Auction houses everywhere need to change the way they prepare for sales in order to meet increasing demands for detailed condition reports, say Australian auctioneers Mossgreen.
Mossgreen managing director Paul Sumner, who has also run both
Sotheby's Australia and Sotheby's Olympia in the past, believes his
company has come up with a solution that answers criticism levelled
at auctioneers via ATG's letters pages in recent weeks concerning
Writing on this week's Letters page in ATG's printed newspaper,
he explains that he and his specialists now devote more time to
catalogue preparation, increasing the level of detail on condition
in catalogue descriptions significantly.
"By taking multiple photos and doing condition reports as part
of the initial cataloguing process, we are changing the back end
functionality of our business," he writes. "While it takes twice as
long to catalogue up front, the amount of work required at peak
activity times around auctions is vastly reduced.
"Specialists need to be trained in digital photography also. But
by having this all available on the website where access to reports
and multiple images is actioned by the buyers and without the need
for our staff to email clients images and condition reports in
every individual case, efficiency levels of our business are
"This requires a software operating system that is compatible to
this functionality and a website that also makes these services
clear to the buyers. It also requires the auctioneer to look
differently at the way their specialists catalogue items."
The benefit of this is the reduction in pressure around sale
times, he says, when resources are stretched to capacity and often
the lots being enquired about are mid to low-value.
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