Daniel Grant explains on ArtNews that growing frustration with LiveAuctioneers and its unwillingness to police defaulting bidders has caused a group of regional auction houses led by Leslie Hindman to create their own portal, Bidsquare, which is now live:
Hindman […] and five other regional auction houses—Rago in Lambertville, New Jersey; Brunk in Asheville, North Carolina; Cowan’s in Cincinnati, Ohio; Pook & Pook in Downingtown, Pennsylvania; and Skinner in Marlborough, Massachusetts—have joined forces to start their own online bidding platform, BidSquare. Launching on August 18, BidSquare aims to solve these problems, as the fees that participating auction houses pay BidSquare will be lower than those charged by LiveAuctioneers ($1,000 per auction or, for smaller auction houses, $650 plus one-and-a-half percent of the sale); auctioneers are to be provided more information on underbidders, and “the auctioneers will be able to communicate what we know about people registering for sales, such as those who haven’t paid in the past,” Hindman said.
The site includes a searchable database for prospective buyers, and will allow auctioneers to advertise their sales.
“The six auction houses put our heads together to think about what auction houses want and what bidders want,” Hindman said.