From traditional auctions to online

Historically, auctions have been a strictly local business: local consignors - local buyers. Consignment are accepted during a limited period of time. After the consignment period, items are catalogued, photographed and stored until the auction takes place. The auction takes place at a specific location and the success depends on the number of buyers present at that particular moment.

Online auctions have a different proceedure. All processes are sequential and occur step by step on a daily basis. This kind of workflow results in less bottle necks and more even working hours.

With more standardised and efficient processes, auction houses will get more time for what is any auction house's core business: valutations, consignment or visiting customers. With additional support on technical-, logistical- or financial issues auction houses will have even more time for core business.

With more time left for consignment, more items will be published. Thes items will be visible for vast numbers of visitors from all over the world. The more visitors, the more bids and higher end prices can be achieved.

The transition to online auctions

Sweden can be considered as a pioneer when it comes to the "online-revolution" within the world of auction houses. In 2008, a significant change within the Swedish auction market occurred.
The auction house "Auktionskompaniet" started selling all their items online with a 24/7 offering. The start was not completely without complications as the pattern for both buying and selling art had now changed. But times were ripe and just after one year success was a fact. "Auktionskompaniet" was transformed into the current "Bukowskis Market".

When other large auction houses in Sweden began with online auctions for their non-fine art segment, the Swedish auction market realized that this was the right way to conquer a growing segment and stay on top of the game.

The idea behind Auctionet

It was at that point of time we realised that this was something other auction houses had to do in order to be competitive in the future. We are convinced that all sales of items up to a certain value will be sold on the internet ie. not through traditional hammer auctions.

Several auction houses tried to replicate the model of "Bukowskis Market" but soon experienced certain issues.

Some of the problem we identifed were:

  • To develop a well functioning web-based auction system demands significant investments, which only a few auction houses are capable or willing of - especially if one also takes into account necessary maintainance and angoing development.

  • A key to success on the web is to attract and convert relevant visitors. This requires significant expert knowledge as well as a large and "living" assortment on the site: Customers only return to sites where they know to find a large offer with a constant flow of new items.

  • Technical support is also a hurdle for the individual auction house. New questions always arise when an auction houses goes online. Some are purely technical questions and can be time consuming and hard to handle for regular staff.

  • A well functioning shipping solution for both large and small items is vital for the customer regardless wether the items are large or small.

  • Daily transactions require safe credit card payment and daily settlements.

These were some of the questions which we wanted to address and this is how the idea behind Auctionet was born.

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"As we are annually processing close to 20 000 items Auctionet's guidance with regards to more efficient work processes was critical to our success. The cost per item handled was reduced significantly and the average end price increased by 30%. Lena Hafdell, CEO Göteborgs Auktionsverk

”To sell items via Auctionet turned out to become a net revenue. The number of bids from new buyers increased, the number of unsold items were reduced and we achieved higher end prices. In the first year with co-operating with Auctionet the total turnover increased with 50 %. ” Thommy Nylund, VD Auktionshuset Kolonn

”I started within the auction industry since I wanted to work with the art items. With Auctionet taking over the major part of the administration and shipping we have a lot more time for cataloging and appraisals. Since I joined Auctionet I have not needed to make one shipment or collected any payments. ” Robin Holmström, VD Auktionshuset Gomér & Andersson