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Online watch auction breaks Fellows’ record as Covid restrictions allow timed bidding to flourish

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Online auctions at Fellows have flourished due to Covid-forced lockdown restrictions, the auction house has said.

The auctioneers explained how it reacted quickly when the pandemic hit and pivoted their live public auctions to a timed, online only format.

This allowed one of the UK’s leading auction houses to thrive during the first nation-wide lockdown and now, in the face of a second national lockdown, the independent, family-run business’ outlook is optimistic.

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Stephen Whittaker, managing director at Fellows, said: “People are becoming accustomed to the timed bidding format.

“Many of our timed auctions are seeing a very high percentage of items sell, notably our first-ever Designer Collection timed sale in June which saw 91% of items sold, and our Online Jewellery sales in April and May seeing 93% and 92% sold-rates respectively.”

He added: “Our Watches auctions are also continuing to attract hundreds of new bidders”.

In April, the auction house’s record for participants in an auction was broken when the Watches auction saw over 1,600 bidders taking part.

Fellows offers virtual viewings over Zoom at a time to suit the bidder, as well as free worldwide shipping on 90% of the items it sells.

Jewellery specialist, Lindsay Beardmore, said: “We are thrilled to still be able to connect with our clients during this isolated time. Using Zoom, our clients welcome us into their homes (often with a cup of tea!) and we are able to share our expertise with them.

“Although a video call has its limitations, we have been able to share some tricks of the trade with our clients so that we can value accurately.”

The auction house says it is now looking forward to a strong run up to Christmas throughout the festive period.

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas