|Mon Jan 7 2008 22:01:03|
LiveAuctioneers Sees Growth in eBay Live Auctions
By: Ina Steiner
On April 1, LiveAuctioneers will launch a web-based inventory management system (as opposed to software that must be downloaded). The company helps "real life" auction houses webcast their auction events on eBay's Live Auction service. Now its auctioneer clients will be able to add inventory remotely - wherever the inventory is, such as an individual's home (in the case of an estate auction).
Julian Ellison of LiveAuctioneers.com confirms that things are going very well in the antiques and collectibles business (see our coverage of the recent TIAS report). Julian told me growth is coming from international bidding (in part helped by the US dollar), though I couldn't pin him down on the actual growth rate for international sales. He also said business & industrial and real estate categories are growing as well. (National Auctioneers Association issued a report in October stating residential real estate auctions continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the live auction industry.)
Apparently eBay has never integrated Live Auctions on international sites, something they may be looking to do. Julian said the ASP (average selling prices) on Live Auctions is far higher than on the regular platform (note - obviously this would vary by category). I wonder if international expansion of Live Auctions was just low on eBay's priority list, or if there may be regulatory hurdles? I believe France in particular is very protective of its auctioneers - though by Julian's account, eBay Live Auctions would be a boon to them.
You can hear Julian Ellison yourself in this recent public radio interview. At the end he talks about the audio-video capability they've added, and an amusing tale of bidding fever - an extreme example of how opening real-life bidding to Internet bidding can boost prices.