iOS App Enables People to Get Free Appraisals, Instantly List and Buy Auction Items On-The-Go
NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — October 20, 2014 — Lofty, the trusted marketplace to seamlessly buy and sell fine art, antiques and collectibles online, today announced the launch of its new online platform and mobile application. By cutting out the middleman so people can sell directly to one another, Lofty is streamlining the often byzantine process of buying and selling art, making it more accessible and affordable than ever before. Lofty’s improved user experience will better enable art lovers to easily buy and sell both online and on-the-go for half the commission of traditional auction houses.
Lofty now accepts more types of items for free appraisal than any other online marketplace, enabling anything of value to be virtually appraised for free. The company now provides free estimates on items in 76 categories, ranging from fine European paintings and Asian decorative arts to estate jewelry and handbags. Sellers can easily upload personal photos of any item they wish to sell. From there, sellers receive a free, virtual evaluation from Lofty’s unparalleled network of experts, and can instantly list the item for sale through either the ‘buy now’ or auction features. The seller keeps the item until it sells, at which point it is picked up by Lofty’s complementary concierge service, professionally packed and shipped to the buyer. Lofty’s experts ensure that each item is identified and valued as accurately as possible with Lofty’s unique five-year authenticity guarantee.
Previously in Beta for select users, the new Lofty app, available on iOS, delivers coveted auction items directly to user’s phones or tablets. Features include an easy upload photo function, on-the-go listing, the ability to follow in-progress appraisals, mobile bidding on auctions and direct payment through the app. Lofty’s carefully selected network of more than 80 experts, who hail from noted dealers and auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, virtually evaluates each piece quickly and efficiently.
On the revamped website, Lofty now holds rolling auctions every few weeks, in contrast to traditional auction houses, which can take months to appraise and list an item. This, coupled with multiple buying options, gives people immediate results – one of the main benefits of using the online marketplace. In addition to bidding on items at auction and immediately purchasing items through the ‘buy now’ feature, people are also able to counter bid on items already listed through ‘buy now.’
“Buying and selling art can be an incredibly complex and time consuming process. We want to make it affordable and accessible for everyone. That’s why we created Lofty,” said Mark Lurie, CEO of Lofty. “We’re pleased to announce these new features and look forward to helping people discover and sell treasures without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.”
Lofty accepts items valued from $500 to $50,000. Its robust community of trained experts is currently appraising more than 1,000 items every week. Despite this growth, with its authenticity guarantee, Lofty maintains a return rate of less than .05 percent.
Lofty has $3M in seed funding led by Founder’s Fund Angel, an investment firm founded by Peter Thiel, and serial Internet entrepreneur and angel investor, Fabrice Grinda. While currently only available on iOS, Lofty plans to release an app for Android users at a later date. For more about the buying and selling process on Lofty, visit http://www.lofty.com.
Lofty is the trusted marketplace to seamlessly buy and sell fine art, antiques and collectibles online. Lofty takes the guesswork out of the buying and selling process with virtual appraisals by our network of more than 80 experts, which includes qualified appraisers, current and former auction house specialists, reputable dealers, and other art world professionals with decades of experience evaluating items in their specialties. Lofty believes that buying art and antiques should come with complete peace of mind and makes building sustainable, trusting relationships with clients a top priority. More information can be found at http://www.lofty.com.
SutherlandGold for Lofty
Bethany Mullinix, 415-237-1665