While the traditional auction room lives on, it no longer reigns supreme as we are seeing huge growth by taking bidding online. From mobile bidding to the next generation's concerns for sustainability, this guide will have you covered.

Mobile buying
Today, over than 50% of auction browsers and bidders aged 18-24 years use their mobile phones to browse, compared with 5% five years ago, as reported in our Online Auction Report. This shift in attitude has opened up the auction room to a wider audience, and allows bidders to browse and bid on smart phones or tablets.


Find unique items
Auction rooms are a treasure trove for one-off pieces, making them an attractive alternative to the high street. Why invest in a mass-produced couch or a handbag from the rail, when an auction may lead you to a sumptuous Chesterfield, or a vintage Louise Vuitton case?

Upcycling is a big trend and online auctions offer the perfect solution to sustainability. Buying vintage is a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to shop. Our research shows that younger buyers see buying previously-loved items as an investment in a more sustainable tomorrow, and value this over investment potential (bonus- they might have that too!)

One of the main concerns about buying branded pieces through online auction sites is authenticity. For your piece of mind, auction houses conduct brand-specific and detailed authentication processes before putting items up for sale in the form of condition reports. This high level of detail means customers have the confidence to buy even if they have not see the piece in person.

The price is right
Two-thirds of online shoppers claim that price is the factor that draws them to buy at auction. After you've done your research, don't forget you can set reminders for when a desired item is coming up for auction here with a free account here.


What's it worth? - Appraisals

What if you have something to sell yourself? We offer a free appraisal service, which connects you to auctioneers who have the potential to sell your item. Start by signing up with an email and password, and then add some information about the piece you’d like to sell. They will then let you know if they feel they can sell your item and for how much. Items sent in to the valuation service include a Picasso vase and Kurt Cobain's guitar!

Top tips for buying at an online auction

Ok, so you've done your research and you're ready to bargain hunt that sustainable piece - you well-minded individual!

Check details, condition reports and set yourself a limit - it's easy to get carried away in the rush of the auction. You can utilise the auction house's maximum bid tool which allows them to bid on your behalf if you can't get to a computer or phone at the time of final bids. Also bear in mind additional auction fees and provisions and factor these into the final price.
Start low. The starting price of an item is set by the initial valuation of the auction house, and provides a good indicator of what your opening bid should be.

Set up a search alert through your Barnebys account here.

Don't forget to download our Online Auction Report to stay ahead of the game.