"Digital auctions" - Nice Matin

Auctions on the web
Auctions on the web

If they have temporarily closed their offices, some auction houses maintain their sales via internet. The update on this type of vacations with Maître Jean-Pierre Besch.

When did the online auctions appear on the art market ?

The online auction of sales catalogues appeared twelve years ago. And seven years ago came slowly the "live" auctions. With them, people behind their screens can track the sale and bet live. Today, almost all sales houses use it. Large companies sell through their own site. The others can go through a specialized platform like Drouot, Interenchères or Auction.fr in France. We also find online sales (online), which take place on the Internet only, with lots sometimes of lesser importance, but which also allow us to benefit from high-end and specialized sales.

For sales houses, internet support is now necessary ?

Yes, whether it’s live sales or online sales, it allows us to reach a clientele that is not in the saleroom, from a simple collector to a large specialized market. Currently, we sell 80% to customers who are not local, French or foreign. Thirty years ago, there was Paris and the Province in the auction world, today it no longer exists. This type of auction is the future. After that, it is also important to maintain the traditional side with auctions in the salerooms.

What are the advantages of online betting ?

With the «live» auction, you can see the auction room via a webcam, together with the photo and the precise description of the lots. Anyone can follow a live sale, but if you want to bid, you have to register. The advantage is that, compared to telephone auctions that require registration between 12 and 48 hours in advance, you can register until the last moment and even during the sale. It also makes it possible to remain anonymous. And then, it corresponds to a change in mentality, with the arrival of a new younger clientele.

What are the registration procedures ?

The site through which you are betting on asks you for your contact details, your bank details and an identity document. After that, it depends. Some sites take management costs, others do not. Some sites may leave purchase orders in advance. At Drouot, for example, the amount is announced, for others, such as Interenchères, it remains secret. Sales costs rise then between 22% and 29% VAT included. Once the settlement has been made, it takes between 3 and 10 days to receive the lot.

Laurence Guidicelli - Nice Matin

The documents :

Wines and spirits44Paintings36XX° century36Jewellery27Tribal art7Watches21Decorative arts24Vintage5
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