News-Antique.com - Apr 17,2008 - Following Tuesday’s announcement by eBay that it will exit the live online auction business, Artfact today announced the launch of Artfact Live!, including an online bidding platform and audio/video broadcast services.
Artfact Live! is a next-generation online marketplace connecting the world’s 1,000 leading auction houses with the 6 million most active collectors and dealers of art, antiques, and fine collectibles.
Artfact Live! integrates RFC Systems, Artfact’s leading auction management software developed over the last 20 years, with its proven live online bidding technology, so that premier auction house partners — such as Artcurial, Charlton Hall, Doyle New York, Eldred's, Gorringes, Galerie Koller, I.M. Chait, Leslie Hindman, Lyon & Turnbull, Spink, Swann Galleries, Tajan, Weschler's and others — may offer live online auctions to the Artfact.com and Invaluable.com communities of avid collectors and dealers.
Rod Funston, President of Artfact, creator of its RFC auction management software and long-time IT advisor to the auction house industry said, “eBay demonstrated the potential of a live online bidding platform to auction houses. However, many traditional auction houses are disillusioned with eBay’s lack of focus on their specific needs. For years, quite a few of our top-tier auction house partners have been asking us to help them establish their own global marketplace, engineered to their unique needs. So, in many ways I feel we have been preparing for this day for 20 years.”
Today, 6 million dealers and collectors of art, antiques, and collectibles use Artfact.com and its U.K. sister site Invaluable.com to find what they want at more than 1,000 of the world's finest traditional auction houses. In the first quarter of 2008, Artfact.com and Invaluable.com listed over 1,000,000 lots for sale at upcoming auctions. Today alone, Artfact lists more than 120,000 such lots to be sold at auction within the next three weeks, with a total estimated value exceeding $500 million (£250 million).
In 2007, Artfact sent more than 35 million email alerts matching bidders’ collecting preferences with lots available for sale by auction house partners. The number of bidders and email alerts have more than doubled each year. Bidders use Artfact’s price database, representing about $90 billion (£45 billion) in unabridged auction results, to research and make informed decisions about bidding.
Artfact Live! (and Invaluable Live! in the U.K.) focuses exclusively on the fine art, antiques, and collectibles market, and does not include industrial, real estate, agriculture, equipment, and other such categories due to the differences in bidder behavior and expectations and unique requirements of the fine auctioneers.
Adam Kirsch, Chairman of Artfact, said, “The Artfact Live! marketplace offers fine auction houses access to a vetted community of more than 6 million highly qualified bidders. eBay’s decision to pull out of the live auction market demonstrates the need for focus and experience when dealing with these prestigious auctioneers. Our proprietary approach protects the interests of auction houses and their valued consignors. The 6 million bidders in our marketplace are professionals and educated aficionados who already understand how fine auctions work, and appreciate