LiveAuctioneers' sales tripled in 2004, 244th auction house client signed
NEW YORK – LiveAuctioneers.com, the Manhattan-based Internet company that provides real-time Internet auction services in association with eBay Live Auctions, has released its business highlights for 2004. The firm reports gross sales of antiques, art and collectibles listed last year in electronic auction catalogs on its website exceeded $33 million, triple that of 2003.
Presently, 244 auction houses in North America and Europe are using LiveAuctioneers/eBay Live Auctions as their Internet bidding facilitator, said LiveAuctioneers’ CEO, Julian R. Ellison. “Record prices are being achieved online, and more people are bidding via the Internet than ever before. Last year, more than 20 million unique visitors viewed catalogs on our ’site, as compared to 12 or 13 million in 2003.”
Ellison said prices were achieved online that previously would have been unheard of. “We saw a table sell online last year at Weschler’s (see related story on page 3) for $196,000, and paintings in other auctions sold for as much as $300,000. When auction companies see these results, they realize how advantageous the Internet can be to their bottom line.”
Last year marked many achievements for Ellison's company, which moved its headquarters into a renovated brick warehouse overlooking the Hudson River. “Our staff grew to eight full-time employees and four consultants, and we knew there would be further expansion as we moved into commercial auctions, so we felt it was time to bring everyone together under one roof.”
Of several technological innovations introduced by LiveAuctioneers in 2004, Ellison rates the new post-auction software tools as being the most significant in terms of improving the overall auction experience for clients. Auctioneers now have the facility in place to automatically approve returning, previously registered bidders and to instantly invoice successful bidders after a sale and track the progress of payment and merchandise shipment through LiveAuctioneers’ back end. “With invoices mechanically generated, an auction house can save a whole day of work,” said Ellison. “The feedback from auctioneers has been overwhelmingly positive.”
LiveAuctioneers’ plans for the future include establishing an auxiliary online auction service catering specifically to vendors of rare and fine wines. Also, the company has implemented a five-language translation feature in preparation of its expansion into additional international markets. “We already have a full-time consultant servicing auction houses in the U.K., and we’re making considerable headway into the German market.”