Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, online sales have reached a new audience. Indeed, novice buyers seem more inclined to try the virtual auction experience and to be seduced by pearls.
So what was the surprise of auction professionals to find that despite the new context, new audiences were flocking to virtual auction rooms.
This was an unexpected success for RM Sotheby’s, which was forced to cancel its physical sale in Palm Beach, Florida, which was finally rescheduled online and saw the number of registered bidders increase by 23% compared to the average over the last four years.
Arnaud Séné, an expert and specialist in classic cars explains that the auction scheduled for April 14, 2020 was a real leap into the unknown due to the health crisis.
“We can’t afford, like some big houses, to sell cars or motorcycles only online. For vehicles, it’s something physical: customers want to see, touch, start the engines before buying. The current situation is a huge game-changer, since we can no longer entertain the public. So there is no more exhibition. In addition, a sale of this kind requires eight weeks of preparation, to receive the salesmen, the transport trucks…” he explained.
Even though he must have seen his ambitions for car sales drop during the epidemic, he was able to compensate for this drop in activity thanks to another field: the Automobile, which refers to all books, catalogues, objects, photos, related to the automobile and its history.
Despite his reservations, the sale proved more than satisfactory, since of the 709 lots presented, only five did not find takers. The live video brought together 350 people in peak!
Such a success that Arnaud Séné is already preparing new online sales, while waiting for a return to normal.
“We don’t have any visibility concerning the opening of the auction rooms, but it won’t be before mid-July. I can’t wait to go back: seeing the people in the auction room, titilating the buyers, that’s the real job, its human side. »
Bentley, its retro model proposed by Sotheby’s at auction
Among the most memorable sales of this unprecedented period was that of the American multinational art and collectibles auction house, Sotheby’s, for a 1990s model from Bentley.
The British luxury and racing car manufacturer unveiled its Turbo RT model in 1998, as the 1990s and 2000s were an iconic period for lovers of British-style luxury and high-end British cars.
The Turbo RT is a rare model as only 250 units have been produced, 43 of which are left-hand drive.
The model at RM Sotheby’s has been preserved in remarkable condition. It features the emblematic black buttons and chrome accents, as well as the precious wood adorning the cabin.
This luxurious limousine equipped with a V8 engine, with 400 bhp, has just been sold for €149,000.
Featured photo : © Bentley
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