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Boom time for auction houses as lockdown Britons turned to online shopping for bargains

Boom time for auction houses as lockdown Britons turned to online shopping for bargains

Pratibha walia
Boom time for auction houses as lockdown Britons turned to online shopping for bargains

Going… going… up! Boom time for auction houses as lockdown Britons turned to online shopping for bargains

  • Auction houses are seeing post-lockdown boom with Zoom encouraging buyers
  • About 90% of lots at auctions are selling now – a rise of 30% from before March
  • More sales were held online due to Covid restrictions and the reach increased

Auction houses are seeing a post-lockdown boom – with Zoom encouraging more buyers.

About 90 per cent of lots at auctions are going under the hammer now – a rise of 30 per cent of what was selling before March, according to Helen Carless, of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers. 

She said: ‘What lockdown also did was make buyers and sellers more tech-savvy, through Zoom calls and increased online shopping.

Auction houses are seeing post-lockdown boom with about 90 per cent of lots at auctions selling now – a rise of 30 per cent from before March

‘They quickly got the hang of doing a lot more things online, and that gave them the confidence to think, “I wonder how auctions work”. 

‘As their internet browsing increased, so did the reach of auction houses as more sales were held online because of social distancing restrictions.’

Mrs Carless, of Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne, Somerset, added: ‘Another key factor is people have become more comfortable browsing at items online rather than seeing them in person.’

As more sales were held online because of Covid social distancing restrictions, the reach of auction houses has increased, with Zoom encouraging buyers as it made auctions more accessible

As more sales were held online because of Covid social distancing restrictions, the reach of auction houses has increased, with Zoom encouraging buyers as it made auctions more accessible

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire, and in London and a regular on TV shows Bargain Hunt, Flog It! and Antiques Road Trip, said: ‘Lockdown was a great time for people looking to raise money and have a clear-out. 

‘They had time to clear their lofts and now they want to upscale their interiors, get rid of clutter and add culture to their interiors. It’s out with the old – in with some quality old.

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‘We have increased our shipping department substantially to accommodate the growth in sales as more people look forward to receiving a parcel at home full of antique goodies.’ 


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