Record-breaking 2023, Italy’s most active market

THEl 2023 confirmed as a year characterized by strong socio-economic instability and by a stability of inflation which recorded zero growth for the Eurozone. All factors which, however, have not managed to slow down the market online auctions che, year after year, is becoming an increasingly popular modality widespread to purchaseand – and sell – special objects, with growing numbers both in terms of value and volumes.

Auctions, record year

This trend is confirmed Catawiki which published a report with the global and local results of 2023 that is closed to the sign of records, starting from number of trades: sin fact they went beyond that 3 million items sold on the portal globallyand, with a growth of around 20% compared to 2022 and a real boom of over 40% of new users who participated in an online auction by making a bid for the first time. Record numbers, therefore, which bring happiness to both sellers looking for new sources of income – thanks to the possibility of accessing an international marketplace – and buyers, divided between collectors driven by the passion of finding a unique object and those, on the contrary , frequents the platform to look for new forms of investment.

The most popular categories for new bidders were different: from the glittering world of gold bars, to fashion accessories including sneakers and designer bags, up to pop culture memorabilia. “We are thrilled to have recorded a growth of 20% compared to 2022 and to have exceeded 3 million objects sold on Catawiki last year – declared Ravi Vora, CEO of Catawiki – an extraordinary number which, if you want to make a comparison, represents six times the Louvre collection. The nearly 40% increase in new bidders highlights that specialty items are increasingly popular and cater to an ever-expanding global community.”

Italy remains the most active market

The Italian one is confirmed as the first market in terms of spending tamong the key countries where Catawiki is present. The percentage of newbies, that is, those who placed a bid in one of the auctions for the first time, increased by 22%, and who focused more on objects such as Manga and anime, LEGO and Pokémon. Watches have become the first category in Italy in terms of sales, with an increase of +33% compared to the previous year, while decorative objects have excelled in terms of volumes (+14%) compared to 2022. Among the most expensive ones brought home by Italians include: one Jaguar XK 150 OTS 3.8 SE from 1958 (112,000 euros), a trunk by Louis Vuitton (35,658 euros) and a coffee table by Ado Chale (18,500 euros).

Two, finally, i records to report: the 400,000 euros – representing the highest bid in absolute made by an Italian buyer – spent to win a Ferrari – SF90 Stradale Coupé 4.0L V8 and the 18,000 euros needed to win the most expensive bag ever bought in Italy: HermèsKelly 32 Handbag.

Everyone is crazy about watches

Also driving global sales up Catawiki during 2023 it was the watches that recorded a growth of 34% compared to the previous year. Rolex stood out as the brand that generated the highest number of sales, with an increase of almost 80% compared to 2022, Seiko instead won the ranking of the number of items sold while Omega placed second in both for sales and volumes. Notable watches sold during the year include a Patek Philippe Nautilus selling for around 51,000 euros, a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Special “Beach” Edition selling for around 35,000 euros and an Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project Limited Edition sold for over 15,000 euros.

The new growing categories

Sales of film and TV memorabilia grew 70% globally in 2023, demonstrating the impact of the entertainment industry on consumer preferences. Following the release of Barbie, the highest-grossing film of the year, Catawiki reported a more than 20% increase in the average value of Barbie dolls and a 40% increase in the toy category by the end of the year. Sports also ranked as one of the fastest growing categories, demonstrating how sports memorabilia, with a leap forward of 30%, is increasingly acquiring the status of collectibles. Last year some of the historic sports pieces were sold on Catawiki: from the suit and shoes of the seasonal debut of the three-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen, which were sold for 35,000 and 8,500 euros respectively, to the Pinarello bike worth almost 40,000 euros with which the champion Miguel Indurain won the 1994 Tour de France; from the Lapierre Obvious bicycle worth over 12,000 euros with which the cyclist Thibaut Pinot bid farewell to cycling, auctioned on Catawiki thanks to the successful partnership with the Groupama-FDJ racing team, up to the autographed jerseys of Pelé and Maradona, beaten for around 10,000 euros.

Record-breaking supercars

In 2023, a record number of four objects – all supercars – were sold for over 300,000 euros, setting new records in the history of Catawiki. At the top of the list is the most expensive object ever sold on the market, a Ferrari 812 GTS which reached the stratospheric sum of 415,000 euros, setting a new record. Followed by a Ferrari SF90 Stradale sold for 400,000 euros, one Lamborghini Aventador LP740-4 S sold for 300,009 euros and an F1 racing car, the STR7 driven in 2012 by Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergnesold for 315,000 euros which was also the most popular object ever on Catawiki, with over 4,000 “likes”