and I am going to address the elephant in the room.
Thanks to everyone who attended our Saturday June 22 auction…our first Saturday night sale of the year!
I decided on trying Saturday night auctions two years ago,, and when I first suggested it, I was met with some scepticism. The main response was …”who wants to go to an auction on a Saturday night?” Well, a big part of an auction is the social aspect. To me it seemed logical that Saturday nights would also fill a social need for many people. A night out. Why not? Our first Sat night auction two years ago was a big success, and every one since has been successful. We draw more people to a Saturday night auction in the summer, then we would a Saturday afternoon auction. I am considering extending them further into the fall season this year…perhaps even as late as October.
However, the real point of this blog is to deal with another issue. The noise. And boy was it noisy! And do you know who is to blame? Me. I am to blame on this one.
Two issues to address. First, I miscalculated on the number of primitive and country items. We sold over 300 lots of primitives, (700 lots in the total auction) but we had to sell outside in one ring and then inside in two rings for almost three hours. Primitives are popular, but this time around we simply had too many. We have to sell in two rings in order to accommodate the primitives and country items, and usually we are able to do this during the first hour or hour and a half of the auction. I sell lower end glass and china while David works on the primitives, and by the time David is finished, we are back into one ring for the main part of the auction. It is a little noisy, but it works. However, this time David had to continue in his ring while I started selling the stage, and it was just too noisy. Again, I take all the blame for this one
Issue number two. King Township has had to remove all the sound baffling that was previously attached to the walls. Remember those big upholstered blue panels on the walls of the building? Those were sound baffles,, and apparently they used to do a good job of baffling the sound! Now the sound seems to bounce all over the building. I noticed it in May during David Beasley’s auction, and now in my auction, with two rings selling at one time, it is simply too noisy. I underestimated the impact of removing the sound baffles, so I have to accept some of the blame for that as well.
So, those were the problems, and now what is the solution? Well I am going to have to limit the amount of time we spend selling in two rings. For the summer I can move some of the primitives outside and that works well. However, when we are selling inside, I have to make sure we are only selling in two rings for a shorter period of time. I think about an hour with two rings selling is manageable, and maybe even less.
Another solution. Increase the quality and decrease the quantity, which is something I have been trying to do for some time now. However, now it has to be done, and it will be done.
I don’t enjoy doing an auction where I am struggling to be heard. It is not fun for me, and it is not fun for our customers. And let me reiterate…it is NOT the fault of our customers.
So starting in July I am working on implementing some changes. It may seem strange, but I will actually try to do smaller sales. (at this point the staff roll their eyes). I want quality over quantity. I will still take in $5 and $10 items, because that is all part of a good auction. I just won’t have as many of them, so I can get back to doing the type of auctions I enjoy most…selling good items, and having fun with the crowd.
If June 22 was your first auction, please don’t think they are all like that. We are higher energy and more hectic than most auctions, and we likely will always be that way….but from here on in…we won’t be as noisy!