Sotheby’s and eBay launch joint online auction site

Sotheby’s, New York, the world’s oldest fine arts auctioneer, and eBay Inc., San Jose, Calif., the online marketplace, have launched their new, joint online auction site for authenticated and guaranteed fine art, antiques, and collectibles.

In January of 2002 Sotheby’s and eBay announced their strategic online alliance, at the core of which is the introduction of Sothebys.com online auctions into the eBay marketplace, the companies said in a joint statement. The new site features the same collecting categories of fine and decorative art, antiques, rare books, jewelry, and collectibles previously offered on Sothebys.com, and all items offered will continue to be guaranteed by sellers for authenticity and condition.

“The launch of Sothebys.com online auctions on eBay marks the beginning of the next important phase in our Internet operations,” said Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby’s CEO. “Our online business has been instrumental in enabling us to reach new markets and bring new clients to Sotheby’s. We expect that our alliance with eBay, with its 46 million registered users around the world, will further strengthen Sotheby’s Internet business going forward.”

Property posted on Sothebys.com comes from Sotheby’s and its network of dealers and regional auction houses around the world, as well as selected former eBay “Premier” dealers. Recognized experts in their respective fields, Sothebys.com’s Dealer Associates adhere to strict standards for quality and integrity, offering a vast selection of fine and decorative art, antiques, rare books, jewelry and collectibles online, the statement said. Every item offered on Sothebys.com is guaranteed by the seller for both authenticity and condition, so collectors can feel at ease buying rare and valuable items online.

“We are pleased to welcome Sothebys.com and its network of worldwide dealers and auctions houses to the eBay community,” said Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay Inc. “Sothebys.com on eBay presents exciting new opportunities for our users to purchase some of the world’s finest art, antiques and collectibles.”

Additionally, and for the first time, Sotheby’s will adopt eBay’s Live Auctions technology to enable real-time online bidding for a significant number of Sotheby’s traditional auctions held in New York and London. The first of such sales will be the 1933 Double Eagle twenty dollar gold coin on July 30th at 6:00pm in New York. This technology will allow eBay users to participate in the excitement of a Sotheby’s traditional auction by bidding online in real time from the location of their choice. Registered and approved users may also leave absentee bids online for live auction items.

The two companies are offering online auction events in all collector’s categories. For watch and jewelry collectors the companies will offer special sales such as The Diamond Collection, a collection of signed jewelry, Rolex Watches, as well as wrist and pocket watches from the Time Museum Collection. Bidding for items in these sales began June 14 and continues through June 24.