NEW YORK — Lofty recently announced the launch of its online platform and mobile application of a peer-to-peer marketplace. By “cutting out the middleman,” Lofty officials say they are streamlining the process of buying and selling art, making it more accessible and affordable than ever before.
The new service allows Lofty to accept more types of items for free appraisal, which equates to free estimates on items in 76 categories, ranging from fine European paintings and Asian decorative arts to estate jewelry and handbags. Sellers can easily upload personal photos of any item they wish to sell. At that point, sellers receive a free, virtual evaluation from Lofty’s network of experts and can instantly list the item for sale through either the “buy now” or auction features. The seller keeps the item until it sells, at which point it is picked up by Lofty’s complementary concierge service, professionally packed and shipped to the buyer.
Lofty’s team of more than 80 experts ensure that each item is identified and valued as accurately as possible, with Lofty’s unique five-year authenticity guarantee. At present, the team is appraising more than 1,000 items each week.
“Buying and selling art can be an incredibly complex and time consuming process. We want to make it affordable and accessible for everyone. That’s why we created Lofty,” said Mark Lurie, CEO of Lofty. “We’re pleased to announce these new features and look forward to helping people discover and sell treasures without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.”
Plus, the new Lofty app, available on iOS, delivers coveted auction items directly to user’s phones or tablets. Features include an easy upload photo function, on-the-go
listing, the ability to follow in-progress appraisals, mobile bidding on auctions and direct payment through the app. The company has plans to release the app on Android in the future.
On the revamped website, Lofty holds rolling auctions every few weeks. This, coupled with multiple buying options, gives people immediate results – one of the main benefits of using the online marketplace. In addition to bidding on items at auction and immediately purchasing items through the “buy now” feature, people are also able to counter bid on items already listed through “buy now.”
Lofty has $3 million in seed funding, led by Founder’s Fund Angel, an investment firm founded by Peter Thiel, and serial Internet entrepreneur and angel investor Fabrice Grinda.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about Lofty, check out the Knowing Your Business profile which appeared in the Feb. 19, 2014, issue of Antique Trader.