FAQ: Selling

How do I sell something through your auctions?

A step by step explanation of the auction process can be found in How to Consign, as well as in the video below. We welcome you to contact us through the online Request an Auction Estimate form or directly at 713-524-6751 or info@simpsongalleries.com.
Ray Simpson, President & CEO of Simpson Galleries, explains how to have your art, antiques and collectibles evaluated and consigned to sell through auction.

What type of property do you accept for your auctions?

Simpson's includes a wide variety of material in all of our auctions and we have the ability to sell all levels of property. However, we are seeking high quality fine art, decorative art, antiques, collectibles, furniture, design, silver, jewelry and watches that generally sell for $1,000 and more.

How do you determine the auction estimates?

Our specialists will assess your items in comparison to other similar pieces that have sold through auction recently to determine a range of values that we would expect to see them sell for at auction. The auction estimate is often a bit conservative as we want it to be attractive to potential bidders. The more bidders we get for your items, the higher the final sale price will be!

Will you come see my collection?

We are always willing to travel to visit with you and see your collection in person. We receive consignments from clients from around the country. Contact us to discuss how we can be of assistance.

Can a set a minimum price for my items?

Most everything we offer for sale at auction has a protective “reserve” price, which is the lowest price for which the piece could possibly sell. The reserve is mutually agreed upon during the consignment process. We have found that establishing a reserve at 60% of the low end auction estimate allows for much bidder involvement and ultimately sees the highest possible final sale price.

What does it cost to sell through your auctions?

Simpson's retains a percentage of the sale price of each lot, which is called the seller's fee or commission. Depending on the overall value, types of items, number of items and other various circumstances, we will establish a set seller's commission for your consignment. Simpson's makes it very simple by charging no other fees other than the seller's commission. The only other potential cost is the delivery expense to get the property to our facilities in Houston.

When do you hold your auctions?

Simpson's signature Fine Art and Antiques Auction is a one or two day event and is held three to four times each year - usually in February, May, September and December. Our subsidiary, Houston Auction Company, holds auctions multiple times each year, but these auctions are generally for property under $1,000 and only allow online bidding.

What is the deadline to have items included in an upcoming auction?

In order to allow for cataloging, photography and marketing, the deadline to physically have property at Simpson's for an auction is normally about 6-8 weeks prior to the auction date. If you are too late for the next appropriate auction - there will be another within a few months.

In which auction will my items be included?

Based on the auction schedule, type and value of your items, we will determine whether they will be included in our signature Simpson Galleries auctions or our online-only Houston Auction Company auctions.

How do people bid on my items in your auctions?

Simpson's enjoys a crowded auction saleroom with lots of active bidding and we also have telephone and internet bids (on multiple online bidding platforms) from buyers around the world.

What if my items don't sell during the auction?

If the reserve price is not met through the bidding at the auction, then the lot goes unsold or "passed". You can either have it returned to you or we can re-offer it in a later auction with a reduced auction estimate and reserve. There are normally no fees for unsold lots.

When do I get paid?

Settlement is sent by check or wire about 30 days after the auction for all completed sales and includes a detailed invoice noting the sale prices and applicable fees.