No FT, No Comment – eBay and the Changing Auction Market

The story of the astonishing £40,000 price achieved by Encore Auctions on eBay fizzed around the world in no time. The equine painting by famed Irish artist Jack Butler Yeats was the subject of fierce bidding by three parties. It was featured on Yahoo and CNN news channels plus a host of websites as a key indicator of the changing auction market.

There will always be a place for traditional auctioneers who can validate and promote individual lots through a quality catalogue and network. However, online activity continues to grow exponentially within the art, antiques and collectables field as the Yeats sale testifies.

Why did the vendor choose Invaluable to dispose of this work? There are, of course, many viable alternatives but the bottom line is that Invaluable is respected for the breadth and diversity of its mainstream auction search service over the past 15 years. Its reputation for outstanding customer service also means that it has rapidly attained power seller status on eBay and gives vendors numerous advantages should they wish to access this 150,000,000 strong audience.

Further benefits include the anonymity of Encore Auctions, the Invaluable store on eBay, low seller commission, no buyer’s premium and very targeted online marketing through major search engines. Moreover, there is ongoing cross fertilisation between the listings placed on Encore and lot information from conventional auctions that meet the criteria of the Invaluable clientele.

The best way to fully appreciate this shift in the way business is being transacted is to read the recent article in the FT by Simon de Burton. This outlined clearly that Invaluable, while sensitive to the historic approach, is witnessing more and more salerooms, dealers and private individuals use its services to dispose of items that did not sell first time around.

Evidently, it’s horses for courses. Not everybody will embrace and welcome such innovations but there is a groundswell of support for Encore and similar initiatives that continues to gather pace. When one sees the FT generate that kind of coverage, there is a sense that the tide is inexorably turning towards slick, cost effective marketing campaigns that combine old world values and new world communications.

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