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How To Consign
If you are thinking about selling at Rago’s, we thank you. Our auction estimates are free of charge. Our experts can make initial valuations either through photographs and descriptions or by seeing your property at the auction house or on site. Sending us photos and descriptions is a great way to start. (Don’t worry too much about the quality of the photos. And if the collection is large, feel free to send a few representative pictures. We do not return photos.) Include dimensions, if you can, and any available information about signatures, labels, maker’s mark, medium, or physical condition. If you are interested in discussing private sale, please note that, as well.
E-mail your photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Rago's server does not have a maximum size for emails and photos. However, your service provider probably does limit file sizes. That means if you send us a photo/e-mail that exceeds your provider's limits, it won't reach us. Unfortunately, there is no definitive list of providers and their limits. We recommend emails (including photos in jpeg format) under 5mg.
Mail your photos to: Rago Arts and Auction Center, 333 North Main Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530
Or call us: 609-397-9374
The Consignment Agreement: Rago’s responds to all inquiries. If we agree that one of our auctions would be the right place to sell your property, we will formalize the details in a contract known as the Consignor Agreement, which is signed by you and Rago’s. We hold specialty and general auctions year round and will recommend one to you as the auction where we believe your property will sell best.
Commissions and fees: A prospective seller’s first question is often about commission -- the percentage of the selling price that the auction house retains as its fee. Our commission rate is based on both the size of your consignment and its rarity. Rago’s is always competitive with other auction houses and we believe you’ll find our standards of service, representation and promotion superior. Unlike some other houses, our commission is all-inclusive. We do not offer a low seller’s commission and then inflate it with undisclosed surcharges for insurance, marketing or photography. Nor do we charge you a fee for bringing your property to market if it doesn’t sell, as many auction houses do. (This is called a buy-in fee.) If you are speaking with other auction houses, please make sure you ask them about all these fees before deciding where to sell.
Pre-sale Estimates: The estimates we provide reflect our opinion of the price that will attract the most bidders and fetch you the best price. It can’t be so low as to be silly. But it definitely can’t be too high or the number of bidders will be limited to few or none. It is based, where possible, on prices paid for comparable items sold in the past. The actual selling price will always depend on the number of interested bidders and how determined the last two bidders are to own your property.
Reserves: Rago’s will gladly discuss placing reserves on your high-value property. Reserves are usually 20-25% below the low estimate and never above.
Getting Your Property from Your House to Ours: Most auction houses leave all shipping arrangements to the sellers. Rago’s is glad to help you, should you choose, and for less than any specialist shippers. We do not make a profit; we simply pass on the costs. Note: We must have your property early enough to catalogue it, photograph it and market it correctly - usually at least one month prior to sale.
Protection of Your Property: If you ship through us, your property is fully insured from the moment it leaves your hands. (If you choose to ship by another means, we urge you to get full coverage for the trip.) Our property insurance, on the road and at the auction house, is with Excelsior Insurance Company, a member of the Liberty Mutual Family. It has an A rating in the A.M. Best Guide, the independent, industry arbiter that rates the financial condition of insurance companies.
Marketing Your Property: Rago’s excels at marketing. We develop a strategic plan that includes online auction catalogues available to an international audiences of two million visitors to our own site, Artnet, Artfact, Auctionzip and Live Auctioneers, as well asprint media (local, national and international); online advertising; promotional mailings to qualified buyers in print and by e-mail (from a database of over 30,000); targeted e-mails to specific buyers; public relations, previews and full-color print catalogues.
For Your Records: You get a contract, also known as the consignor’s agreement, and an inventory sheet listing all the property you are consigning/might consign. When your property is at the auction house, Rago’s specialists formally describe it, measure it and assess its condition thoroughly. When this is done, you get a second and final inventory for review prior to the auction. Approximately two weeks before the auction you receive notification that the catalogue is online (if we have your e-mail address) and shortly thereafter, a print catalogue. Within hours of any auction, the price results are verified, posted on ragoarts.com (with the buyer’s premium included) and circulated in an e-mail featuring the sale’s highlights. We can fax or mail you results by request, too. Or you can give us a call.
After The Sale: Approximately 30 days after the sale, Rago’s will send you a preliminary consignor statement that provides a written record of what you have sold and what you have earned after Rago’s deducts its commission and any agreed upon fees and expenses. This is your opportunity to contact us with questions or correct any problems you see prior to your check being issued. On the 45th day after the sale, your check is issued and mailed. If we have not received timely payment from a buyer (a rare but possible occurrence), we will list the lots for which we have not been paid. We pursue the receivable and keep you informed of our progress and your options.
Passed Lots: All auction houses strive to sell 100% of the lots in every sale, but it just doesn’t happen. Lots that don’t find a buyer are called “passed lots” or “buy-ins.” Rago’s has a much lower buy-in rate than many other auctions. Even better, we offer to sell passed lots for 15 days after the auction. We sell quite a few, too. If a lot still fails to sell, we call you to arrange return or, if the specialist and you agree, re-auction.