15th July, 2014 by Neal Baker
Auction house Sotheby’s and online marketplace eBay have joined forces in the hope of expanding the reach of live auctions for antiques and collectables — including sales of rare and vintage wine.
It is expected that the joint venture will successfully combine the rare lots that Sotheby’s attracts with a new online audience of potential collectors through eBay’s familiar purchasing system.
“The growth of the art market, new generation technology and our shared strengths make this the right time for this exciting new online opportunity,” said Bruno Vinciguerra, Sotheby’s chief operating officer.
“We are joining with eBay to make our sales more accessible to the broadest possible audience around the world.”
The partnership will begin with eBay offering access to live auctions taking place at Sotheby’s New York headquarters. The site will launch a newly designed experience aimed at first-time collectors as well as seasoned buyers in 18 categories that will cover art, antiques, collectables and wines.
The prospect of expansion to other Sotheby’s auction houses and experimentation with the style of auctions is on the cards, according to a joint statement from the two companies.
Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces, said, “A Sotheby’s-eBay partnership is a significant milestone in our efforts to expand the live auction market. Sotheby’s is one of the most respected names in the world.
“When you combine its inventory with eBay’s technology platform and global reach, we can give people access to the world’s finest, most inspiring items — anytime, anywhere and from any device.”
That is an experience we believe our customers will love,” he said.
The number of lots purchased online from Sotheby’s has risen by over a third in the last two years, and in 2013 online bidders accounted for 17% of the total lots offered by the 270-year-old auction house.