Life Between Auctions….

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March 11, 2010
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more than just watching Oprah!

Our last auction was Feb 13, so by the time the March 27 auction rolls around, it will be 6 weeks between auctions. That’s a little longer than I usually run between auctions, but some scheduling conflicts made it necessary. I don’t mind…this is a nice time of year to have a little more time to do some interior work around the house, and just relax a little.  But there is not much relaxing. Quite often people will ask, “what do you do with all the time off?”.   Well, there is not as much time off as you would think! Almost every day is spent working on the past auction or the upcoming auction. Each auction usually has about 20-25 consignors.  Most cases I have to go to the house, look over the items, haul them back to my storage, photo them, in some cases research them, and then process the photos and post them to the website. For every auction I spend about 40 hours just setting up the photo shoot, processing and posting the photos. I am particular about the photos, and it has become a very time consuming part of the business.  A few years ago you just made a list and sent it off to the local papers and Woodbridge Advertiser.  Now it is a little different.  The technology has actually created much more work! However, I do like doing the photos, and it has become an important part of the business.  Buyers expect to see photos, and consignors like to see their items promoted effectively.  Photos do this. When it comes to promoting the auctions, I set the bar at a pretty high level, but it is worth it, and I believe it has certainly paid off.  Every auction brings out many new faces, and I think that is the key to successful auctions.  A good regular following, with a nice mix of new buyers each auction. The phone rings every day with possible consignments for auction, so I have to meet with the consignors.  I explain the auction process to them, and make sure they are realistic about the current value of their items.  I will not accept consignments from someone if I don’t believe we will get the prices the seller is expecting.  Quite often I will encourage them to try selling through some other venue, and I will even direct them to other auctioneers, if I think that would be in their best interest.  Every auctioneer seems to do well with at least one type of item, and it is a matter of placing your items in the right auction, with the right auctioneer.  There are times when I don’t believe we are the right auction for certain items, and I am upfront about that. Usually I transport the items to my storage, and then do whatever is necessary to ready them for the auction. I then have to get the print and website ads ready, and that can take another full day. After each auction there is usually almost two days of paperwork to be done.  It takes about 8 hours to process 20-25 consignments….statements have to be made out, and cheques have to be written.  It is not my favourite part of the business, but I am adamant in making sure the cheques are sent out within 7 days of the auction. And of course I then have to start getting ready for the upcoming about two months from now. With the spring and summer months approaching things get even busier, but I am ready for it! It’s a great business to be part of, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.  I don’t complain, but occasionally I will inform people, it involves a little more than two days a month work! Have fun on the auction trail. Rob
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