“art market on line”

Barnebys: Online Auction Report…

Barnebys report helps to understand what drives the online auction business. The last years saw a big augmentation in online auctions, taking the very traditional art market up to speed with the Internet revolution. While some might argue that artworks must be seen before bought and some JPEG image files are not enough to make a decision, the younger generation is more comfortable with the process. Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s employ efforts to boost online sales. In the last earnings call, Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith praised the growth of Sotheby’s Internet presence, coming at a very small cost for the company. In May, a pair of diamond earrings was sold for an online bidder at 6 million dollars, a new record for pieces acquired via online bidding. Also, the merge involving Auctionata and Paddle8 earlier this year showed the consolidation of the sector, claiming the attention of the art market as a whole. The basic principle of a live auction is that the bidder must be at the place during the bidding of the particular lot he is interested in. Even if a high profile client is able to bid at the telephone, it’s still a very small timing window. Online bidding comes as the solution for people who can’t participate in live events because of timing or location. In a world where we can buy in the United States an Australian product to be delivered in France, items for auction should follow the same logic. The absence of actually seeing the object comes as negative aspect, but for some markets it is not so important. Back in a day, many people criticized when retailers started selling clothes online, arguing clients could not see or try it before buying. Today online sales are as important as physical sales to...

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