Freelance writer Olivia Lidbury explained how buyers are increasingly attracted to second-hand items for their green credentials.

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Down-to-earth conversation, practical advice from experts and good networking – these are among the ingredients of a good conference and precisely what has been missing during the past two years of on-off lockdowns.

The Auction Technology Group Art and Antiques Conference 2022 sought to put this right last week as representatives from auction houses that use its online marketplace gathered at Glaziers Hall in London on Monday, March 28.

Delegates heard how the green credentials of second-hand items are boosting their appeal among a new generation of buyers, while Emma Pickup of Sworders explained how her firm has begun measuring its carbon emissions to become a more sustainable and responsible business – something customers are increasingly looking for.

Auction Technology Group (parent of Antiques Trade Gazette) shared new research on the CO2 saved when second-hand items are bought instead of new ones – data it is making available to all participants in the art and antiques trade – and presented how it has measured the carbon footprint of its own operations.

Digital first

Smart tips on optimising auctions for search engines and how to present and market lots to younger audiences on Instagram complemented a panel discussion on how auction houses have become online-first businesses.

A question and answer session looked at categories and collectables that are becoming more popular, including modern design, NFTs and Pokémon cards.


Aubrey Dawson (left), Dawsons Actioneers, Marc Sands (centre), Bonhams, and Ben Clark (right), Gurr Johns, discussed how auction houses have become internet-first businesses.

The event had begun with a keynote address from John-Paul Savant, chief executive officer of Auction Technology Group, reviewing market changes that had taken place over the past two years. It ended with networking drinks and lively conversation as delegates enjoyed catching up with each other and sharing their thoughts on the day’s topics.