Sotheby's hammers out online auction plans

Auction house Sotheby's is setting-up an online auction site that will enable users to "create their own auction", according to Kirtley Horton of Sotherby's Internet associates.

The system used for the auction will be similar to that used by other online auction houses such as eBay. Bargain hunters will be able to tailor their search for specific items by searching online. When customers have found the item they wish to bid for, they will see the most current bid and be given the choice of making a higher offer.

The auctions will last for between seven and 14 days, with the cut-off time for bidding clearly stated. The structures for shipment and insurance are still being currently being worked out by the company.

Horton acknowledged the cyber auction will be a different experience to going to a traditional auction house. However the success of other online auctions suggest there is a huge market for such a system and Sotherby's remains confident there will be a good volume of sales.

The first online auction is expected at the end of June and 1,500 dealers are already signed up.


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