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Buying Fine Art Since 1975   •   T: 01590 678230   •   E:

How to Sell Art and FAQ

5 Steps to Sell Art to Robert Perera Fine Art Ltd.

Avoid 50% auction fees* – Sell Art Direct

1. Send photos & description

Send photos of the picture, framed picture and whole of frame back showing any labels. Please send a description of your artwork and image size to us. Click here to find out the best way to photograph your artwork, and what images we need to see to sell art.

Send by Email:,
in Person: (please call in advance).
Phone: 01590 678230 (+44 1590 678230 outside UK) or

Send by Post: Robert Perera Fine Art Ltd,
19 Thomas Street, Lymington,
Hampshire, SO41 9NB, UK

Please read our terms and conditions.

2. We Value your Art

We will research your picture and calculate a mutually agreeable purchase price.

3. We Agree a Price

You have no obligation to sell to us until you have agreed to do so.

4. We Arrange Shipping

We will be happy to advise on and arrange shipping.

5. We Make Payment

Fast payment made by cheque or bank transfer in GB Pounds, US dollars, EURO or your own currency.

Contact Us

Additional Information

Do I clean my picture?

Please do not clean, reframe or open picture backs before a sale, as you may devalue your pictures!

No Hidden Charges

There are NO extra charges or expenses to pay. We pay all import duties, taxes and VAT if applicable.

Why sell to us?

We buy works of art for our own gallery stock as well as for our extensive list of clients. Either way, your picture will find an appreciative new home. If you are looking to sell your artwork we offer you a discreet, reliable service with swift payment.

If we are not interested in purchasing your artwork we will advise you and endeavour to introduce you to other trusted interested parties. Please read our terms & conditions.

Auction Pitfalls

“Auctions can eat up 50% of the value”  

Read More…

Many of our clients are looking to avoid the high cost of selling items at auction and so find selling to our specialist gallery a more favourable option.



Auction Charges

What our Customers Say

What Our Clients Say

Unbelievable – well to me anyway – that in less than 24 hours I have sent, and you have received the pictures and money in my account. What can I say other than EXCEPTIONAL. I can think of nothing I have sold in the last, probably ten years, where I have received such amazing service. A sincere and very BIG thank you. An absolute pleasure to do business with you.”

K. England

Read More

Sell Doyly John to Robert Perera Fine Art

Selling and Auction FAQ

  • How do I trust I will get paid?

    This is an important question and one which I am surprised how infrequently sellers ask buyers! We are an established family business with a strong balance sheet with no bank debt. We pay on the same day as we receive your picture, if before 2pm, otherwise we pay on the next working day. This is in contrast to auction where you need to wait for the sale, wait for the buyer to pay and then wait for the auction to pay you. If you look at our customer comments they repeatedly say we make “prompt payment”.

  • Auction client account?

    In the past auctioneers mainly ran as businesses with client funds i.e. the proceeds of auction sales and business money was in the same pot. If the auction business failed clients could loose their money. Some auction houses, but not all, now have a separate client account which is independent from the business account. This safeguards clients funds if the auction business fails. It is worth asking an auction house if they have a separate client account!

  • Auction minimum value?

    Many of the main auction houses in London only take paintings over a minimum value. Now Christies have closed their South Kensington auction room there is less scope to sell lower value items.

    As far as I am aware paintings have to have an estimated valued at over around £3,000 at Sothebys and £3,000 at Christies.

  • Art buyer London?

    Now with the advent of the internet and the world is now a smaller place we buy pre owned art all over the UK and world-wide so we do not have to be based in London.

  • What are the pitfalls of selling at auction?

    I am often asked what pitfalls I have personally experienced at auction. These are my most memorable and recurring personal experiences:

    1. The auction house forgets to put items in a sale!
    2. The auction house doesn’t include an item in the promised sale and then puts it in an unsuitable sale to presumably suit the auction house and not the benefit of my client.
    3. Reduce the estimate “on closer inspection”, in reality you are unlikely to withdraw the item, you will just hope for the best.
    4. Pictures damaged by auction house by stacking incorrectly causing damage to frames and paintings. [stack face to face and back to back!]
    5. Paintings, gilt and gold leaf frames damaged by auction lotting labels being stuck to them.
    6. Buyers do not pay for purchases on time or not at all with auction houses slow or unwilling to pursue the debt.
    7. Incorrect spelling and details in catalogue which mean items do not show up in auction searches.
    8. Incorrect commission calculations made with wrong payment being made. Normally short!
    9. Auctioneers take sealed paintings out of frames, without asking, which ruins their originality.
    10. Authenticate paintings by ‘experts’ who may have a commercial interest in the painting.
    11. Displaying detrimental incorrect condition reports online.
  • How do I read auction results?

    Like most things in life you have to pay for it! The more you pay the more accurate it can be, usually. However in my experience you should not totally rely on internet auction results as they do not always tell the whole story. Some auctions also seem to submit unsold prices as sold prices and other results do not show unsold lots. Prices may be for multiple item lots e.g. pairs are not always stated.

