eBay and Sotheby’s new venture announced

unnamedeBay and Sotheby’s announced a partnership to develop an innovative online platform that will make it easier for millions of people worldwide to discover, browse and acquire exceptional works of art, antiques and collectibles. With Sotheby’s expertise and historic auction experience and eBay’s technology platform, they will start by offering a number of live auctions that are taking place at Sotheby’s headquarters in New York. To accomplish this, eBay in the near future will be launching a newly-designed experience on its site, tailored for collectors of rare, unique and premium art and collectibles as well as first-time buyers.

As technology evolves and mobile commerce becomes ubiquitous, collectors are increasingly purchasing high-end items online and even on-the-go from their mobile devices. Both companies will focus on growing the market at price points where they expect their collectors to converge in the future – particularly in the segments such as jewelry, watches, prints, wine, photographs and 20th design. The global art market is currently estimated around $65 billion, with annual online sales far below averages for other luxury goods.

Some figures:

• Online bidders competed for 17% of the total lots offered in 2013

• The number of lots purchased online in 2013 increased 36% vs. 2012

• More than half of all lots sold were in the $5,000-$100,000 range

• 32% of all BIDnow bidders had never transacted at Sotheby’s prior to 2013

• The number of visitors to sothebys.com on mobile devices (tablet + smartphone) doubled in 2013

• Mobile traffic now in 2014 accounts for 25% of total Sotheby’s website traffic

• Collectibles accounted for nearly $8 billion of GMV in 2013 with 36 million active buyers

• Each day on eBay, more than 3,500 auctions close with a price of >$5,000

• eBay has 145 million global active buyers in 190 countries

• 40% of eBay Volume is touched by mobile

• eBay enabled $20 billion in mobile commerce in 2013, up from $0 in 2008

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