Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2010 Issue

Antiquarian Auctions Comes to America


Antiquarian Auctions of South Africa is coming to America in December.

By Michael Stillman

Antiquarian Auctions, the South African based online rare book auction house, announced that they will begin running auctions based in the United States in December. The American auctions will be hosted by ABAA Laguna Beach, California, bookseller Barnaby Rudge. Online auctions will be run approximately once every six weeks.

Antiquarian Auctions will be importing the formula they have employed for around 75 online auctions in South Africa, though the material, mostly African in those auctions, will undoubtedly be very different. The auction firm's strategy is to provide a dedicated venue for booksellers to sell their books, while presenting book buyers with a level of comfort not always available with internet auctions such as eBay. First off, their auctions are dedicated solely to books and related material. The books won't get lost among the millions of other items regularly listed on eBay. The second major feature of Antiquarian Auctions is that only books offered by recognized booksellers will be offered. This is how they can provide a level of comfort to buyers not easily obtained in the bazaar that is eBay. Sellers will have to either be a member of a major book organization such as the ABAA or be otherwise known to Antiquarian Auctions as a reputable dealer.

Booksellers will be able to upload the books they wish to auction during the period between auctions. Bidding will start being accepted one week before the auction's close. Closing will be at 9:00 a.m. on Thursdays. The first auction has been scheduled for December 9 so listings should be accepted shortly if they are not already.

Dealers are charged $1.50 per listing plus 8% of the sales price on successful sales. There is no buyer's premium charged or other fees. Listing fees will be waived for the first auction so there is no risk for dealers to try it out. Reserves may be placed on books with the minimum reserve allowed being $20. Winning bidders and sellers are notified by email and are connected directly to each other to complete the sale. It offers sellers the added advantage of making contact with their customers and possibly building a long-term relationship.

Antiquarian Auctions may be found on their website at www.antiquarianauctions.com.

You may also contact Ed Postal of Barnaby Rudge Booksellers for further information. Contact information is provided on their website: www.barnabyrudge.com.

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