Online seller says commission is exhorbitant


Campbell's Soup Cans by Andy Warhol by Tim Pendemon

Art dealer Maureen McCarthy says her recently launched high end international art sales website Artplode has shaken up the art market by removing the need to pay commission.

“Artplode has united buyers and sellers of art who are looking for a better deal through no commission art sales,” McCarthy says. “Art is the only commodity where brokerage fees of up to 50% of the price charged and in my opinion it is exorbitant.”

It costs $60 to list an artwork for sale on Artplode. No commission is charged to buyers or sellers and listings stay on the website until the seller removes them.

McCarthy founded the platform in 2014 to give private art collectors a low cost alternative to resell art. She says artwork worth several million dollars is being traded on the site by sellers in more than 40 countries.

“It is exciting that artists and galleries as well as private collectors have enthusiastically embraced our ‘no commission’ business model and are listing high quality works for sale on Artplode”.

Galleries in the US, UK Europe are offering works by the Masters Andy Warhol, Matisse, Miro as well as brilliant emerging artists from countries as diverse as Ethiopia and Bulgaria.

Aboriginal art and works by important Australian and New Zealand artists Frances Hodgkins and Sidney Nolan are for sale on the site alongside works by emerging local artists.

McCarthy said there are few outlets for collectors to resell art, especially as in recent years many brick and mortar galleries have closed their doors due to the GFC and high costs.

Auction houses, long considered the traditional venue for selling art, charge buyers and sellers commissions upwards of 40% and set reserves that may be well below the sellers expectations.

According to McCarthy many in the art market, particularly art collectors, are waking up to the fact that the high commissions charged to buy and resell art are unsustainable and unjustified in an era when nearly everyone has access to the internet.

She adds that artists have told her they feel that that showcasing their art alongside works by collectible artists such as Warhol on Artplode attracts a larger international audience to their work.

Warhol’s famous Marilyn 26, at $126,000, is one of the priciest works for sale on the site.

A key feature of the website is that sellers engage directly with potential buyers, answering questions about listings and arranging payment and shipping of the works themselves.



Picture credit: Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol by Tim Pendemon, cropped and reproduced on Creative Commons license.