Dubbed 2Covet, it launched on November 29. Member dealers list stock by paying a subscription fee and are not charged commission on sales.
Buyers transact directly with dealers, and issues such as shipping are then organised between the two parties rather than via the website.
Dealers Charles Wallrock of Wick Antiques and Steve Sly founded the site to offer a more transparent alternative to other online market platforms.
“It’s a less is more idea,” Sly says. “It’s organised as a bespoke database of dealers who are members of BADA or LAPADA or are very highly recognised. And we’re not just looking at it from a commercial point of view. We want to help ourselves and the industry in these difficult times.”
The site features 30 dealers, with an aim to add 5-10 accredited dealers per month. New joiners are selected for quality and in order to keep a balance of the genres of stock available.
Ultimately, Sly says, the aim is to “build a platform that is great for the dealers and user-friendly for consumers. We want to help the dealers and the antiques industry as a whole in these difficult times.”
As well as Sly and Wallrock, the team behind the site includes Zara Rowe, Charlotte Grove and Stuart Alldis.