Auction Technology

Online Bidding Driving Auctioneer Growth

February 5, 2020

We were excited to read the ATG today (8th Feb 2020)

Congratulations to two of our auction clients who have received positive coverage on page 7 this week for their sterling efforts using timed online auctions. Fellows Auctioneers and Forum Auctions both use the timed online bidding solutions built and maintained by Auction Marketer and are proving themselves to be leaders in the use of this auction technology for fine art auctions in the UK. The ATG further reported that they are making the most of online bidding.

Stephen Whittaker of Fellows Auctioneers was quoted by the ATG as saying "2019 was another progressive year at Fellows, from the introduction of our own live bidding platform to the success of our online timed auctions which have gone from strength to strength."

Forum Auctions reported sales in 2019 on our timed auction platform of £1.59 million, and Fellows, who only started running timed auctions in the late Spring of 2019 reported sell through rates in excess of 90% on their gemstone, jewellery and designer sales.

Stephan Ludwig CEO at Forum Auctions told the ATG "It has been clear for some time that our future growth is inextricably tied into accessing new collectors from the increasingly e-commerce savvy global shopper community.'

Timed Online Auction Tech is Cutting Through

When we first released our timed auction technology there was a mixed response from auctioneers. Most felt it wouldn't raise the right prices, that it had been tainted as a vehicle to list unsolds and was seen as a dumping ground where you might sell a few items post auction.

Early adopters such as Forum Auctions saw it very differently, and got straight to work on using the platform in a positive way and started reaping dividends. Other clients including Royal Mile Whisky, Adam Hewitt and John Pye Property quickly took up the format on our platform to great effect seing positive hammer prices and new bidders.

It was clear that the technology when used properly as part of the auctioneers marketing mix was highly effective. It seemed that through proper implementation, the barriers to entry previously perceived by clients were in fact reduced and the addition of timed online was actually a positive revenue stream with increased margin potential due to its operational efficiencies.

Through 2019 we've seen an even bigger uptake from established auction houses including Fellows, Ewbank's, Adams, Bid for Wine and Roma Numismatics including our technology in their mix, with another flush of high profile launches coming in Q1 of 2020.

It is undoubtedly clear that this technology has become an accepted method for online bidders to interact with auctioneers, and they are embracing the ease of use and transparency it provides. The new node based technologies that we use at Auction Marketer allow us to serve up auctions to very high volumes of bidders. We can extend active bids by short intervals, controlled at the sale level by the auctioneer, to make the lot endings more exciting and dynamic meaning that the thrill of the auction is now maintained in an online only environment.

The timed online auction experience is fully usable on mobile devices as well as tablets and laptops making them properly accessible to time poor users on the go. We've even run timed sales alongside live sales for our clients and have observed bidders in the room interacting with the timed sales on their phones while watching the sale in the room!

Bidstream Timed Auction Software - Clear Usable Auction Technology To Drive Sales

So, it looks like 2020 will be the year that timed online auction catalogues finally own their rightful position in the auction mix, becoming mainstream at a lot of auction houses across the UK and EU. This being the case its important to ensure that if your business is going to make the most of this opportunity that you can attract bidders to the platform by not charging additional internet fees.

Our key learning is that fees on timed auctions do raise the barrier to entry and negatively impact the competitiveness of a sales hammer potential. The Bidstream timed auction platform from Auction Marketer is efficient, private and affordable. Letting you take control of your auctions, your clients and your data as you introduce this new service to your business admin value to your business processes and your vendors/buyers as part of the process.

We're certainly looking forward to continuing our investment in the timed and live webcast technologies as part of our integrated auction software service portfolio to help existing and new clients derive growth and brand exposure in the competitive auction market in 2020.

As we recognise and celebrate the successes at Fellows and Forum (and many other clients on our technology), we note that these 'trailblazers' are helping to demonstrate to the rest of the fine art auction market what can be really be achieved with a balance of technology, marketing and business process. Well done!

If you want to find about running online timed auctions as part of your business, or want to replace an aggregator platform with your own, please get in touch by calling our team on 01604 695800 or using our contact form and we can arrange an online demonstration of our software to suit you..