Today eBay announced that in the coming months it will unveil what it calls “live auction” technology that will attempt to replicate the experience being at an auction, to be paired with “a new live auction destination” focused on the sale of art and collectibles.
In an interview Gene Cook, general manager of emerging verticals, remained vague about the live auction technology’s user experience, though it’s probably a big departure from the standard eBay experience since those auctions now are already essentially “live.”
“They’ll be able to explore and learn about the inventory that is being made available,” Mr. Cook said. “They’ll be able to bid in real-time and they’ll be able to bid in the experience in real-time.”
“I will say that we’re going to be working to replicate, to a large extent, the experience of actually being at the event, so when you’re engaging with an item on eBay you’re engaging with that one specific item, but then also see the upcoming lots too so it feels part of a single auction.”
The news came with the announcement of a partnership with Invaluable and its subsidiary AuctionZip, which aggregate auctions for art and collectibles around the world on one platform. Invaluable lots will appear on the new live auction destination, Mr. Cook said.
Mr. Cook said the company will later unveil other partnerships for the live auction technology. And it’s hard to imagine that Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips wouldn’t be interested.
“Art is going to be a key category from the very beginning,” Mr. Cook said.
Look out for more news about eBay’s entry to the art market in the coming months.