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20th Mar 2020
Tim Blyth of Keys Auctioneers and Valuers

A Norfolk auction house has introduced video streaming for all of its auctions together with live online bidding – a move which is enabling it to keep operating during the COVID-19 crisis.

Keys Auctioneers and Valuers, in Aylsham, has embraced online bidding and live audio feeds of its auctions for some years, and the move to universal video streaming was planned long before the current crisis – but bosses at the leading regional auction house says that the decision has proven valuable as people avoid social contact after government advice.

“Online bidding has been a feature of the auction trade for a long time, and online bidders represent a growing proportion of those taking part in our auctions,” said Keys director Tim Blyth.

“We had been planning to add live video streaming for some time, but to get it up and running across all our auctions just as people are understandably reluctant to attend auctions in person means that we have a viable and attractive alternative which is enabling us to keep operating.”

Online bidders can watch a live video feed of the auction on their screens, and place live online bids which are accepted as if the bidder was in the room.

The system is already up and running, in time for Keys’ first two day Fine Sale of the year, which takes place on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th March.

“Our Fine Sales are our flagship auctions, attracting bidders from right across the UK and indeed the world,” said Mr Blyth.  “Whilst many of them already use online bidding, a good proportion like to attend the sale so that they can see what is going on.  Our new live video streaming of sales will give them almost that experience, without the risk of being in a crowded room.”

Details of the new video streaming service can be found at bid.keysauctions.co.uk.

Keys’ two day Fine Sale takes place at the firm’s Aylsham salerooms, and online, on Wednesday 25th March and Thursday 26th March.  Full details of all Keys’ sales can be found at www.keysauctions.co.uk.