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US auction house Hindman is ramping up investment in digital technology, with a plan to launch a buy-it-now option and to run its own online timed auctions.

Hindman, which sells online through third party portals, relaunched its website last month.

This was part of a rebrand that abbreviated the firm’s name from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the business founded 37 years ago by Leslie Hindman in Chicago.

Expansion 

A year ago, the firm sold a stake to a private equity firm to help fund expansion.

It also appointed British-born Thomas Galbraith, a former managing director of online auction house Paddle8 and director of global strategy for artnet, as CEO to accelerate its digital strategy.

Later, the firm purchased Cowan’s, a Cincinnati-based auction house specialising in American Indian and ethnographic, decorative arts, firearms and militaria, as well as modern and contemporary art.

That acquisition means Hindman now has offices in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale, St Louis as well as Chicago.

Galbraith told ATG that its goal was to be “the premier mid-market auction house in America” and defined that segment as objects ranging in value from $500 to $1m.

Clicks and mortar

Hindman, which runs more than 100 auctions a year, is looking to “give our clients a better experience by improving our technology and being physically present in key geographical markets,” Galbraith said.

This includes, in the future, giving Hindman clients the option to buy-now and to transact privately. The time frame for introducing buy-now was three to 12 months, Galbraith added.

Hindman hired its first chief technology officer in 2018. Improvements to the current website include allowing clients and the auctioneers’ individual art market specialists to interact more easily.