March 13, 2020
As new cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the world, LiveAuctioneers has been closely monitoring the latest reports and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and New York city and state authorities.
We’ve taken a proactive approach in implementing precautionary measures so that we can be as effective as possible in supporting our auction house partners, keeping employees safe and doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Given the escalated guidances to contain the coronavirus disease, we are sharing additional tips for auction houses on navigating through this challenging time, along with updates on what LiveAuctioneers has done to ensure service continuity while maintaining the health and safety of our team.
Latest updates from LiveAuctioneers:
- Our NYC-area employees are fully remote. Our technology and infrastructure was built to ensure all our staff can operate remotely. Over the past few weeks we’ve made preparations to ensure all NYC-area employees are equipped to work from home. This week, our NYC-area employees have begun doing so.
- Our servers are protected. With regular server backups and redundancies across multiple locations, auction house partners and customers can expect uninterrupted service.
- We are here to help. Aside from reduced in-person visitations in our NYC office, auction house partners can expect to reach us in the same ways as usual – email, phone and online chat.
- As always, LiveAuctioneers employees are reminded to:
- Wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, frequently
- Stay home if they notice any symptoms (e.g., mild cough, low fever)
- Notify their supervisor if they’ve been in contact with someone who has or had COVID-19
- Check the news only once per day at a set time, if experiencing stress related to COVID-19. More tips here.
[ps2id id=’march14′ target=”/]COVID-19 and Live Auctions: Tips on Adapting
While new COVID-19 outbreaks in some parts of the world have begun to slow as communities take precautions to prevent spread, we still don’t know how much longer it will be until we can resume normalcy. That said, we want to make sure you are equipped with the proper tools and resources to adapt as clients and buyers spend more time online at home to minimize risk of coronavirus exposure.
- Consider training understudies for your staff with cross-training where possible. While most COVID-19 patients fully recover, now may be a good time to ensure you have full coverage in the event of a sick staff member. Even though sniffles are typically not a sign of COVID-19, they can be off putting to an event attendee so you’ll want to guide your staff to stay home if sick.
- Collect payments online. The World Health Organization reports that cash could be helping to spread COVID-19, so online payments is the safest option for your staff and your customers. According to WHO the virus could linger on money for days after exposure, so people should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer after handling cash.
- Automate where possible. Our global bidder approval settings allow you to automatically approve bidders based on custom criteria, while our Autopay functionality automatically collects funds from winning bidders and updates invoice payment statuses. To learn more about these tools, contact our team.
- For consignments, move to virtual appointments with contactless delivery. Consider offering contactless delivery options with doorstep pick-up and delivery for consignors. Consignors who prefer to remain at home may appreciate virtual appointments via FaceTime or video conferencing tools like Zoom.
- Collect signatures electronically. Reduce risk of exposure by sending and requesting consignor signatures online, using tools like HelloSign or Docusign.
- Renegotiate credit terms. Interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in a long time, and in some parts of the world, the lowest levels in history. If you use credit for business purchases, now might be a good time to renegotiate rates.
Read our March 4 update for additional tips on navigating through the COVID-19 challenge. As always if there’s any way we can provide support for you and business during this challenging time, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.