Auctionata insolvent

January 20 2017

Image of Auctionata insolvent

Picture: Auctionata

The online auction house, Auctionata, has filed for insolvency. It describes itself as 'the leading online auction house for art'. And the fact that it is no longer - and to be honest rarely offered any really good pictures - tells us all we need to know about how difficult online auctioneering is. While traditional auction houses have rightly rushed to embrace the opportunities presented by the digital world, it seems that both consignors and buyers still want the security, convenience and reassurance of an actual place, and the ability to actually see and handle the works of art themselves. Even for experienced buyers like me, it's still difficult to assess the true quality and condition of a painting if you only see it through photos.

Still, none of this seems to stop investors hosing money at online auction platforms, in a way that they would never do if an somebody wanted to found a more traditional auction house. Auctionata, who recently merged with another online auction house, Paddle8, got through tens of millions of dollars in financing. 

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