eBay launches live auction platform for art

Later this year, eBay will launch a live auction platform for art and collectibles in a partnership with Invaluable, which provides the technology for live online auctions hosted by outfits. brick and mortar, Gallery reports.

According to E-commerce bytesthis is eBay’s second attempt to launch a live auction model, as a similar platform was shut down for unknown reasons in 2009. User-written guides for the former live auctions are still archived on the site, at least one live auction call”eBay’s Best Kept Secret!

As in the original iteration, live auctions will offer a number of linked lots over the course of a day, rather than the separate listings set over a number of days that typically characterize site sales. However, the new template will be integrated seamlessly into the main site and will not have its own section or a special name. Live auction listings will appear alongside traditional eBay offers and fixed price items in search results.

“I will say we’re going to work to replicate, to a large extent, the experience of actually being at the event, so when you engage with an item on eBay, you engage with that specific item, but also see the lots to come for it to be part of a single auction,” Gene Cook, managing director of eBay’s emerging verticals, told Gallerist.

Speaking with eCommerce, Cook said the live auction market for art and collectibles is an $8 billion market, one that eBay can no longer continue to ignore. Auction houses such as Christie’s have seen an increase in online interaction from their bidders and may very well be using the new eBay platform in the near future.

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