The only constant in the old and rare book business these days is change and Heritage once again is changing the structure of their weekly book and autograph auctions to give bidders additional time to counter what has been a flurry of last second electronic bids placed via Bidnapper and other similar software. Such software lets invisible bidders step in with a few seconds to go and walk off with bargains that would potentially have achieved higher realizations if other bidders were aware and had the opportunity to respond.
In Heritage’s revised format the final two hours of the sale will see each lot sold individually rather than having all lots close at the same time. A theoretical lot 47 would open in the final session at the highest price archived to that point through active online bidding and then in the final live segment have one further opportunity to bid.
James Gannon, Director of Rare Books said about this change, “We are very excited about the prospects for this new live auction ending to our weekly Internet rare book and autograph auctions. It creates some level of excitement and anticipation that we think will be fun for our bidders and for our consignors to watch in real time.”
In trying to balance the demands of sellers and buyers Heritage has been innovative and original. With their recent announcement of these changes it's clear they are continuing to innovate.
For the field it’s important.
Link to Heritage’s current Weekly Auction