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February 25, 2008

New Online Art Auction Tools..Artnet and AuctionBlip

In a world where the big art auction houses are jacking up to 25% their auction buyers premiums... Gavel_fight There's now a new on-line art auction competitor to the big guys..YEA!  The internet art powerhouse, ArtNet.com has launched a new web based auction service... and bidding starts today! It will be interesting to see if a pure web-based high end art auction site can succeed and take market share when Sotheby's.com couldn't make a go of it.. and shut their web-auctions all down with big losses a few years ago.

Check it out <click here..> They have 24 works up for auction by  artists, including Todd's favorite artist Gregory Crewdson, plus top priced works by.. Massimo Vitali, Louis Nevelson, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Calder.  Some other the interesting benefits from ArtNet.com are..

  • No buyer's premium
  • Each seller is authorized and registered (which sounds like these are mostly art dealers dumping moving inventory..it's not clear if private individuals can list items for sale as well)
  • There are listing fees ($25 per item) and the sellers pay only a 10% commission
  • ArtNet.com has linked in tons of sales history, performance charts, and other ArtNet inventory prices relating to the work...very cool!
  • Credit Card payments are allowed (with a 3% fee)
  • If you buy an item that is not delivered as indicated in the description, the sale can be rescinded and your purchase price refunded

There's also a new on-line Auction service we found a few weeks ago... AuctionBlip.com

This is a very cool website, which gives the user advance notice of auctions around the world.

The user just provides a list of "Key Words" that interests you, and you get daily listings (with links) of any items coming up for auction that fit your list. They search over 50 different auction companies.

For example.. a recent search for artist Andy Warhol.. found well over 10 auction listings... and that didn't include Sotheby's or Christies.

Oh.. and one last thing.. Don't forget about good old iGavel.com.. they have a new photography auction coming up.. another place to get a great auction deal!!


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Am I the only person in the world that remembers all of the websites - including Artnet! and another site whose name escapes me that had millions in Silicon Alley VC money - that have tried this in the past and failed?

You're right Mr. Minerva ..

People have tried this before.. with no luck and huge losses.. so why should it work ok...

Maybe with increased use of tech.. some dealers and collectors might give it a try.. we'll see..

Your blog is the only one that I can access and post comments while serving Jury Duty.
Are you paying them off?
I personally don't like to bid on line. To me is quite too reminiscent of E-Bay. In my opinion is good for folks that live in remote places like Marfa, Texas (not there yet). I checked it out and they could start by having a more creative and alluring website. The bids are placed by the same people trying to outbid each other (more meow mix?).
The information describing the art pieces is not detail or enticing enough. I hope it does well but, the start looks rather amateurish. 6 months max.

I heart that iGavel!

Thanks to MAO and Kenny T for the shout out!


Very interesting article about the online auction. The online auctions are really interesting way of winning the product we like by bidding. The auction tools will help in improving the bidding skils in a great way.

Very interesting article about the online auction. The online auctions are really interesting way of winning the product we like by bidding. The auction tools will help in improving the bidding skills in a great way.

The Artnet auctions look lame. The site still looks very outdated. I think www.myartspace.com is much better and they will open their auction/shop features soon. Myartspace also has video capability for performance and video artists. Compare the following profiles to the ones found on Artnet and tell me which is a better site:


Minerva and Mike, this has been tried before. As you probably remember there was a boom in the late 90s because everyone thought that sells of art would be commonplace online. It did fail. However, much has changed since that time and there are thousands of artists making a living from selling art online. Artists who are not represented by NYC galleries yet make more than the artists represented by those galleries I might add. They may not have the same respect as an artist exhibiting in a mainstream gallery, but some of them have thousands of online 'fans'. There are several art sites that makes millions per year by allowing artists to sell posters of their art on the site. Posters are not the only thing selling. I personally know an artist who sold an original painting for $4,000. She had shown in galleries before, but now she makes her living selling online. I think as time goes by galleries are going to have to rush to create their own online venues for the artists they represent. However, by the time they do that, considering that most gallery websites are over a decade old in design, these art sites will no doubt have a stranglehold on that market. Galleries are closing because of the economy. Selling online is a cheap way to sell and it may help a few galleries keep their doors open if they are smart enough to accept the technology and commerce of today. It is naive to think that online auctions and shops selling original art or prints will not be successful. I might add that a lot of gallery owners laughed at the idea of art fairs and thought that it was just a fad. Look at Scope, look at Pulse. Look how they BOTH embrace online venues like Artnet and Saatchi.

I'm waiting to see how the New York Art Exchange turns out. I don't think you have to get the dealers involved. You have to remember that a lot of artists are taking their career into their own hands. As long as the site has secure payment options it can work. That is the problem with a lot of the ecommerce art sites because buyers are not going to fork over thousands if they don't know if they will be happy with the artwork or not. Ecommerce is becoming very popular according to stats that compare online sales to physical sales. I think it will catch on with art buyers soon enough especially since the players in the market are getting younger. See the site I mentioned, http://www.nyaxe.com/ they also call it NYAXE.

Not sure if that posted

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