Art Auctions of America

Online bidding and auctions -1

Not only do these auction site firms provide technology, they also provide client auction houses with promotional services to attract more bidders to the client auction sites. A distinction must be made between auctions offering online bidding and pure online auctions. There are very few successful pure online auctions for art. eBay is the most recognizable and popular auction, but the preponderance of the art is from working artists selling inexpensive pieces. Others selling art on eBay include minor dealers here and internationally. There are few investment grade pieces offered on eBay, and they come with much uncertainty since there is no third party evaluating the pieces.

ArtNet has developed an online auction offering higher grade artwork, but the auction has generated mixed results. There are handful of other online auctions, but again the investment quality of the art is lacking.

Bidding on line with established auctions is a fairly simple process. The prospective bidder registers with the online bidding service, which transmit’s the information to the art auction. The art auction approves or disapproves the prospective buyer, and an email is sent to buyer indicating their status. In must cases, there is little financial information required of the prospective bidder, and most are approved. Of course, there is a possibility reneging by bidders, but this is a fairly rare occurrence.

On the day of the auction, the prospective bidder logs on and bids with simple console settings. Most of these programs provide the bidder with information for distinguishing online competing bidders from live bidders. If the online bidder wins the auction, s/he is contacted by the auction house for payment. The buyer is charged the normal buyer’s commission, and there may be an additional charge for the internet service. This is usually around 2-3%. There are shipping charges that will be added to the buyer’s fees.

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