Auction sales have been better than normal during the weeks of social distancing related to the coronavirus pandemic, Heritage Auctions said in an update. “We have also seen a significant uptick in bidding activity, website visitors, and prices realized in recent weeks,” the company said. The trends are based on the 10-15 auctions per week Heritage runs, all of which have continued uninterrupted with online bidding during the coronavirus crisis. “[E]ach has seen unusually strong results, significantly exceeding expectations that were set before this troubled present.”
It will take some time to validate this as a coronavirus trend, and if so, to determine what’s driving the phenomenon. Two possibilities come to mind: increased investment interest in collectibles as a hedge against other asset classes that aren’t performing well in the current environment; or more time spent online on auction sites by people interested in collectibles that are “working” at home. Either way, it’s great to find a space in geek culture that’s doing well in this troubled time.