The One Auction I Will NEVER Forget…

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September 24, 2014
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and hope it never happens again!

I’ve had a lot of memorable auctions over the last 18 years.  The first on-site auction I did 15 years ago when we almost set fire to the house.  ( just a small fire on one of the tables of merchandise set up outside…we put it out).  Then there was the “mudfest” at the Cookstown Curling Club.  An early May sale that was so muddy around the building that I didn’t know how we were going to get people in or out.  (it turned out to be one of our best sales!) However, the most memorable sale was one that never actually happened! To this day I have never heard of this happening to another auctioneer. Sept 25 2010 we were to make our much anticipated debut at the Pottageville Community Centre.  It didn’t work out too well.  Here is a repost of my blog concerning that fateful event 4 years ago! I run this every year as a reminder!!!

The Saturday Sept 25 2010 auction was to be our big debut at the Pottageville Community Centre.   Well I guess we created quite a bit of talk….not about what happened…but what didn’t happen!   The auction didn’t happen!

This gives me an opportunity to explain what happened to our Saturday Sept25 auction…the one that was cancelled at the last moment!

The sale was almost completely set up, on Friday.  At 5:00 pm we were visited by a very nice young woman from the recreation department explaining that there was some confusion as to the auction date.  I believed we had a three day booking,  Thursday, Friday and Saturday of course. But it was brought to my attention that it was booked for Thursday 9:00 am until Saturday 12:00 am.

Ok so what was the problem?  We had all day Saturday to do the sale right?  No, actually 12:00 am Saturday is just past midnight Friday…and that is when we were to be done with the hall. There was another booking for the hall on Saturday, and we would have to have the hall cleared by 8:00 am Saturday.  Now I am not going to cast any blame here, because there was a mix up and miscommunication on both sides.  Verbally the hall was to be booked for 3 full days, but when the contract arrived I did not notice the Sat. 12:00 am mistake.  The point is, we had no choice but to clear the hall.

It took us two days to set up the sale, and now we were going to have to empty the building in a matter of hours.  I was overwhelmed and a little distraught, but it had to be done. I called back all my incredible staff, family members, friends and some consignors, and began the task of repacking and removing an entire auction! It took until 4:00 am, but we had the hall cleared and  contents stored in various locations.

I put a notice on the website at 10:00 pm, which was the earliest I could access my computer, and sent out the email list at 4:00 am hoping to catch people first thing in the morning announcing the cancellation

. Dave and Carol Beasley also sent out notice through their email listings, as well as Tom Clarkson Auctions, so we did everything we could to spread the word. I made a few early morning phone calls to people I knew were traveling a distance, but this is all I could do.

With about one hours sleep, I went down to the hall for 8:30 am Saturday and delivered the bad news to those who did not receive notice and showed up expecting an auction.   I was absolutely amazed at how understanding and considerate everyone was.  Not a single complaint from anyone….just inquiries about when the next auction was!  I really do have some wonderful customers!

At this point I want to express my deepest appreciation to everyone who came foreword to help.  The people I work with are not just staff, they are friends and family.  And they came to my aid as good friends and family would. Everyone showed up when I called, pitched in and did everything they could to help.  It was just amazing

. So here are the people I want to express thanks to on-line…I have thanked them over and over again in person, but I want you to know. Mom, my brother Brian, sister Kris and brother in law Gerry, Dave and Carol Beasley, Raymond and Cecile Bates,  Don Garner and his wife Audrey, and last but not least Charlie McAteer, who worked with me through to 4:00 am.  Also consignors who I called to pick up their merchandise, but would prefer I did not announce their names.  I was truly overwhelmed by the effort everyone put forth!

Also the many emails and phone calls from customers who offered whatever help they could. So a bad situation was made as good as it could be, and I once again thank everyone. Yes it is an experience none of us will forget, and a lesson for me to read the contracts carefully!

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