Stuck at home due to coronavirus lockdown, many individuals have discovered a newfound interest in pop memorabilia.
One auction expert reports that, since quarantines began, he’s seen a significant increase in activity.
“We anticipate that the coronavirus is actually going to help our business,” Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, told Reuters on Monday. His company is already seeing more interest than usual for two pop memorabilia auctions set for April.
Those auctions — one for Paul McCartney’s scribbled “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be” lyric notes, the other for items from Doris Day’s estate, including her Golden Globe awards — are enjoying exponentially more online activity than such pop-culture auctions normally experience.
“With the Doris Day and the Beatles auction, we’re 10 times where we’d normally be at this time with auctions because of the interest,” says Julien, adding that online registrations, bidding and catalog orders are all far above average.
The interest is coming significantly from parts of Europe that have been most impacted by the virus, including Italy and Spain, but “there’s a lot of interest from everybody.”
For interest to be spiking right now makes sense, says Julien — the auction industry also saw a spike during the Great Recession. Then as now, people suddenly found themselves looking for non-stock-market ways to invest.
“We had our record years in 2008 and 2009,” he says, owing it to people with wealth “looking for ways to diversify their portfolios.”
Now, in addition to avoiding the stock market, people are also unable to leave their houses.
“It’s one of those things that people can do and participate in from their home,” says Julien. “You don’t need to show up.”
Auctions aren’t the only business benefiting from the current pandemic. Workers tell The Post that online booze-delivery services, car-rental firms and local bodegas are among the lucky ones in terms of continued business during the outbreak.