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Can I interest you in a codpiece?

Earlier this week, I spotted something interesting in an auction house window and asked if I could phone in a bid. I was directed to this website.

It’s an auction aggregator, and it’s much cooler than it sounds. Well, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it.

If you think about the sorts of things likely to come up for auction in the UK (and a few sites on the Continent), you’ll get what I mean. That codpiece, for example, is from a sale of historic items from the Stone Age to the Medieval period.

You can browse through individual collections, or do a keyword search across the lot. (To work out the guide prices, today’s exchange rate is $1.62 = £1).

Okay, here’s the coolest part: you can participate in the auctions in real time. You have to register with the site to listen in. (Don’t worry, you won’t accidentally buy an 18th C Chippendale dining set — if you want to bid, you have to jump through extra hoops).

Then go to the Live Auction page and click on any of the listings with a Watch live.

They show you the image for each lot as they go through and you can listen in to the bidding (hit the speaker icon to get the audio going). If you registered to bid in that auction, there’s a bid button, too.

You can also browse recently closed auctions to see how the actual price stacks up to the estimate. Interesting. Looks to me like coins and other small, valuable collectibles are being snatched up well over the guide price. Bad economy and worries about inflation, I reckon.

I’ve not been to many real auctions, but I saw occasional crazy bargains happen when I did. I suppose aggregating sales might put an end to that, at least for desirable or specialist items. But it’s an awfully fun way to waste an afternoon.

sock it to me

June 10, 2011 — 7:01 pm
Comments: 26