40% of Christie’s Online Buyers Were New Buyers in 2012—How Much Did They Spend?

There’s not much of interest in this Telegraph piece previewing Christie’s Imp/Mod sale in London save this little tidbit:

Last year 20 per cent of all buyers at Christie’s were first-time purchasers, and that number doubled to 40 per cent in 2012’s online auctions, which started in 2006, with online-only auctions launching in December 2011.

It would be easy to interpolate that new buyers are using online auctions to wade into the auction world in a gingerly manner. But the big question is whether those 40% of internet buyers who are new buyers are spending small sums or making big purchases online. We know that some big bids have begun to be made online. Perhaps the neophyte buyer feels more comfortable with the anonymity of the web as opposed to having to chat with a Christie’s employee on the other end of a phone line.

Inside Christie’s–How Art Gets Sold for Millions (Telegraph)