Trust, transparency and transactions: Revealing participation in collocated and hybrid auction sales

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Drawing on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, this chapter show how transparency and trust are created through interaction in auction sales of fine art and antiques, focusing on how sources of bids are revealed. The data are video recordings of conventional auction sales in a saleroom, and recordings of ‘hybrid’ auction sales involving remote participants through bidding platforms. Three sets of empirical findings are presented. First, some of auctioneers’ interactional practices in conventional, collocated sales are identified and analysed. Second, it is shown how auctioneers transformed or transposed those practices to hybrid ecologies, which pose new challenges but also provide resources to overcome them, and make new practices possible. The third and last section shows how auction houses can use features of online platforms to increase remote bidders’ access to the sale, and thus make the process more transparent. The findings suggest that auctioneers took a key role in enabling the shift to hybrid sales by transforming their practices. It is argued that these ecologies and the possibilities they create do not replace any of the auctioneer’s key contributions; and that some physical copresence and synchronous interactions mediated by an auctioneer are integral to auction sales, part of their essence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultimodality and Social Interaction in Online and Offline Shopping
EditorsGitte Rasmussen, Theo van Leeuwen
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781003284123
ISBN (Print)9781032255910
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sept 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Multimodality


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