I Said It Was Going To Be A Big Auction…

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November 6, 2011
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and I wasn’t kidding!

Wow…what a sale on Sat. Nov 5!!!  Our largest sale in Pottageville, and one of our largest sales ever! 176 registered bidders….8 1/4 hour sale….two rings selling for much of the sale….and 840 lots sold! I told everyone for the last few weeks that this was going to be a big auction, but even I was a little surprised. It has been six weeks since our last sale, because I could not get a booking in the hall in October.  So there was a lot of merchandise coming in, and a large backlog of items to try and clear out of my storage.  There is also a lot of good merchandise coming into our Dec 3 auction, so I had no choice but to put as much through this auction as I possibly could. The weather was going to be nice, so I knew I could set up a ring with Dave selling outside, while I continued to sell inside. I also knew we could also run two rings inside for part of the auction. When you have a wide variety of items, you can separate into two rings and sell furniture at the same time you are selling glass and china for example.  Or jewellery or medals or whatever while you also sell items that attract a different type of buyer. The point is, I had to make this auction as large as I could, and make it work. Bidding was strong from the beginning and remained that way until the very end. I can usually tell in the first hour if it is going to be a good auction or not, and this one felt good early in the sale! Last auction in September, the bidding started off sluggish and remained that way all throughout the sale.  I had to pass on or couldn’t even get bids on, 71 items.  That is unheard of in our auction….almost 11% of the sale unsold! However, this auction, a complete turn around.  Only two items we could not sell…so we sold 840 of 842 lots…what a difference! All of the 71 items we couldn’t sell in September, sold in this auction. This is what makes the auction business so unpredictable, but on the other hand, very interesting! No interest in something one sale, and the next sale it sells for $40 or $50 dollars. Of the 176 registered bidders, 80% purchased something.  Proves to me we are attracting the right buyers for what we are offering. So what does it take to put on a sale like this? Well it takes a very good and a very hard working staff. We started setting up Friday at 9:00 am and finished at 8:00 pm. I was at the hall at 7:30 am sale day, and with the help of Dave Beasley, we set up the ring outside. Once the sale started, everyone worked right through with very little break time.  Even though I had some extra help from Dave Niven and our newest assistant Tylor, everyone had to work very hard. Imagine our registration clerk and cashier Carol Beasley.  For every item sold, she has to enter 4 pieces of information into the computer. Multiply that by 840 items, and also register people and cash buyers out as well! Mom clerked with me almost all of the sale.  We sold over 600 lots in our main ring, and of course Mom has to record every item, including a description, buyer number, consignor number and selling price.  We average about 85 lots per hour. The handlers are on their feet all day long, and it can be tough work.  No one is doing it for the money.  They do it because they love doing it.  That may sound strange, but believe me, no one is doing it strictly for the money! We joke and tease each other, and occasionally snip at each other, but I have always said and always will say, I am fortunate to have the best staff in the business. So as I said earlier, we had 176 registered bidders.  So where do they come from?  Actually, from all over the province.  We had bidders from as far north as Windemere, as far west as London and Chatham, east from Pickering, many from south of us, and a few from places I haven’t even heard of. We have never been a strictly local auction.  The immediate surrounding area, accounts for a small percentage of the bidders.  Most travel at least 1/2 hour and some up to three hours.  The popular saying “built it and they will come” (Field of Dreams), can be paraphrased for the auction business.  Get the right stuff, and they will come. Of course I did have some concerns about this sale.  I knew it was possible we simply had too much.  I know people came into the hall and said “he has too much stuff and will never get through it all”.  Although some say that every auction. The point is we did have a very large sale.  The point also is, we sold it all,  many of the buyers stayed to the very end, and the vast majority of the items  sold for a price fair for the buyer and seller.  Can’t ask for much more than that. However, now that this sale is over,  I am not planning on doing another one this large for a little while! I have a lot of good merchandise coming in, and now that much of the backlog is cleared up, I will make a point of keeping the sales a little smaller. I have a great staff, but a possible revolt is something I have to keep in mind! Have fun on the auction trail and hope you can make it to our Dec auction. Rob YOU CAN VIEW THE VIDEO PRESENTATION AND HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS AUCTION BY CLICKING HERE. IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS ABOUT THIS OR ANY OTHER ARTICLE, FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT rob@robsageauctions.com  ALWAYS NICE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
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