Friends of mine and I have a WhatsApp chat group dedicated to seeking out bargains on local online auctions. We started it during the lockdown, and the energetic art-and antique-fuelled discussions have gained pace through the pandemic. Messages flagging dream lots, bidding updates and the top choices flood our inboxes.

This is thanks to the steep rise in online auctions, and today it seems hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have that option...

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