'Online auction bidding boom means more global liquidity for collectibles'
More people are bidding online in the world's top auctions, throwing the doors open to fresh markets
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 8 February 2012
It's all there for you, at the click of a mouse.
I'm talking about the possibilities offered by the worldwide collectibles markets. This week, Christie's announced that online bids in its auctions rose by an impressive 23% in 2011.
Take the firm's 2011 sale of Elizabeth Taylor's jewellery collection, for instance. Fifty-four percent of participants in the £6.1m auction had never bid with Christie's before.
More than half of the bidders were newbies - evidence that more and more people are embracing online bidding. But why are they...?
In his recent interview with us, David Koehler who runs SCP, one of the United States' biggest auction houses, reckoned that online auctions are increasingly becoming part of people's lives.
"I'm sure eBay over the years has kind of 'groomed' some of these people," said David.
"So that when they come into [an auction] program like we have, which is similar to that, they know how to do it and understand the rules.
"The internet makes that possible. Where you can register relatively easily, know the rules and bid competitively in an auction on the internet."
More liquidity for collectibles
More internet bidding means more potential global liquidity for collectibles. Especially as the markets continue to grow...
The population of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) is set to double in the next 40 years - particularly their middle classes, by an estimated one-to-two billion people.
This means more disposable income, and more mouse clicks.
And it's not only the BRIC countries, but also the Middle East...
Big auctions like this week's $250m sale of artist Cezanne's painting Card Players are just the tip of the iceberg. That work was sold to the Qatari Royal Family.
Expect to see increasing participation from wealthy and middle-class collectors from all around the world. And higher auction values as increased global competition pushes bids to new levels.
This will be especially true of memorabilia linked to globally-adored icons like Michael Jackson. (Asia is building its own Jackson-themed cafes planned in Asia, and his memorabilia has already sold for millions in places like Macau.)
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All the best, until next week
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