Today, eBay and Sotheby’s jointly announced the launch of the Sotheby’s live auctions experience on eBay. Part of eBay’s new live auctions platform, ebay.com/sothebys is now available for browsing and advance bidding on Sotheby’s unique items leading up to the launch of Sotheby’s first live auctions on eBay on April 1. The experience enables art aficionados and casual collectors alike to participate in Sotheby’s live auctions anytime, anywhere with the same confidence and access of those bidding in person in New York.
eBay and Sotheby’s originally announced plans to partner on live auctions last July, and have since worked together to deliver an engaging virtual entrance to Sotheby’s unique inventory. Sotheby’s first live auctions on eBay will be a themed New York sale and a Photographs sale.
The New York sale is inspired by and celebrates the city through Prints, Photographs, Paintings, Sculptures, Silver, Books and Jewelry as well as iconic New York memorabilia such as the monumental sign atop Yankee Stadium from 1976-2008. The 13 letters, each 10 feet tall, are being offered from the collection of Yankee legend Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson. The Photographs sale features works from the 19th Century to Modernism to Post-War eras by many masters of the medium, including Paul Strand, Lee Friedlander, László Moholy-Nagy, and Man Ray. Buyers looking to view the online catalogue or to participate in these auctions can visit http://www.ebay.com/sothebys.
“We’re very excited to bring live Sotheby’s auctions to an exponentially larger audience of millions more collectors around the world through this partnership,” said Bruno Vinciguerra, Sotheby’s Chief Operating Officer. “This experience truly captures the best of both Sotheby’s and eBay. The rich, smart new design and bidding technology, coupled with exclusive features like taste-maker curation, engaging video and articles, and the knowledge of Sotheby’s experts on a tech-friendly and intuitive site will offer collectors a unique, welcoming experience.”
Devin Wenig, President of eBay Marketplaces, said, “We’ve had a great response from our global community of buyers since launching live auctions last October — including sales of high-ticket items such as Elvis Presley’s first record, which sold for $300,000. Granting this kind of unprecedented access to art and collectibles, using an innovative technology platform, has opened the door for more people to appreciate and participate in bidding on exceptional works of art, antiques and collectibles. These items were previously only available to auction room floor bidders.”
The Sotheby’s live auctions destination features high-resolution images, hosted video capabilities, and live streaming audio and video. All participants – regardless of their location – will see the exact item offered in the Sotheby’s New York salesroom and on eBay at the same time and have the ability to bid online in real time. The technology debuting within the Sotheby’s live auctions experience will be the first use of live streaming audio and video anywhere on eBay.
eBay’s live auctions platform brings a fresh perspective and new opportunities for its 155 million active buyers to discover, browse and acquire authentic, premium art and collectibles offered by hundreds of auction houses from around the world.
Sotheby’s by the Numbers
• Nearly 25% more buyers online in 2014 compared to previous year
• The Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon: Interiors saw 71% of lots attracting online bids and nearly 30% of buyers were online.
• 75% of the lots in the Picasso Ceramics sale drew online bids
• John James Audubon’s elephant-folio The Birds of America sold in April 2014 for $3.5 million — marking a new record for an online purchase in a live auction at Sotheby’s
• In 2014, mobile traffic accounted for 25% of total Sotheby’s website traffic
• Ten lots sold for more than $500,000 to online bidders across categories and salesrooms.
eBay by the Numbers:
• Live auctions is a highly engaging format. To-date, each eBay live auction buyer has already purchased an average close to four items from the new platform
• Collectibles accounted for nearly $8 billion of GMV in 2014 with more than 36 million active buyers
• Each day on eBay, more than 3,500 auctions close with a price of >$5,000
• eBay has 155 million global active buyers in 190 countries
• 50% of eBay Volume is touched by mobile
• eBay enabled $28 billion in mobile commerce in 2014