Fred Sands; President and CEO, Fred Sands Realty

If I am going to bid on a painting, this is the place that I go to first to start my research. Actually, I'm going to be bidding on a piece of art from Christie's very soon. And what I do beforehand is, I do my research.

I get online and I see about this particular artist. I see what his work has sold for in the past. I look at what years have sold for the highest prices. I try and gauge the quality of the artwork that has sold. I can use the site to look at each piece that has sold.

It helps me determine the value of the work that's about to be sold. I can get an idea of what the piece might go for and what I might have to bid to own it. I like to collect abstract expressionists. That's the particular style I prefer. lets me search individually by the artist, as you might search by author for a book. And the site has everything by the artist: works on paper, works on canvass, sculptures. It's an incredibly useful site.

Before the Internet, you'd have to go through every Christie's or Sotheby's catalogue to look at everything, every sale and price, that had happened in the past.

Here, using, I can look at what has happened in the past 10 years in a matter of minutes, neatly laid out for me. And it's an independent site, not sponsored by any of the auction houses, so there's never any feeling of data being manipulated.

I've been collecting art for many years, but I've been a subscriber to for only a year or two. Because this is auction season, I've been on there lately at least once a week.

Other Destinations This site is good for news from the real estate industry. It's where I like to go for a first glance to see who's bought whom, who closed, who merged. It gives me a good rundown of anything to do with the real estate brokerage industry. It's a free service that many people in the industry use, at least for quick information. I run, and I wear New Balance running shoes. I used to buy them at a place right across from my office. But the last time I went in there, the sales guy told me they didn't make the shoes I wanted in my size anymore I have a narrow heel. So I bought the ones he recommended, but wasn't really satisfied. Then, I got on New Balance's site. Well, the guy had lied to me. I found really good quality shoes like I'd been looking for, in my size. There's something to be said for eliminating incompetent retailers and going right to the source.

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