link.png Something old, something new: Sotheby's and eBay tie the knot← Back

One of the world’s oldest auction houses is taking a step into the 21st century. It was announced yesterday that Sotheby’s, the world-famous auction house that dates back to 1744, and eBay, the online auction website set up in 1995, are teaming up to launch an online platform this autumn.
 
The new section on eBay will stream live auctions from the New York salesroom, allowing bidders to follow auctions online as well as giving them the opportunity to bid in live time from their laptop or phone. Whilst auctions will encompass 18 categories including jewelry, watches, photographs, wine and fine art, it won’t extend to the traditional evening auctions. 
 

Video source - Sotheby's

Like its rival Christie’s, Sotheby’s already conducts a portion of its sales online, but is hoping to tap into eBay’s 145 million shoppers by collaborating with the website. In a statement, Bruno Vinciguerra, chief operating officer at Sotheby’s said. “We are joining with eBay to make our sales more accessible to the broadest possible audience around the world.”
In an era where the art market is particularly strong, it’s becoming increasingly important for auction houses to boost their online presence. Last year, global art sales reached $65.9 billion, and although online sales still only constituted 5% of this, the TEFAF Art Market Report for 2014 found that online art and antiques sales could grow by at least 25% per year.