EBay partner LiveAuctioneers.com celebrates five years of global Internet access for live auctions LiveAuctioneers.com marks milestone with new product launches
NEW YORK – With more than 250 million registered users in 33 countries, eBay has become one of the world’s best-known websites. For five years, though, eBay partner www.LiveAuctioneers.com has quietly dominated online sales of fine art, antiques and other collectible items. At any given time, LiveAuctioneers.com has between 60,000 and 100,000 lots listed on eBay. The combined value of the current lots listed on LiveAuctioneers.com is more than $2.2 billion. A 2006 report named LiveAuctioneers.com the second most visited auction-related website for fine art, antiques and collectibles, following only eBay. So what is LiveAuctioneers?
In 2002, fellow Brits Julian Ellison and John Ralston founded LiveAuctioneers.com while concurrently forming a partnership with eBay to bring auction catalogs to the Internet for live online bidding. In short, LiveAuctioneers.com aimed to list on eBay the exclusive lots found on the salesroom floors of premier auctions houses, and to give bidders across the globe instant online access to those sales. “I believe I was the first person to go out and actively seek auction houses to bring on to eBay,” Ellison said.
With only $1,800 in capital, Ellison worked from his New York City apartment to convince the leaders of the conventional auction industry that live Internet bidding was the way of the future. Ellison admits it was tough to sell auctioneers on the concept at first. But after a few wildly successful online auctions, the industry took notice and LiveAuctioneers.com became a staple in the business plans of many successful auction houses. This month, as LiveAuctioneers.com celebrates a landmark anniversary in the dot-com business, it manages online auctions for 630 auction houses in a dozen countries and its 2007 sales are projected to top $100 million.
LiveAuctioneers.com has become a household name for savvy auctioneers, auction houses and collectors. The company has revolutionized the live-auction business through technology and global reach for its clients. Apart from facilitating live Internet bidding, the company has also developed management tools that modernize and simplify the auction process for auctioneers. Most recently, LiveAuctioneers launched the industry's most sophisticated streaming audio and video technology for live online auctions. This innovation has already increased online-bidder participation. Ellison said that in early 2008 the company will launch the world's first web-based inventory-management system for auctions and auction houses.
“From the beginning of LiveAuctioneers.com, we realized that we would have to stay on the cutting edge in order to keep our clients at the forefront of technology," Ellison said. "As a result, we have seen a high demand for a web-based, highly advanced inventory-management system for those companies conducting auctions, both online and off. Auctioneers who use our software will have instant access to their data from any computer, granting freedom from desktops while further providing the ability to conduct business on a global basis."
The new inventory-management system incorporates advanced applications that enable auctioneers to streamline and mobilize their businesses, ultimately increasing their profitability. The revolutionary system enhances the model of convenient accessibility already used successfully in other industries, such as banking, with its online functionality. According to Ellison, the inventory-management system will be competitively priced for auction houses of all sizes, and will allow for easier appraisals and consignment of property, as well as online auction facilitation.
This year, Ellison launched a new business venture that gives back to online bidders, thanks to the success of LiveAuctioneers.com. In conjunction with industry veterans, he founded QM4G Media, which produces two online digital publications: Toy Collector Magazine and Style Century Magazine. The monthly publications are sent electronically to 250,000 subscribers, and issues may also be viewed on their respective websites, www.ToyCollectorMagazine.com and www.StyleCenturyMagazine.com. Because of the business relationship between QM4G Media and LiveAuctioneers.com, the magazines utilize LiveAuctioneers' millions of fully illustrated lots and auction data to create rich content for its readers.
As the company celebrates its fifth year, LiveAuctioneers.com is growing faster now than at any point in its history. “There’s a bright future ahead for us and for the auction industry,” Ellison said. “We’ve been successful because we continually anticipate what the future holds in store for the auction and arts sector. LiveAuctioneers.com is poised to help auction houses evolve for the next generation.”
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