    Pictures sell to buyers for many reasons with prices not always related to the item e.g. a family buying back paintings from an estate at any cost.

    You also have to remember this is historic data and may not be reflected in future sales as fashions and the state of the economy change! Ideally you need to be using these sources on a day to day bases for years, combining many sources to make an accurate appraisal.

  • Where’s the best place to sell art?

    We believe we are the best place to sell oil paintings compared with the other options of online, auction, sale or return and privately. When asking what is the best way to sell fine art you have to consider the cost and ease of the transaction and also security and prompt payment.

    I believe that if you ask our clients they would say that using Robert Perera Fine Art is the best way to sell paintings.

  • What’s the best way to sell art locally or fine art buyers near me?

    When asking ‘how to sell paintings locally?’ ,’trying to find a local art buyer near me?’ and ‘painting appraisal near me?’ it will depend what you are selling as sometime the best market may not be local to you. Prices and interest can vary across a region. With our market knowledge we can advise you the best way to sell fine art.

  • Can I get cash for art today?

    Like many established fine art dealers we do not pay cash for any purchases. For our due diligence we pay by bank transfer of cheque where there is an audit trail. However you can still sell your art today.

  • Do I get free valuations for art resale?

    As my Father always says “Nothing in this world is free!”. We provide a value to buy your art for free in the hope one day we will do business with you. We can also provide antique painting value and I believe, as a fine art buyer, we offer you the best way to sell paintings.

  • How do I find out if my painting is worth anything?

    “How do I value my painting?” is a good starting point. Please email the gallery photographs, description and image size and we will have a look at it for you. If we are interested to buy it we can give you a value.

  • How do I auction paintings?

    When asking how to auction paintings you have to be prepared to pay all auction fees and decide if it is worth it for you and your item. You would need to submit details to the auction house and arrange shipping. After agreeing to sell you will normally need to wait for a sale which can vary from around two weeks to six months. If the item sells you will have to wait for payment and if unsold you will usually have to pay to get your item back! Taking all fees into account auctions usually take around 50% out of the deal between buyer and seller!

    Choosing the right auction house, location and time of year to match your item can be important for more interesting items and can effect the price fetched.

    Alternatively, you can sell direct promptly without fees.

  • How do I sell limited edition prints?

    We do buy limited edition prints but mainly original hand made limited edition prints e.g. etchings, woodcuts, linocuts, silkscreens and lithographs. We do not buy or sell limited edition prints which are reproductions of paintings i.e. just mechanical or digital copies of oils and watercolours. e.g. Sir William Russell Flint, David Shepherd and Montague Dawson prints, as the market for these prints is poor and they are out of fashion. However we do buy originals by these artists.

    One exception to this is that we do buy signed limited editions by L.S.Lowry

  • How do I sell paintings to art galleries?

    There are two main ways you can sell a painting to a gallery:

    Sale or Return

    Sale or return is as it sounds: you consign your painting to a gallery and they will try and sell it for you for a fixed comission. This usually ranges from around 25%-50% and may have VAT added at larger galleries. The advantage is you may get a little more if the picture sells but in my experience as the gallery does not own the picture it may not always be a priority to sell it over a gallery owned picture. You also have to trust the gallery pays up promptly as agreed and stays in business during the time they have your picture!

    Sell Direct

    Selling paintings to galleries and specialist dealers is in my experience best when done with a direct sale. You agree a price and the gallery pays by return. The advantage of selling a painting in this way is that there is less risk and the deal is done.

    However there are some artwork a gallery may not want to invest their money in.

  • Can you value my painting online for free?

    We are often asked if we can “value my painting for free” and for our local customers “value my painting for free uk”? The answer is ‘yes’. We can provide a free “valuation to buy” if you are looking to sell your item. Unfortunately we do not provide insurance valuations.

  • Who buys fine art?

    All sorts of people buy fine art for many different reasons. Some are collectors, long term investors or perhaps simply to enjoy the art. We have had a range of browsers in our gallery over the years ranging from actors and pop stars to new artist all united in their interest in fine art.

  • What are the different types of valuations?

    Probate valuation – Our valuations can help you to approximate the value of an estate and help you decide how to proceed. If you need to submit an accurate valuation to HMRC a formal probate valuation would be required by a professional valuer. For legal or tax purposes please check with HMRC or your solicitor before proceeding. Once probate has been granted we would usually be interested to purchase your pictures.

    Retail value is the price it would cost you to purchase your picture from a professional high street gallery and includes VAT and Artist Resale Rights. It is often used as the insurance value for an insurance claim.

    Trade value is the price that an art market professional will offer you with the intention of reselling your picture in a retail gallery.
    This will take into account the artist, subject, condition and any restoration require to get it to a gallery standard. It will also be effected by the current market and its saleability

    Auction estimate – This is a range of prices for which an auction house thinks the item will sell. The reserve price is the minimum that the auction will sell the item for and is normally below the bottom estimate. You can also agree to 10%, 20% discretion or ‘to go’ so the item can sell for less than the estimate.

  • What are art gallery commission rates?