eBay partners Sotheby’s for a high-end auction section on its website

An unlikely partnership becomes a reality

by 16 July 2014

EBay has teamed up with auction house Sotheby’s where it will broadcast live New York auctions starting in the autumn on a new section of its website. The partnership will most probably be extended to auctions taking place in London, Paris and Hong Kong.

An important partnership for eBay, who wants to help create a shopping centre-style destination for its online auction unit with Sotheby’s as its anchor tenant, and it will open up the 270-year-old auction house’s refined collection to eBay's 145 million customers.

The partnership follows activist shareholder Daniel S Loeb who attacked Sotheby’s for its antiquated sales practices and called on the company to improve its online sales strategy. Luckily, the auction house is scheduled to launch a redesigned website in October that is partially guided by experts at high-end online retailers like Gilt.

It is also understood that eBay-owned PayPal could eventually be used to pay for the auction items.

The partnership will start gradually on 18 collecting categories on eBay’s website, however, the legendary evening sales where works by renowned artists including Bacons, Richters and Renoirs, will not be offered on eBay.