Picasso.com

Culture and technology.
Feb. 7 1999 3:30 AM

Picasso.com

The Internet breaks open the art market.

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What, you might ask, do dealers stand to gain from making information available online if it merely gives leverage to their customers? The answer is that the Internet stands to expand the market as a whole more than enough to compensate them for having to compete with each other. A gallery in Geneva or Berlin can now sell artwork to someone who never leaves Iowa City. Some even think that while Internet competition may drive prices down initially, prices will rise as sellers are matched with buyers and the market clears. Neuendorf, for one, says he expects the Web to drive art prices through the roof. Judging from what Pez dispensers are fetching on eBay, he might just be right.

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