and downsize my collection, I wanted to be aligned with responsive people whom I could trust. I found that team here!”
–Jeff M., Charlotte, N.C.
“As a consignor I find 500 Gallery to be very professional, courteous with ten star communication. Payments are paid out on time every time. I would absolutely recommend 500 Gallery to anyone thinking of consigning.”
–Private collector, U.K.
“I have enjoyed dealing with 500 Gallery. Super helpful and knowledgeable. They do a great job!
I am glad that I found them few years ago. A perfect experience from start to finish!
As a consignor I am so pleased with the results.
Excellent communication with the auction house. They answer questions with prompt responses. Quick efficient professional and friendly.
Always a pleasure doing business!”
–Private collector, Europe
“I’ve been consigning with 500 Gallery for several years, my overall experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I feel a sense of camaraderie in the passion for art. Every aspect of the business is mindful, the team has always handled my property with professional care and respect. I know their interest is to get market value for the art that is represented, and has never failed. I’ve always been paid in a timely manner. I look forward to doing business many years to come.”
–Private collector, Chicago.
“I have been consigning with 500 Gallery for years. They are the best auction house out there. I have tried them all. Bruce is the most honest and trusting auctioneer I have ever met and the kindest. Emails are answered within an hour. Super fast payment. Where other auction houses take months to pay you, they send you payment just after two weeks of end of auction if not sooner. The only auction house I will consign to. Consigning with them gives you a peace of mind, which is priceless.”
–Private collector, New York