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We are glad to hear of your positive reaction to our new mobile bidding. Central to our ethos at thesaleroom.com is supporting all our customers to ensure that both auctioneers and bidders have a better on-site experience through improvements in technology.

As we strive to offer the best experience we possibly can, we need to maintain a fine balance between the needs of auctioneers and those of bidders. Like you, we love the thrill of the auction and we are always looking at ways to make it even more exciting for bidders to search, find and bid on thesaleroom.com. We have no intention of turning thesaleroom.com into an eBay-style platform.

However, we should recognise that eBay has helped to popularise auctions and we would be unwise to ignore some of its genuinely innovative features.

Thesaleroom.com has recently introduced new features specifically for bidders:

• A new lot details page that clearly indicates key auction details, bidding status, shipping information and whether the auction is currently taking place.

• Watch list alerts: we email you 24 hours before your watched lot goes to auction.

• One-click auction registration allowing you to register for auctions quickly and easily.

• Mobile bidding for live auctions, as you’ve mentioned. We invested in mobile optimisation to ensure we can offer bidders a variety of ways to access the site (eg mobile phone, laptop, tablet, desktop), any time and from any place with internet connectivity.

• The ability to place Autobids during a live auction.

• Confidential Autobids. Unlike commission bids, when you leave an Autobid on thesaleroom.com, the Autobid is administered by the site and is not disclosed to the auctioneer.

One of our roles is to ensure that lots offered on thesaleroom.com achieve the best possible price. To deliver on that, we need to meet the ever-rising demands of bidders for the quality and flexibility of their bid experience.

In addition to live video, live audio, Autobids during a live auction, we are trialling pre-auction competitive bidding on a small number of auctions.

This gives you more information about the level of interest in and bidding on a lot, thereby ensuring that you have the best chance of buying an item. By giving you more relevant information about bidding activity on the lot, we are maximising your chance of buying the lot as well as maximising the number of bidders who bid.

While this is a feature used on eBay, it also is a common feature on many of the platforms serving the arts and antiques online market today.

To be clear, pre-auction competitive bidding does not replace commission bids, but is an alternative way for bidders to bid. It is early days, but already it’s proving very popular. Where pre-auction competitive bidding is used we are seeing 20% more bidders placing Autobids per auction, and 20% more lots with Autobids placed.

And there’s more to come.

We’ll keep improving thesaleroom.com for our bidders and for our auctioneers. In the next few months you will see further simplifications to the auction registration process, improved lot filters and a clearer detailing of commissions and fees in line with the new guidelines set by the Advertising Standards Authority.

We hope you’ll feel as passionately positive about the improvements as we do.

Comments welcome. Please email richardlewis@auctiontechnologygroup.com