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Bonhams buys The Market auction site

by Antony Ingram
21 April 2021 1 min read
Bonhams buys The Market auction site
Bonhams

The worlds of the physical and digital have become further intertwined after leading auctioneer Bonhams announced that it has acquired The Market, a significant player in the increasingly busy online automotive marketplace.

The popularity of auction platforms probably has boomed over the past five years. The Market was an earlier entrant into… well, the market, appearing in 2017 and setting something of a template – straightforward listings and plenty of clear photographs, much like big auction houses such as Bonhams have offered traditional clients for years – that others, including Collecting Cars, soon followed.

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It’s also been a successful one, no doubt aided by the ennui that came from sitting around not driving anywhere in 2020. Last year, The Market sold £13 million in vehicles, saw a 300 per cent increase in turnover, and is apparently reaching the right people, as evidenced by 94 per cent of lots resulting in a sale.

Last year was also odd in that traditional auction houses quickly found themselves courting an online-only audience, and acquiring established online players is undoubtedly a canny move.

Maarten ten Holder, Managing Director of Bonhams Motoring, called the acquisition a “perfect fit”, noting the company’s ability to now reach customers at all price points, around the clock, and to collectors anywhere in the world.

Bonhams, certainly no stranger to the auction process itself, can now also call upon the expertise of a dedicated online platform, while The Market can benefit from Bonhams’ global reach. The relentless pace of the online auction world doesn’t look like easing any time soon.

Also read

Going fast? 5 classic racing cars worth watching at auction this month
The curious case of car-addicted Peter Sellers and a Mercedes 450 SLC
Click and collect: Your complete guide to buying a car at an online auction

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