eBay & Sotheby’s Joint Marketplace Launches Today

eBay and Sotheby's online auction site launched today.

eBay and Sotheby’s online auction site launched today.

The joint venture announced last year by eBay and Sotheby’s to offer antiques, collectibles and art in an easily accessible online marketplace is finally coming to fruition this week with the launch of the Sotheby’s live auctions experience on eBay.

Starting today, eBay will begin hosting a new section of its website dedicated to showcasing less expensive items from storied auction house Sotheby’s. For now the site will allow visitors to browse upcoming auction items, with actual bidding slated to begin April 1.

The first live auction will pay tribute to Sotheby’s past by featuring a themed New York memorabilia and photographs sale inspired by the city and its iconic artifacts, including the sign that sat atop Yankee Stadium from 1976 to 2008.

Sotheby’s and eBay announced plans last July to create the live-auction platform as a way to better reach consumers online and attract a new group of potential bidders.

Sotheby’s has traditionally been a big player when it comes to physical auctions, but in recent years has seen as much as 25% of its items sold online.

“We’re very excited to bring live Sotheby’s auctions to an exponentially larger audience of millions more collectors around the world through this partnership,” Bruno Vinciguerra, Sotheby’s Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement. “This experience truly captures the best of both Sotheby’s and eBay.”

According to eBay, the new Sotheby’s live auctions will feature items ranging from $1,000 to $50,000, showcased with high-resolution images, hosted video capabilities, and live streaming audio and video.

“All participants – regardless of their location – will see the exact item offered in the Sotheby’s New York salesroom and on eBay at the same time and have the ability to bid online in real time,” the company said in a statement. “The technology debuting within the Sotheby’s live auctions experience will be the first use of live streaming audio and video anywhere on eBay.”