A year after launching, Bidsquare has reached a total bidding value of over $100 million. The live-auction platform runs auctions in real-time from over 80 vetted, top-tier auction houses.
Last year saw a resurgence in high-end online auctions; Bidsquare rivals include European site Auctionata and eBay’s renewed attempt to enter the market in partnership with Sotheby’s and Invaluable. The latter aggregates auctions from many auction houses.
We asked Bidsquare CEO Allis Ghim about the biggest challenge the company faced in its first year. “As with all startups, the initial stage is always the toughest,” she said. “We get pushback from some auction houses who have not had a previous good experience with selling online and are not enthused with trying the prospect of a new platform.”
As for the biggest surprise, Ghim said, “The response/feedback from both auction houses and bidders after using Bidsquare has been overwhelmingly positive. Because we were founded by 6 leading auction houses, we’ve been fortunate to have the resounding support of the broader auction community. The organic traction our business has gained in the first 12 months has reaffirmed that buyers are looking for a trusted marketplace where all auction houses are vetted and items are authenticated by auction house specialists.”
Bidsquare revealed its average selling price is $1,430, with the highest bid online to-date being $180,000. The company said winning bids in recent auctions were up to 79% higher compared to other online auction platforms.
While the majority of users are over 45 years of age, 24-35 year-olds are its fastest growing user group, and traffic to the site doubled in the last quarter.
The top three most-popular bidding categories are “American and European decorative art,” “fine art,” and “twentiethcentury design.”
Bidsquare was launched by six auction houses in September 2014: Brunk Auctions, Cowan’s, Leslie Hindman, Pook & Pook, Rago Arts, and Skinner, you can visit the site at Bidsquare.com.