The firm, hoping to disrupt the market by slashing fees for buyers and sellers, was mothballed two years ago after hitting financial problems before its first sale.
FAB is again launching with the aim of challenging a centuries-old business model. Goodman’s pricing model charges vendor’s and buyer’s fees of just 5% with free shipping promised to both buyers and sellers.
Sales, conducted in real time with all lots guaranteed for six years, will be processed through headquarters in Hong Kong to escape sales taxes or artist resale royalties.
FAB was launched in London in June 2015 – with an auction planned for the following September – only to close within two months after running out of money. Ten staff at offices in Finsbury Park left and arrangements with 30 consultants were terminated.
Goodman, who has expressed continued confidence in the business model, says he has learnt from the experience of the first launch.
The freshly funded operation will rely on a smaller team outsourcing cataloguing to specialists. He said the technology has been “redesigned and totally rebuilt”.
The plan is for FAB to return to London but the model will be trialled first in Australia. FAB’s first auction, Erotic, Fetish & Queer Art, scheduled for September 11, includes a collection of 30 enamelled cigarette cases.
FAB also plans a sale alongside Bondi Beach gallery Cooee Art on November 14. It includes Earth’s Creation I by Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c.1910-96), last sold for just over Aus$1m at Lawson-Menzies in 2007.