Cheap cheap cheap

April 3 2015

Image of Cheap cheap cheap

Picture: Ebay

Yesterday saw the first auction on Sotheby's new Ebay platform. And from now it seems that all Sotheby's auctions will be available via the Ebay site. 

I can't see why Sotheby's ever thought this was a good idea. When it comes to fine art, Ebay is (at least in my experience) invariably a place to buy bad copies and fakes. It's everything a Sotheby's auction is not.

But now you can bid on, for example, an important Van Dyck oil sketch on Ebay, with an estimate of $200,000-$300,000. On the same page, you'll find links to 'Deal Frenzy 70% off', and other such unenticing things. And there's also one of those slightly naff 'see what it looks like in your home' image options (below). The whole thing cheapens both product and seller - mainly because it's obvious that Ebay is the leading site/brand, and not Sotheby's. It looks like Sotheby's is just a regular seller on Ebay, like a random grandmother selling knitwear. The existing Sotheby's online bidding platform is pretty good. I can't see how this will be a success in markets like China, where the luxury of a brand is all-important. Sotheby's is a great brand - why diminish it?

Anyway, have a play around with it yourself, and tell me what you think.

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