My First Auction and What I Learned

November 14, 2011

The other day I was reminiscing about what I learned from the first live auction I had ever conducted just over 10 years ago.

Having graduated from World Wide College of Auctioneering two months prior to the event, I had put together a very modest consignment auction from about 5 or 6 sellers.

My inventory was impressive for a variety of reasons and included 2 large electric organs, a piano, a water bed, some pots and pans, older tools, glassware and a variety of items of which were less than memorable.

The inventory was impressive because most of it had little value and I was impressed for a lifetime on what an auctioneer should work hard to avoid selling.

In addition to learning the value of two consigned electric organs weighing over 200 pounds, and moved 3 times with an end result of a no sale, I also learned of the value of kindness and generosity.

The first act of kindness came from Mr. Dunn, who owns Dunn’s Cider Mill near my home. I had been keeping a few bee hives on his property, and he was generous to offer the use of his parking lot for our maiden voyage in the auction industry. I will forever hold a place in mt heart for the Dunn family and the memories that were created there that day.

The next lesson came from an effort to save money on buying tables. I had constructed the saw horse variety using sheets of quarter-inch plywood to display our merchandise. Fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time my wife Aileen noticed an item that needed to be tagged with a seller/lot number. When she placed the items back on the make shift table, the quarter-inch plywood broke in half and like dominoes, all of the tables came crashing to the ground. Did I mention it was 15 minutes before the auction was scheduled to start.

The second act of kindness came from a bidder who I had never met who looked at me and looked at the mess, and simply stated, “well, lets pick it all up.” With that directive, our team and all of the bidders pitched in to set the auction back up. As the Scottish proverb states, Many Hands make light Work. Because it is but little to every one, and because of those many hands we were actually able to start the auction on time.

There were numerous other life lessons  learned that day, including another act of kindness from my good friend Dick Ellis who came to the auction to support me. I know for a fact that he bought a lamp that never made it home, but allowed me to say sold.

It would be an understatement to say that we have come a long way in 10 years.

Life is good, and I am grateful for the acts of kindness and generosity of friends and family, as well as the blessings from My Father in Heaven who guided me to the auction profession.


Facebook Auction Technology Group

November 7, 2011

Last week after reading several posts on a popular Auctioneer Facebook group, I realized that every time the issue of online bidding entered a conversation, there was a virtual Hatfield and McCoy type standoff regarding the validity of online bidding vs live auction.

In an effort to give auctioneers and auction professionals who utilize such technology in their business a safe place to discuss best practices without having to debate the issue of which is better, I created an Auction Technology Facebook group.

If you are an auctioneer or auction professional who would like to join the conversation, check it out at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/216161725121201/

Please remember though, to leave your opinion of live vs online at the door. I guess we will see how long that lasts.

 


Just Another Day For Buck O’Neil, A Baseball Legend

October 16, 2011

Many years ago my wife and I were driving around Kansas City looking for something to do. We decided to check out one of the areas most under appreciated attractions, The Negro League Baseball Museum.

There were only a couple other people in the museum that day, and we were having a good time looking at the displays and reading about baseball history. Well at least I was, and my wife Aileen was being a good sport as she usually is.

We were only there for a few minutes when in walked through the door, the legenday Negro League Baseball player Buck O’Neil. Buck passed away in 2006, but would have been 100 years old next month.

I knew my opportunity would only last a few minutes so I ran to the gift shop and bought a baseball to ask Mr. O’Neil if he would sign it for me. He was gracious to say the least, and was happy to sign the ball. Bucks hands were so big that it looked like he was signing a golf ball, and I imagined that he could have played the game without a glove.  He was definetly in his element, and enjoyed visiting with fans who were there that day.

Several years later when he passed away, it was amazing to see how the city came together to pay tribute to man who was truly an ambassador for Kansas City and baseball. One week to the day he passed, I was working as an Auctioneer for a local childrens charity. Someone from the organization had donated a signed Buck O’Neil baseball. It was impossible to describe the energy in the room that day when we sold that ball. I can tell you though that it was electrifying and I was glad to be part of it.

I still own my signed Buck O’Neil ball, and enjoy the memory that comes to life when I glance at it in my office. For me it was a great day. For Buck, it was probably just another day for a man who loved Kansas City, baseball, and people.

Life is good – pass it on!


Auctioneers – How May I Serve You?

October 9, 2011

This week in Overland Park Kansas The National Auctioneers Association will have it’s fall board of directors meeting. As an elected member of the board, I will be meeting with other elected leaders from the industry where we will be working on the business of the association as well as discussing the future of the auction industry.

Sometimes it is easy to forget to do the simple task of asking those who elected us to serve, how we can best serve you.

So with that in mind, I ask. If you are an auctioneer or work in the auction industry, how can The National Auctioneers Association serve you? What would you like to see us do as we look to the future, and make decisions that have an influence on you as an auction professional?

Please feel free to comment here or send me an email at robert@auctionbymayo.com

I can assure you that we appreciate your input and ask again, how may I serve you?


10 Myths of Real Estate Auctions – Myth 9

October 3, 2011

Myth 9 – All auction companies are the same, and all auctions are run the same.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions for each auction and that you call the auction company to ensure that you understand their use of specific terminology.

There are many variables that should not be assumed to be the same for every company. One example is that some companies utilize a percentage of the high bid while others utilize a flat amount for the deposit on auction day.

Other considerations are licensure and continuing education within the real estate and auction industry. It is important to work with auctioneers who are committed to their industry. Several questions to ask a prospective auctioneer or auction company are:

Are you actively involved in the National Auctioneers Association? Do you have additional certifications of industry related education such as Certified Auctioneers Institute, Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate, Auction Technology Specialist, etc?

It is my opinion that we should never stop learning, and never stop striving to be the best that we can be. This is the only way that we can ensure that we are always on the cutting edge, and suited to help our clients in their time of need.

There are a lot of great auctioneers and auction companies out there to choose from. Understanding the differences between them can help you find a provider who is a good fit for you and your specific needs.


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