Issue #206  9/5/2014
Six Auction Houses Ban Together To Launch Bidsquare

Six well-known auction houses have joined forces to launch Bidsquare, a new online bidding platform. Bidsquare will provide access to a variety of property from some of the country’s leading auctions on a new website and allow collectors, dealers and auction houses to do business directly in an online forum. Several photography dealers and galleries have been in discussions with members of the website in order to put on specialty photography auctions through the site.

The site, created by Brunk Auctions, Cowan's Auctions, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Pook & Pook, Inc., Rago, and Skinner, Inc., is a bidding platform where these competitors are coming together. Each auction house reportedly put in $500,000 towards the development of the website.

Bidsquare claims it will deliver a vast array of property, from fine art (including photography) to estate jewelry and from high design to historical artifacts, all vetted by these auction houses, much of it unavailable elsewhere. The site also boasts a free, searchable database of over 600,000 auction records--and counting. Brunk Auctions, Cowan’s Auctions, Rago, and Skinner, Inc. also provide appraisers who appear regularly on PBS's Antiques Roadshow.

“The founding members of Bidsquare saw a real opportunity to create a site friendly to both buyers and auction houses,” notes David Rago, founding partner of Rago. “We came together to fill a void--to provide a trusted platform that offers thousands of choice items at auction.”

Bidsquare claims to be a one-stop shopping experience where prospective buyers can find and win the items they most desire. Here, according to Bidsquare's backers, they can easily search by category or auction house, preview sales, create watch lists and share discoveries with friends, family and other enthusiasts via social media, and work directly with auction houses and specialists.

For fellow auctioneers, Bidsquare says it is setting a new standard for what is expected of an online marketplace. Auction houses that join with Bidsquare immediately gain new prospective clients from the Bidsquare customer database, while paying fees lower than those of competing sites. The consortium claims that Bidsquare is the only platform that provides all auctioneers free and fair access to their own data on bidders and underbidders, as well as a shared databank of non-paying bidders and the promise to go after these individuals. It also offers auctioneers many ways to use its services, including listings, a flat-rate and percentage-of-sale fee for timed or live auctions, banner ads, e-blasts and more.

“Bidsquare is a game changer,” explains Karen Keane, CEO, Skinner, Inc. “We’re providing an unmatched selection of items chosen by leading experts in the field. We are also offering auction houses the opportunity to join an esteemed consortium on a platform that was designed for both quality and transparency. It’s a win/win proposition for the marketplace as a whole.”

To learn more, visit http://www.Bidsquare.com. to sign up for information about upcoming sales and to search inventory by item, category or auction house.