Christie’s Takes a Cue from eBay With ‘Buy or Bid’ Feature

Christie's is offering this Art Deco Chromium plated Coffee Machine by Victoria Arduino for -       Purchase Price: £13,000* Bid -        Auction Estimate: £8,000-10,000

Christie’s is offering this Art Deco Chromium plated Coffee Machine by Victoria Arduino for $21,000. If it does not sell it wil go to auction with an estimate of $12,900–$16,100 (£8,000-10,000).

Christie’s auction house has drawn notice in recent years for its ambitious digital efforts and reaping the benefits of holding entirely online sales of items ranging from Elizabeth Taylor’s less expensive collectibles to fine wine. Now the auction house is rolling out a new feature called “Buy or Bid,” similar to one introduced a while back on online auction behemoth eBay, “Buy It Now,” whereby collectors have the option of bypassing the competition and snapping up the work they have their sights set on, for a higher, fixed price.

The first application of the new feature will be at Christie’s upcoming “Interiors” sale in South Kensington  November 14–December 3. “Buy or Bid” will showcase 42 lots in the sale, ranging from a $1,670 (£1,040) Swiss gilt brass Atmos clock by Jaeger Lecoultre (second half of the 20th century), to a pair of giant fossilized deer or “Irish elk” antlers (circa 10,500–5,700 B.C.) for $16,700 (£10,400) and a chromium-plated Art Deco-style coffee machine by Victoria Arduino for $21,000 (£13,000).

Christie’s is pitching these as high-end Christmas gifts and shoppers have the option of buying online or visiting the saleroom on Old Brompton Road. Any of the 42 lots that are not picked up by buyers will then be offered in the “Interiors” sale with lower estimates.

Christie’s South Kensington chairman Nic McElhatton said “For the first time at Christie’s, buyers can secure a handpicked item for a fixed price…whether you are new to auction and want to secure a unique present for Christmas or a regular at Christie’s.”


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