Who Makes Up The Auction Market?
Perhaps the best way to answer that question is to identify who doesn´t make up the auction market. It´s not an auctioneer or a dealer/retailer. It´s not the publisher of a price guide or a television appraisal show. It´s not even the owner of the item which is being sold.
The auction market is the buying public on auction day.
We are simply a conduit for the seller and the buyer.
The saying, "It´s only worth what someone is willing to pay" is the lifeblood of any market. It is especially prevalent at an auction. We often compare the auction market to the stock market. For example, if your broker sells your shares of stocks at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday, that selling price may be different than at 3 p.m. the day before. The stock market tells you and your broker what your shares are worth.
One of our jobs as an auction company is to assemble the ingredients to create a market for auction day. We do this via print publications; our established mailing list of previous bidders; radio and, in some cases, television. On auction day the public tells us through competitive bidding what an item is worth. The moment a bidder raises his or her hand to bid, they are announcing they will pay the amount asked for by the auctioneer right then - that minute.
Another duty of ours is to encourage or "prod" the market during the auction into paying more than the last person has bid. The fact that we do not buy items outright from our sellers and then later sell them at our auctions makes us a partner in the success of your auction. We clearly have a vested interest in selling at the highest price attainable at our auction.
It is also our goal to address the expectations a seller may have when it comes to prices realized at auction. Reminding sellers of automatic depreciation, wear and tear use, style changes and items being "custom' in nature negatively affect prices in any market. An example we cite often is that of used furniture, which has been suffering in value for years. A dining room set purchased for $3000.00 at a fine furniture store in 1983 may still be in showroom condition today, but the fact that styles have changed and there is an overflow of new, cheaply made furniture in retail stores now deflates its value to below $300.00. Always consider that furniture to a home is the same as clothes are to people. Most of us do not wear nor would pay much for 20-plus year-old clothes.
"What About the Appraisal I Have?"
It´s important to remember that appraisals are never an offer to buy. Professional appraisers attest that appraisal prices are opinions. And auction prices are facts. It´s important to know whatever price an item sells for is what it´s worth on that day, in the geographical area it´s sold in, with the amount of advertising that was done to assemble the market.
If the auction was held on another day, in another town, prices may be different on both sides of the coin. We have sold several items for more, and several items for less, than appraisal or price guide prices.
"What Makes An Auction the Best Avenue To Take?"
The process of live competitive bidding is not only exciting, but it virtually guarantees market prices. Auctions are the preferred method for selling anything of quality.
Fine wines, art, jewelry, fish, purebred horses and even flowers are sold regularly at auction. When we visit with potential sellers we explain that our goal is to sell items we feel will sell better at an auction than any other method of selling.
One of the worst things anyone can do is to sell antiques or collectibles to a dealer/reseller. Dealers rarely ever pay more than 30% of what they feel an item is worth. Selling antiques and collectibles with us gives you 62% of the public feels an item is worth. Dealers and the public attend our auctions which provides a stable base for determining true value.
Consider this thought: Have you considered selling your used car to a car dealer? Of course, not. You know a car dealer cannot buy at fair market value because they are in the business of selling at fair market value price themselves. The same thing applies to an antiques and collectible dealer. It´s simple: Selling through an auction is the quickest, fairest and truest way to attain market value. It has been said that the best price ever paid for anything has been sold via an auction.
"Can I Put A Minimum Bid On My Items?"
With rare exception, we do not accept minimum bids on items we auction. We believe that the public auction market should be the judge of value. The auction method is successful because it's not like the retail method where the seller tells a buyer what an item is worth and hopes eventually a buyer will agree. The only items we regularly allow minimum bids on are titled items, such as automobiles, homes, etc. Items of basic need enjoy an immediate cash value market. Someone, somewhere will always offer something for a basic necessity. Other auction companies may agree to allowing minimum bids or hidden reserves but will charge a fee if the item does not sell. Basically, this puts you back where you started - still owning the item(s) while now paying for the attempt to sell it.
Before we agree to a seller's minimum bid we make sure that it is low enough to inspire potential bidders to start the bidding at that amount. We post the minimum bid right on the item to let bidders know that the item will not be sold without a minimum starting bid.
"Can I Bid on My Items At The Auction?"
No. Owners or heirs bidding on their own items at auction, without the auctioneer announcing that they are, is fraud and felony bid rigging. Both are punishable by fines and prison time for both the owner and the auctioneer. It is highly unethical for anyone to bid at an auction without having a true intent of purchase. Bid rigging is normally known as when bidders form a pact to NOT bid on an item in an attempt to hold the price down. But it also applies when an owner bids in an attempt to INFLATE a bid price artificially for personal gain. The only way bidding by owners or heirs is permissible is if the auctioneer announces it BEFORE the auction or item in questions is auctioned.
If you are at an auction and you suspect an owner is bidding on their own item(s), you should immediately bring it to the auction company´s attention. If you are not satisfied with their response, you should contact the U.S. Attorney General´s office and file a report.
How Can We Earn Your Business?