NEW YORK – LiveAuctioneers.com, the Manhattan-based company that, together with eBay Live Auctions, facilitates real-time Internet bidding for 450 auction houses worldwide, has given its Web site a makeover and launched a new package of design services. “The goal is to make the process of live Internet bidding as easy as possible for our auction-house customers, from start to finish,” said LiveAuctioneers’ CEO Julian R. Ellison.
With a new color scheme and layout in place, LiveAuctioneers’ homepage, and each subsequent page containing active auctions, now exhibits a more user-friendly format. Instead of the previous arrangement, which featured a long list of chronologically arranged auctions requiring lengthy scrolling, the new design includes seven auctions per page. “We tested it, and seven turned out to be the magic number,” said Ellison.
Now, the main listing for each active auction appearing on the LiveAuctioneers site is accompanied by five “thumbnails,” or miniature images, depicting key items from that particular sale. Previously, only one image was included. “This way there’s a wider representation of what is to be sold in a given auction,” said Ellison. “More bidders are attracted as a result, and the auction is financially more successful.”
Additionally, each auction-house header on LiveAuctioneers’ site now identifies the country where that auction is physically located, by means of a national-flag icon. “This is important to bidders because there are auction houses in a dozen different countries using our services, not just in America,” said Ellison.
With its expanded team of in-house IT and design specialists, LiveAuctioneers now offers a suite of design services to its customers. The service known as “Web Doctor” undertakes an expert analysis of an auction-house customer’s Web site and renders explanations of key issues to be addressed, together with recommendations, in a written report. Upon request, the analysis also can include sample page redesigns and new copy.
A second new service available through LiveAuctioneers is Web site design. Specialists involve clients in the development of their site’s format, taking their unique needs into consideration throughout the process. “We can develop a Web site that is streamlined to interface with other Web applications, and include content-management systems that clients can then easily manage on their own,” said Ellison.
The third new venture for LiveAuctioneers is consulting. In addition to project planning, the company produces results-oriented Web-development workshops, on site at auction houses. “A typical one-week workshop combines strategic consulting with hands-on training, and also includes ongoing expert support,” said Ellison.
Earlier this year, LiveAuctioneers introduced what has turned out to be the most popular feature of its entire 3 1/2 years of operation: a free-access archive database of past sales. The archive-search function has been integrated with the active-auctions search function so that the visitor needs only input a keyword once to retrieve all current and past listings, with the latter indicating prices realized.
“Annual subscriptions to archival databases of this type cost hundreds of dollars elsewhere,” said Ellison. “We see no reason to charge for this information. We offer it completely free of charge to anyone who registers with LiveAuctioneers.”