Bored Apes at Sotheby’s

Auctions can be a funny thing. When the market is hot and a rare and in demand lots are going across the auction block, the sales prices can be record-breaking. But when the market is down or sideways, there will be less bidders and those bidders that remain will be looking for discounts. 

So I was a little perplexed when I received the email from Sotheby’s for an NFT auction last week that included five bored apes. There’s still a month and a half left of 2022 but at this point I think it’s safe to say that this year has been down and sideways for NFTs. 

Leading into the auction I could see that Sotheby’s had set the low end of the bid estimates from $100,000 to $150,000 for the apes. The auction website didn’t disclose if there were reserves but I’m imagining they were in place and probably somewhere around $100k to $150k depending on which ape you were looking at. 

Here are the five apes that were to be auctioned. 

Ape #1598.

Ape #7724.

Ape #7610.

Ape #8636.

Ape #8331.

As far as bored apes go, none of these have the attributes or combination of attributes that make them top tier. Personally, I don’t like these five. They all have at least one attribute that I dislike. If I had to choose one from this batch, I would go with 8331 and just photoshop some different clothing to replace the ripped up shirt.

So now it’s a week after the auction ended. I went back to check the results and…none of the apes sold.

For more info on the auction at Sotheby’s, click here.

Unfortunately, the results don’t show the number of bids or how high the bids went. So far I can only surmise that the bids didn’t exceed the reserves.

I’m not surprised at all. 

Looking at the Opensea sales data for bored apes on the date of the auction, I can see that there 16 sales that day with an average sales price of 64ETH. The price of ETH that day was ranging between $1,211 and $1,302. So at $1,300, the average sales price for an ape was $83,000 that day. And a number of the sales between 57ETHand 58ETH, only $75,400 in fiat currency.

Assuming the reserves at Sotheby’s ranged from $100k to $150k, that would convert to 78ETH to 115ETH.

There’s no way for 5 apes to sell only minutes apart at an auction with a premium that’s 20eth or $26,000 over the cheapest apes that were sold that day. 

Sotheby’s has the ability to bring in wealthy buyers from the art world, but those buyers probably are looking to de-risk right now instead. They aren’t looking to move into the high risk NFT market.

It’s awesome that Sotheby’s has moved into the NFT space. This is probably the 4th or 5th time they auctioned NFTs at least. Moving into something new is always risky and I applaud them for it.

But still, this was perplexing move here by Sotheby’s and the owners of those five apes. I know the auction was set up well in advance and they had no idea where prices in the open market would be on auction day. And the timing was more unfortunate by the FTX scandal breaking out that week.

That’s it for now.

Stay rad.