eBay launched a special area of its platform which will stream Sotheby’s New York auctions live beginning next month.
The new live platform – ebay.com/sothebys – is designed to merge Sotheby’s 270 years of experience selling art and antiques with eBay’s experience in digital selling and 155 million active users across the world to meet the demand for online bidding.
The first auction on the new platform will begin on April 1 with photographs and a themed New York sale that will feature the 13 letters of the 1970s Yankee Stadium sign, from the collection of baseball legend Reggie Jackson. The letters are expected to fetch up to $600,000.
Despite Sotheby’s and its rival Christie’s conduct online art sales, the new platform is planned to bring Sotheby’s inventory to a new audience in a bid to boost sales and prices.
Global online sales of art and antiques are estimated to have reached $3.5 billion in 2014, according to a report commissioned by the European Fine Art Foundation.
The majority of online sales ranged from $1,000 to $50,000, according to the report.
eBay will stream live most of Sotheby’s New York auctions except for high-prices evening sales of Impressionist, contemporary and modern art and some other specialist categories.
The platform is a digital version of the auction catalog and includes photos, commentary and audio/video components. It emulates the experience of seeing art in a museum before bidders can take to the live auction for real time bidding.