Covid-19 Forces Some Changes!
Some changes coming down the pipe for us!
Covid-19 will force some big changes in the auction industry. Honestly, as of this writing May 11, I have no idea when we will be doing live auctions.
I have an antique consignment auction to do, Mom’s antique auction is sitting in storage, and even though I have the hall booked for our Labour Day auction, I am not sure if and when this will all happen.
I understand and support the actions in slowly opening the economy. However, I think it could be several months yet before we are able to hold gatherings of 200 or more.
How would we do a live auction, if we are limited to 25 or 50 people at a time in the hall? We cannot have someone standing at the door letting in one or two people at a time as someone leaves the hall. What about social distancing? Wearing masks? Installing a protective barrier around our cashier?
Personally, I will do whatever I can to protect myself and people around me when I am shopping or gathering in public, but I cannot see doing a live auction with those sorts of restrictions.
So, by now, you can likely see where I am going with this. On-line auctions. I have always promoted that we are some of the last auctioneers to still be doing live auctions. I like live auctions, I like being an auctioneer, I like the crowds, the excitement, and the social aspects of a live auction. It still works very well for us, and up to a few months ago, business was very good!
I still intend to someday, and hopefully sooner than I expect, continue doing live auctions. However, it is now time to make on-line auctions a component of our business.
I have been researching and getting guidance from other auctioneers doing on-line auctions. I am updating my photography equipment and hope to start doing small on-line auctions in July.
I have inventory in storage I could start selling. I am thinking of smaller auctions with perhaps 75-100 lots of quality small items.
I want to get my feet wet, and work out some of the logistics, before I get into larger on-line sales. Do I rent a building for preview and pick up? How do I do shipping? ( I have never shipped anything before). These are the things constantly swirling around in my mind!
When I do the online auctions, I want them to be good. Exceptionally good photos, good descriptions, I want people to bid and buy with confidence.
I have a large quantity of good, smaller items coming my way over the next few months, and I want to be able to accommodate the sellers.
So, Covid-19 is pushing me into making changes, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I was planning to make changes over the next few years, as semi-retirement gets a little closer….I will just be making those changes sooner than expected!
I hope you all are managing through this crisis, and I will continue to update you through this blog and social media.
Keep strong, be safe, and hopefully we will be back in business soon!