Frequently Asked Questions
What is it that makes live auctions so addictive? Why do people come once and then keep coming back? Why should you join them?
Live auctions are fun.
Whether you come to look at the goods, bid, or just watch the action, there’s nothing quite like a live auction. Maybe it’s the buzz of electricity generated by a combination of competition and the thrill of the hunt. Or the awe-inspiring auctioneer’s chant that always seems to amaze kids and adults alike. Regardless of the reason, people just always seem to enjoy themselves.
You can find incredible values.
Sure, there are the fabled tales like the man who bid $10 for a dresser and found an original copy of the Declaration of Independence inside. But it’s the everyday values that are the real story behind auctions’ popularity. Whether you’re looking for your next antique or the house to put it in, there’s no place like a live auction to get a great deal.
You can discover unique items.
Some people go searching for them. Others stumble upon them while looking for something else. But either way, it’s safe to say there are thousands upon thousands of one-of-a-kind items at auctions. It’s stuff you won’t ever find in some suburban strip mall, never knew you wanted, and suddenly can’t live without.So, now you know why you should check out an auction near you. Once you’ve found a live auction, make sure you’re familiar with some of the terms you might hear there, and learn how to buy and sell like you’ve been doing it for years.
What is an auction?
There’s something about that word that gets people’s attention. You can almost see the raised eyebrows and the dollar signs in their eyes. It means they have an opportunity to buy quality products at fair and reasonable prices. It makes them anxious and excited.
What about when you hear the word “auction,” what do you think of? Does it conjure up the same images for you? Do you think “opportunity?” Do you think “rare and unusual items?”
Well, we are here to tell you that an auction is all of the above and more. In fact, an auction is not only the best and most exciting kind of “sale” it is also the most advantageous type of sale for both buyers and sellers. And through the years, it has become the sale of “choice” by many, many people throughout the country.
How many of you have been to an auction? Well, for those of you who haven’t, we want to dispel a couple of myths. Auctions are a CHOICE for today’s buyers and sellers. They are not a “last option.” Many people think that auctions are only held when someone has died or has had their property, such as their home or car, repossessed. The reasons for auctions are as varied as the materials and possessions sold there.
Another myth is that you have to be an “experienced” auction goer to buy and sell. Everyone is welcome and the staff are great about helping first timers to understand how auctions work, how to make a bid, etc. Understanding the chant is what some people find the most intimidating. Here’s a tip: listen carefully to the caller for a while and get used to his chant method. If you stick around, at the end of the talk I will give you a sample of my chant and explain to you how it works.
Auction Method of Marketing
We refer to our method of selling as “The Auction Method of Marketing.”This means much more than just making a sale. It means orchestrating a business transaction and entering into a commitment to meet the needs of both our client and our buyers. We take responsibility for the entire auction. We dedicate many long hours to prepare for and orchestrate the sale so that when that auction gavel falls, the outcome is positive for both the buyer and seller. Some of our responsibilities include:
Background on Auction Industry
I want to give a little background on the auction industry. It has a vast history that some say dates as far back at 500 B.C.
The term “auction” is derived from the Latin word “auctus,” which means “increasing or gradual increase.” Today the word as we have come to know it means a public sale of property to the highest bidder. Rome is said to have been the first country to license auctioneers. American auctions date back to the Pilgrims’ arrival on America’s Eastern Shores in the 1600s. George Washington liked to attend auctions and is said to have selected all of the furnishings for Mt. Vernon through auctions. The history of auctions is solid and substantial. Most everything has been sold by the auction method of marketing, including livestock, antiques, real estate, household items, business equipment, artwork, collector cars, electronics etc. “ I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
Auctioneering is a solid and reputable career. Today there are an estimated 30,000 auctioneers throughout the country. Auctioneers are educated marketing professionals versed in their field. They are detail-oriented, technology savvy and leaders in their community. They just keep getting better at their trade and that’s a plus for consumers. Many auctioneers attend auction school to learn their trade, then become licensed in their profession. Continuing education classes are another part of the auction business. Auctioneers attend classes to keep up on current trends and to learn new methods such as video auctioneering and live internet auctioneering. Some auctioneers take classes to earn specialized designations in fields such as real estate, personal property, agri-business, legal and more.
Referrals is a great way to find a good auctioneer, but a tried and true method is to look for auctioneers who are members of the Colorado Auctioneers Association. CAA members are bound by a code of ethics that protects consumers against unfair auction practices, and they are privy to a wide range of educational materials and programming that help me to stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry. Just look for the CAA logo when looking for a trustworthy and professional auctioneer.
Benefits of Auctions
Now that we have given you some background on the auction industry, we want to talk with you about the advantages of using the auction method of marketing to buy and sell goods.
The best way for us to do this is to compare the auction method to other sales methods. How many of you have ever been to a garage sale or yard sale? How about a swap meet or open market sale? We’re sure all of you have been to a community event or fair where there are a number of booths featuring items for sale. All of these sales are approaches people use to market and dispose of their property, and make some money.
