I am an Auctioneer. I am very good at what I do. I have been on stage all my life, and am considered personable, charismatic, friendly, firm and professional. I have worked for Auctioneers from Colorado to Maryland, Michigan to Texas. There is nothing like a quality bidcall from an auctioneer that is rhythmic, well paced, and understandable. So why do I wish to work with online auctions?
In 2014 I was hired by my good friend, Rich Kruse, to do some distressed asset work. He wanted every item tagged and cataloged. Quite honestly, I was not impressed, but he was paying the hourly wage. As a person that embraces the stage, and does not particularly care for the monotony of cataloging, I found it quite tedious. Through that process I learned, stored and applied that knowledge. Countless hours of networking with professionals, many many days scouring the web.... here is the result. I always have prided myself on being able to wheedle one more bid out of a person. However, with a properly marketed, and a desirable asset, a live auction may have difficulty keeping up with the results. I will take professional heat for what I am writing, and others may argue til they're blue in the face, but I am right. Let's take a closer look.
Farmer Joe has decided to retire and use his remaining years to travel. Over the years, Joe has amassed quite the collection of valuable possessions, however nothing is more prized than the 250 acres that has been in the family for generations. Joe calls up old friend, Auctioneer Clyde. Clyde comes in, has his crew set up as he has done for years. Auction day comes and for 12 hours in the blistering summer sun, Clyde sells and sells and sells. 200 people were there at the beginning, 30 by the end of the sale. Tired and satisfied, Auctioneer, buyers and sellers depart.
Or, Farmer Joe calls Auctioneer Shawn. Shawn comes in with a crew, but moves nothing outside... at least nothing heavy. They set up tabes and line up small items, however, all in the room they have spent their lives in. Everything is carefully tagged, numbered, described and photographed. On Auction day Farmer Joe calls Shawn and wonders where are all the people? To which Shawn replies, some are at home in their PJ's, some are at their grandkids ball games, some are fishing, enjoying what most of America does on a Saturday. But don't worry Joe, I am monitoring the Auction. We have 250 registered bidders, and bidding is brisk. We will be in tomorrow to manage load out.
Important points to note. In the online format, I did not have to pay 6 big burly guys to move heavy stuff, nor was there labor on auction day with multiple auctioneers, cashiers, clerks, runners, portapottys, or anything like that.
In the online format, people could leave bids on what they want, and get notified if they get outbid. They did not have to drive to the sale, nor commit time to it, at least not to the extent that someone attending a live auction does. I also need to point out that when most people, unfamiliar with our industry, see the words, online auction, they immediately think of Ebay. Ebay is an online marketplace that has auctions.
Our online software closely replicates the actions of a real live auctioneer, less the sound. Our software does not allow "sniping", the little trick of swooping in at the last second and placing a bid. Just as in a live auction, only more efficiently, our technology collects bids until there are no more bids. When someone places a bid at the waning moments, the software automatically extends the auction until there are no more competing bids.
In any auction, some prices will exceed expectations, others might not reach them, but the overall result is estimatable. I watched an online auction of a business liquidation. There was a CNC machine that was like new, but very specific to this industry. Through online bidding, and marketing, the machine brough just a few thousand less than what it cost new, and was purchased from 2 states away.
We also do Webcast Auctions, where buyers bid both online, or bid live. We have determined however, that we prefer to choose one or the other. As a company, going forward, our personal property will mostly be done online only. Large farms, land and personal property, for the forseeable future, will be live, until our own data tells us to do it differently. Foreclosure real estate will be webcast, which is online, with a live component, until legislation tells us differently, or until our internal data tells us otherwise.
I am including a few links to previous auctions, which will show you the effectiveness of the online bidding platform.
The above auction was a webcast, both live and online. It was not clerked properly, so anything that shows passed, was actually sold live, not to an online bidder. I invite you to look at the prices realized.
The above auction was a very small estate auction that probably would have been passed on by most auctioneers, or it would have been carted to an auction barn, where labor would have eaten up most, if not all of the proceeds. This auction was 100% online. I invite you to pay particular attention to the prices brought by the appliances, the tractor, a box of knives,and specifically, the furniture.
Til next time, I wish you enough
Shawn J Dostie, Auctioneer
Ben Schafer Realty
The Ohio Foreclosure Auction Group