Tech Industry

Lycos, auction house create hybrid Web site

The Web portal teams with brick-and-mortar auction house Skinner to introduce a hybrid Web site that combines offline and online auctions.

Skinner, a brick-and-mortar U.S. auction house, and Web portal Lycos today introduced a hybrid Web site that combines offline and online auctions.

The new site will auction couture, fine ceramics and jewelry, including items from Dior, Wedgwood and Cartier.

Online auction sites, including eBay and Amazon, have increasingly turned to established real-world auction houses to bring higher priced items to the trading block and to help instill confidence in buyers who want to bid on antiques, art and jewelry over the Web.

Just last month, Amazon cut a deal with Sotheby's and earlier this year eBay acquired prestigious auction house Butterfield & Butterfield.

Other sites offering fine art and antiques include iCollector, Artnet.com, Guild.com and NextMonet.com.

The Lycos-Skinner site uses online auction technology to allow bidders to bid on authenticated items that will be auctioned in the Skinner galleries in upcoming feature auctions.

The winning online bid will be executed by a trained Skinner representative as an absentee bid at the offline auction.

"This new combination of online and offline bidding introduces an elevated level of quality to the Internet auction environment," Skinner chief executive Karen Keane said in a statement.