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British auctioneers bring confidence to Chinese bidders

Updated: 2013-12-21 15:46
By Song Jingli (

British auctioneers bring confidence to Chinese bidders

Jiang Qiqi(left), CEO of Epai Live Auction Co Ltd and Chris Ewbank, chairman of the Association of Accredited Auctioneers launches The New Auction Certification Scheme (plan) in Beijing on Dec 17, 2013. [Provided to]

While auction houses worldwide are trying to lure Chinese buyers, British auctioneers have come up with a new move by assuring them that what they get will be exactly as what is described in the catalogue.

The Association of Accredited Auctioneers, made up of 20 British auction houses, and the antique online bidding platform, Epailive, launched a certification plan on Dec 17 in Beijing. Under this plan, Chinese buyers can get a full refund if they find the lot in an auction is not the same as described. This kind of guarantee is effective for three years. But the auction needs to be live-broadcast on Epailive and certified by this Triple-A association.

The Daxiang (Beijing) Auction International Limited Corporation will hold an auction in Beijing on Dec 22 featuring western silverware, clocks and jewelry. Among them, silverware and clocks will be certified by the Triple-A associations, whose members have held auctions in these two sectors for more than 100 years.

Chris Ewbank, chairman of the Triple-A association said they found authenticity of antiques is the biggest concern for Chinese bidders. As auction houses in China are exempt from any obligations if someone finds that what is delivered is not as what was described, fake antiques sometimes turn up in China's auction market.

Rebecca Li, vice general manager of Epailive, said this move, although it is still on a trial basis and at a very small scale, is aimed at addressing this concern and hopes this could bring something cheerful for Chinese bidders.

A total of 925 auction houses worldwide are partners of Epailive and have their auctions live-broadcast. Bidders can get a deal done by a click.

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