SUSANIN'S is one of the fastest growing and most technologically advanced auction houses in the United States. Founded in 1994 by Sean Susanin and Christian Skeem, SUSANIN'S has become a leader in the Chicago auction market. Through its pioneering use of the internet over a decade ago with its proprietary software, SUSANIN'S has become hugely successful and internationally recognized.
With a 30,000 square foot prime location in the Chicago's South Loop and a schedule of monthly auctions, SUSANIN'S attracts clients ranging from private collectors and homeowners to interior designers and antique dealers. Estate auctions feature English, American, Continental, and Asian Furniture and Decorative Art, Fine Art, Jewelry, Silver, Rugs, and Collectibles.
"We've always used the Internet as a marketing tool and a competitive advantage, but no dot.com will ever replace the experience of going to an auction, " says Susanin. "People love looking at the gallery, they spend hours here. They're going to see something new every time they come. Nothing can replace the experience of looking at all of the property, feeling it and getting emotionally charged about it." Susanin continues, "Auctions are fun. It's easy to participate, the showroom is beautiful, and our staff is wonderful. There's no attitude here. We're casual but very professional. Personality, price, product, experience... SUSANIN'S is the total package."
SUSANIN'S has been a technology leader since its inception. In 1994 digital photography and the internet were just emerging, and SUSANIN'S was the first auction company to realize the potential of applying those technologies to the auction business.
From its very first auction in June of that year, SUSANIN'S pioneered the use of digital photography in several innovative ways. "We were first to offer fully-illustrated catalogs both in print and online, to use images on monitors to guide bidders through the auction without moving the property, and to offer consignor statements and invoices with photos," says Susanin.
SUSANIN'S was first to offer a fully illustrated and searchable online catalog. They later pioneered and are still unique in allowing interactive (eBay-style) pre-sale bidding on their website which significantly enhances the starting prices at auction since competitive bidding begins the moment an item is catalogued and appears online. Thus, the auctioneer simply takes over from where the bidding stands online. This also allows pre-sale bidders to adjust their bids prior to the auction in reaction to competition. Rarely at SUSANIN'S is heard the old lament - "Oh, if I had known I would have bid more!"
Several years before eBay offered it's live bidding technology to auction houses, SUSANIN'S developed and implemented its own live bidding capability, and now offers both eBay Live and its own live bidding service to clients. Internally, SUSANIN'S has developed a proprietary database which facilitates the entire auction process. Issuing consignor statements and checks, invoicing, automatically posting items to our website and to eBay, scheduling incoming property, producing custom tags and its fully illustrated catalogs — all this and much more is made easy by their custom software. In fact, SUSANIN'S has even created a separate company – AuctionSmart, LLC – to offer its unique technologies to other auction companies and to focus on further developments in this area.
Over the last few years, SUSANIN'S has conducted hundreds of catalogued auctions, launched an auction company in Philadelphia, partnered with Edison Gallery in hosting its auctions and participated in dozens of charity events.
Since the first gavel went down in 1994, SUSANIN'S has generated over $75 Million in sales. Highlights included:
* Jewelry Collection of Mrs. June Latta, sold for $525,000
* Milwaukee Museum of Art,furniture and decorative art, sold for $265,000
* Indianapolis Art Museum,paintings, prints and porcelains, sold for $170,000
* The Estate of Mrs. Harriet Brady, sold for $410,000
* The William Harmon Collection, sold for $444,000
* A Fine Collection of Asian Works of Art, Rockford, Illinois, sold for $185,000
* The Northern Trust Corporate Art Collection, sold for $785,000
* Comtemporary Art from BP AMOCO, sold for $140,000
* Musical Instruments from Chicago Symphony Orchestra, sold for $90,000
By embracing technology without losing that human touch, SUSANIN'S continues to excel in a very competitive market. More information on SUSANIN'S Auctions is available online at www.susanins.com
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