14% of U.S. Adults Use Online Auctions

by | 2 minute read

Con­sumers are grow­ing more com­fort­able bid­ding for items in online auc­tions. Sens­ing this trend, one large oper­a­tor in the space, eBay, is form­ing more part­ner­ships with oth­er busi­ness­es around the U.S. to bring live online art auc­tions to its cus­tomers. Small art hous­es will now tar­get con­sumers that are seek­ing to bid on art and oth­er col­lectibles.

A TechCrunch report notes that eBay’s May 2014 announced part­ner­ship with Sotheby’s allowed for real-time bid­ding in live online auc­tions.  This test busi­ness mod­el went well and eBay is now set­ting up shop with oth­er large gal­leries like Doyle New York and Freeman’s. eBay is also expand­ing its online art auc­tion base to a num­ber of oth­er busi­ness­es locat­ed across the U.S. These busi­ness­es will be sell­ing a range of col­lectibles like African-American art and rare med­ical books. In advance of these limited-time auc­tions, the sites will pro­mote them­selves. They’ll also allow con­sumers to review cat­a­logs in advance of the events. Poten­tial buy­ers often have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enter absen­tee bids if they can’t be online at the time of the auc­tions.

These busi­ness­es will be tar­get­ing the 14% of U.S. adults who have bid in online auc­tions dur­ing the past year. Audi­enceS­CAN data shows this audi­ence is slight­ly more male (52.1%) than female (47.9%). About 27% of these con­sumers say they’ve attend­ed in-person auc­tions in the past year. And, 16% have a big inter­est in fine art and antiques, which is 60% high­er than aver­age. Online auc­tion bid­ders also have a high­er than aver­age inter­est in pur­chas­ing gold and sil­ver in the next year.

There’s no ques­tions that these con­sumers are com­fort­able with tech­nol­o­gy and with mak­ing online pur­chas­es, how­ev­er, mar­keters may want to include tra­di­tion­al media in the mix they use to reach online auc­tion buy­ers. Over 60% of these con­sumers have tak­en action in the past year after see­ing an ad in mag­a­zines or news­pa­pers (print, online, mobile or tablet.)

Audi­enceS­CAN data is avail­able as part of a sub­scrip­tion to AdMall for Agen­cies. Media com­pa­nies can access Audi­enceS­CAN data through the Audi­ence Intel­li­gence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Research for Sales­Fu­el. She holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont and over­sees a staff of researchers, writ­ers and con­tent providers for Sales­Fu­el. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was co-owner of sev­er­al small busi­ness­es in the health care ser­vices sec­tor.