EBay to Take Sotheby’s Auctions Online to Expand Bidding Pool

EBay Inc. is working with Sotheby’s to make sought-after artwork, antiques and collectibles available for auction online.

The companies will begin by placing some live Sotheby’s offerings up for bid in New York on EBay’s website, they said today in a statement. Sotheby’s will be the “anchor tenant” on a redesigned EBay site, with auctions in 18 categories, and the companies will work on other types of sales along with live auctions from other Sotheby’s locations.

EBay is looking for new sources of growth as its traditional business, including fixed-price item sales and auctions, has slowed, expanding by 10 percent in the first quarter compared with a 12 percent gain last year. In May, the San Jose, California-based company said it was starting sites in Spanish and Portuguese to expand in Latin America.

Sotheby’s, based in New York, sees “real opportunity” to expand in the middle market, or sales of artworks priced $50,000 to $2 million, Chief Executive Officer William Ruprecht said in a conference call in May.

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