When compared with auctions, these types of sales are not in the same ballpark. I’m not knocking these types of sales; they serve a purpose and are quite popular. But if you’re looking for the best and most efficient way to sell your property, nothing compares to an auction.
Garage sales, swap meets and these other types of sales are very time-consuming for the seller (including the prep time, the time spent sitting and waiting for customers to come, etc.). Most of their marketing comes in the form of a cardboard sign stuck in the ground, and sometimes through a general ad that publicizes the event, but not always their particular items or booth. And when the sale is over, there are always a large number of items left. This is true, isn’t it? How many of you have had a garage sale or yard sale, only to end up with half the items you had for sale back in your house? Or, you spend time and energy loading it all up in your car or truck and taking it down to the Goodwill store or local thrift store?
With an auction, the auctioneer and his or her staff take care of preparing items and estimating their fair market value. They professionally market the sale so that people from throughout the county, state, or even country will know about it. And they make it their job to create a competitive and entertaining atmosphere that attracts consumers to the sale. Their hand gestures, eye contact with the crowd and their rhythmic “chant” stirs buyers and brings the sale to life. Through auctions, sellers can obtain the highest possible price, dispose of all their property and receive money for their goods all in one day.
And buyers have the opportunity to “shop” for unique merchandise and pay the price they want in the spirit of competition. All of these things separate auctions from other types of sales.
If you have never been to an auction or sold goods through the auction method of marketing, you’re missing out on expertise, value, excitement and fun. It’s one of the oldest and most popular sales methods today.
Why Should I sell at Auction?
Auctions are the most unique and valuable way of selling almost any type of personal property. Some of the most popular auctions are those that involve household items, or livestock or antiques. But auctions involve so many more possessions: automobiles, office equipment, art, machinery, industrial equipment, electronics. One very rapidly growing area is real estate. More and more people are buying and selling their homes and land by the auction method.
People are Flocking to Auctions
Auctions are one of the oldest forms of selling property; their history spans centuries. And time has only increased their popularity. A research study commissioned by the National Auctioneers Association shows that auctioneering is an industry on the rise.
Did you know that more than half of the total U.S. population has attended a live auction?
In 2004, the value of all goods and services sold at live auction in the U.S. was approximately $202.7 billion. This figure is up 6.8% over 2003 and translates into a huge number of satisfied buyers and sellers of goods.
They’re entertainment at their finest. That’s what most consumers say about auctions and that’s the number one reason they attend. So what makes them so fun and entertaining? Some say it’s the unexpected and the idea of experiencing something original.
All in all:
In addition, consumers find auctions fun because they’re a rewarding activity for the whole family to enjoy. On average, consumers are willing to drive 1.3 hours to attend a live auction, with 75% bringing the family when they go.
The Value of Selling at Auction
So how can auctions benefit you, as a seller? Why are they the best way to sell property? Well, there are a number of reasons
Speedy Process, Quick Turnaround.
An auction is immediate. It happens during a set time and is completed during that time. It’s quick and efficient.
You Set the Time and Place of Your Sale.
It’s as simple as that. You work with the auction firm to schedule what works best for you.
You Know Exactly When Your Property or Goods Will Be Sold.
There’s no wondering whether or not your property will sell. It WILL sell and it will sell during the set auction time.
Comprehensive Marketing of Your Property.
Part of conducting an auction is marketing it to the general public to get as many people there as possible. Auctioneers have comprehensive mailing lists they use to market their sales. They run advertisements, distribute fliers and more. They are marketing specialists. A good marketing effort can easily bring 300 to 400 people to your auction, or more!
Buyers Come Prepared to Buy.
Auction goers come with money in their wallets, pockets and hands and are prepared to come home with property. It’s a seller’s delight. For real estate auctions this is especially advantageous because buyers must qualify to buy through a deposit of a certified or cashier’s check.
There is no haggling over price or merchandise. The auction method is quick and efficient. When people bid, they make a commitment to buy the property at that price without discussion or debate.
No Leftovers and Little Clean Up.
Every item at an auction goes up for bid and every item is sold. How many of you have ever had a garage sale and when you’re finished, you spend hours packing up what didn’t sell and looking for places to store it? With an auction, there’s no worry about what to do with leftover items because there aren’t any. This means very little clean up, also.
Auctions motivate buyers to perform. People get caught up in the competitiveness of the bidding and many times this drives the price of items higher. To some it’s like a game, and they want to win at all costs (or hopefully for you, at high costs!) And did you know that 9 times out of 10, an auction brings in the fair market value, if not more, for any item put across the auction block?
There’s no more exciting atmosphere than an auction. Crowds of people competing for property, combined with that lively auction chant makes for some great entertainment and fun. (Give them a sample of your chant.) It makes people feel good and makes them feel like spending.
Auctions Work Well in Both Good and Bad Economic Times.
People love auctions, because they love sales. Statistics show, in a good or bad economy auctions remain a steady force. When the economy is bad, the auction industry does not feel the impact: people still flock to auctions.
Hiring an Auction Company
When you make the decision to sell by auction, the most important thing you must do is hire a qualified and experienced auctioneer or auction company to handle your auction.
