For a dealer, the consignment option has equal if not more value than to an auctioneer. Consigned inventory is controlled inventory, and how you sell it depends upon a liquidation time frame. There are many options that dealers could offer, like being a conduit for consignors to the technology of 1st Dibs while also offering professional vetting and service. It’s also probably a lot cheaper than doing the show circuit too.
I must confess that I have been “there and back again” over the history of technology and the Internet, as the web has been littered with good attempts to be the eBay of better quality decorative and fine arts. I still have my business plan (from back in the day) to implement my creation, for dealers only, of the “Decorative And Fine Arts Market Exchange” (DAFAME). Sounds noble enough! However, the best thing about 1st Dibs is it allows a dealer to be recognized as a professional in this industry.
The successful creation of some standard beyond any number of exclusive dealer associations is quite welcome. The standard for membership on any level in this industry is riddled with inconsistencies and just plain blather. At least eBay has a standard of measures for dealer professionalism. But the exciting aspect of this prospect is coming from 1st Dibs. Its foundation is having the best dealers affiliated to it, as the merchandise will follow. And, buyers have never experienced anything like this format; dealers can provide all the services, just like the (duopoly) auctioneers but without the deception, fraud, conflicts of interest….
A professional member of 1st Dibs is in a very fortunate place because the potential to suck consignments from auction is huge. The relationship between potential consigning clients depends on the speed of the payout, which can be slow under normal circumstances. But with a 1st Dibs option, that type of exposure is potent and has value as tool to sell and rent (yes, we rent at Newel). A consignor would have confidence knowing that a dealer can handle the process of selling whether stored with the dealers own stock or even if still being used in a residence, be it art, jewelry, or furniture.
However, the member dealer profile must maintain some form of measured performance in order to be able to evolve and get better for the buyers. I have no idea what parameters 1st Dibs uses to select or reject potential and present listing members, but they seem to have a pretty good handle on that capacity. They have maintained a stellar growth pattern of attracting legitimate buyers and professional dealer members (as well as serious investors too).