Heritage Auctions has crossed the line from being a collectibles auction house with online sales to becoming a firm where the majority of the sales (53%) are made online. With $438m in online sales, Heritage is the online disruptor nobody is talking about. With $815m in total sales, the auction house has seen a 4% drop in total sales from 2016 which was already softening a little more than 1% from the year before.
Online, there’s a very different story:
The 2017 total marks the third straight year of record results for the firm, again ranking No. 1 in the auction industry as a whole. The total is a 26 percent increase over the previous record of $348,107,079 in 2016. The 2016 annual Hiscox Online Art Trade Report cited Heritage as surpassing all other auction houses in online sales.
“Heritage continues to see clients routinely purchase six- and seven-figure works of art and collectibles through the internet and on HA.com,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “Without exception, no other auction house in the world is doing this much business online.”
Key departments driving online growth include Sports Collectibles, which logged more than $100 million in total annual sales. Sales of Vintage Comic Books and Comic Art hit a record $44.3 million in 2017, including more than $10.8 million from Weekly Internet Comics Auctions.
Under Leon Benrimon, Contemporary prints and multiples is following the collectibles model and holding weekly online sales later in 2018.