There are thousands of auctioneers throughout the United States who offer a wide range of auction services to consumers. So what do you look for when hiring an auctioneer or an auction firm?
First, look for someone who specializes in selling the type of property you want to sell. All auctioneers have specialty areas and most have more than one. What do they know about the products or goods you are selling?
Experience is another critical element. How long has the auctioneer or the auction company been in business? What is their reputation? Look at their web site, if they have one. Most importantly, look for an auctioneer who is a member of the Colorado Auctioneers Association Most will display this logo on their business cards, signs, web sites and other business materials. The CAA is the largest professional association for auctioneers in the state of Colorado,working for the betterment of the auction industry. It offers continuing education programs for auctioneers to help them keep up-to-date on the latest trends and technology for the auction industry.
The CAA also offers a wide range of designation classes to make auctioneers “specialists” in areas such as personal property appraisal, real estate, estate auctions and more.
All members of the NAA abide by a code of ethics that guarantees high standards to customers and fair business practices.
In short, this symbol means you have made the best choice when it comes to auction services!
When meeting with the auction company:
We work hard for our money, but most of us spend the majority of our waking hours working. Our money pays for our homes, our land, our automobiles, insurance, clothes, food, all of our possessions and so much more. So when it comes to selling those possessions and property, the smartest thing you can do is let an auctioneer help you continue to get the value you deserve. A professional auctioneer knows what land is worth, what household items and office equipment are worth, and what personal property is worth. A professional auctioneer will manage your sale so you can get a good value from these items in which you have invested your hard earned money. You work hard for your money, and we will work hard for your money, too.
Why should I buy at Auction?
First, let me give you a little bit of background on auctions and their popularity. Did you know that more than half of the population has attended a live auction? In 2004, the value of all goods and services sold at live auction in the U.S. was approximately $202.7 billion. This figure is up 6.8% over 2003 and translates into a huge number of satisfied buyers and sellers of goods.
These figures come from a comprehensive research study commissioned by the National Auctioneers Association. The study as a whole shows that the auction industry is on the rise. More and more consumers are seeing the advantages of buying by the auction method. In addition, consumers find auctions fun because they’re a rewarding activity for the whole family to enjoy. On average, consumers are willing to drive 1.3 hours to attend a live auction, with 75% bringing the family when they go.
Here are some of the others reasons why consumers love attending auctions:
Advantages of Buying at Auction
So what’s so special about auctions? And what’s the advantage of buying at auction? Well, there are plenty of advantages.
Speed of the Process.
There’s no doubt that an auction is the fastest sales process around. It’s quick and efficient and that’s what makes it attractive. We sell a multitude of items in a short time.
You Set Your Own Price and Establish a Value.
You are in control at an auction. You decide when to bid and how much to bid â€“ how high or low you want to go.
Certainty of Knowing What You’re Getting.
Auctioneers deal with a wide range of merchandise. They are educated professionals who know value and price. Many have special certifications in personal property or estate appraisals.
Opportunity for Good Value.
With the wide array of items up for bid, there’s always an opportunity to get a good deal. Sometimes it’s a matter of just wearing down those other bidders.
Fun and Excitement.
There’s no doubt that an auction is entertainment at its finest. Crowds of people competing for unique property, combined with that lively and rhythmic auction chant make for some great entertainment and fun. It’s an event the whole family can enjoy.
Honesty of the Transaction.
Auctions are very organized and the rules are straightforward. Auctioneers who are members of the National Auctioneers Association, as I am, are bound by a code of ethics that protects consumers against unfair auction practices.
When Attending an Auction
Here are some basic tips you should know when attending an auction.
Show Up Early.
Arriving early will give you time to get familiar with your surroundings and, most importantly, it will give you time to preview the merchandise or items being sold. You can see the items close up and start planning for which items you will make bids.
Make Sure You Register.
Anyone who bids must have a bidder number and this can only be secured through registering before the auction begins.
Be Prepared to Bid.
Bidding is simple. But if you’re doing it for the first time, it can be intimidating. Here are some general guidelines:
Look for the CAA Logo
How do you find auctions? Well, one easy way is to look through your local newspaper, or better yet, look at the top of this screen and select “find an auction.” Hundreds are listed there from all around the country. But more importantly, these are auctions of CAA members. The CAA is a state wide organization for auctioneers that is focused on promoting the auction method of marketing and advancing the professionalism of its members. in addition to the code of ethics that protects consumers against unfair auction practices, the CAA also focuses on the continued education of its members. They offer a wide range of educational materials and programming that help me to stay abreast of the latest developments in the industry. So remember to look for the CAA logo when looking for an auction etc. “ that way you’ll be assured of experiencing an auction conducted by a trustworthy and professional auctioneer.
Common Auction Terms
If you’re a frequent auction attendee, you’re probably familiar with some of the jargon used at auctions. But for those of you who are new to buying at auction, you will want to get familiar with a few of the basic terms.
How do I buy something at auction?
If you’re new to auctions, there’s nothing to fear. This step by step guide will show you just how easy it is to find, scout and participate in a live auction in you.
What should I know before going to an auction?
A few suggestions to help you not only bid successfully, but to enjoy the auction experience.