How to Find Great Live Auctions for Resale Items

Hi, my name is Walt. I’m an auctioneer with 25 years of experience in the auction business and licensed in the state of MA. I own Quick Auction Service, a company that specializes in building and running custom auctions, I’m also the webmaster of my own site and have been on eBay for 8 years. Besides eBay, the types of auctions I run most frequently are antiques and on-site estate auctions, although I’ve run everything from business overstock auctions to charity & special event auctions.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and stories of the auction business. My goal for article is to help folks get the absolute most out of their auction experience.

Whether your fresh out of the package or a seasoned dealer I think I can offer something in this article to help you with your auciton adventures.

There may be as many reasons to attend auctions as there are types of auctions to attend. Maybe you want to attend an auction to buy items for re-sale on eBay, or some other market. Maybe you want to furnish your home with wonderful antiques, or you want to furnish your home as inexpensively without sacrificing quality.Some folks are just looking for a fun night out. With a little perseverance all these things are possible.

There are antiques and estate auctions, auto auctions, overstock auctions, absolute and no reserve auctions, real estate auctions, specialty auctions where only one genre of items are sold, tailgate auctions, live auctions, online auctions, sealed bid auctions, silent auctions, charity and fund raising auctions and many more.

Can you really buy for pennies on the dollar at an auction? You bet! Many times I’ve seen folks buy and re-sell at the same auction on the same night for a good profit, although be advised, this should only be done after the auction is over.

There are a lot of ways to find an auction, but here are some tips on how to find and attend the best ones.

Visit the genre of shops in the area that apply to the type of auction you want to attend. IE: If your looking for a good antique auction to attend, stop in the local antiques shops and ask for what there are for good auctions in the area. Sounds obvious right? But listen to what they don’t say as well as what they do say. Oftentimes when a dealer speaks poorly about an auction he or she attends, it may be likely that they are trying to keep a good thing secret. Think for a moment, why would a dealer keep attending a lousy auction?

Newspaper ads: I personally like to find ads in the classified ad section rather than flashy display ads. Flashy ads are usually indicative of an auction that will be high priced, may have reserves, (a set price on an item), and usually an enormous crowd. While any auction can be profitable to attend, it is usually best to steer clear of the glitzy ones, at least for the beginner.

Here’s the minimum you want to find out before you go. If there is a phone number in the ad, call and ask for the terms of the sale. What forms of payment do they accept? Is it an absolute auction? An absolute auction is one that has no minimum or reserve bids on items. These are the best auctions to attend! Is there a buyers premium? A buyers premium is like a tax that everyone who makes purchases at that auction must pay above the winning bid price. Most auctions these days do charge a buyers premium, 10% is not unreasonable but I feel much more than that is greedy, and the auctioneer that charges over 10% is counting on most bidders not doing the extra math as the bids quicken in pace.

A fair auction will have ample time to inspect the merchandise, usually at least 2 or 3 hours. Find out when inspection starts and make sure to attend! Never attend an auction if you can’t make the inspection, not unless your prepared to gamble. Most auctioneers sell at a rate of about 100 items per hour, which is why they sell “as is”. They simply don’t have the time to give a detailed description of all the items. Since almost all items at auction are sold AS IS, there are sure to be some damaged, refinished, fake and incomplete items at any given auction. Beware of any auctions that offer very little or no inspection time.

Good auctions will usually have 150 to 400 lots. A lot may be one item or a group of items. The exception to this are specialty auctions, auto auctions, real estate auctions etc.

When you attend your first sale, take note of the 1/2 dozen or so dealers that buy the most often. See if you can find out about other area auctions they attend.

When you do find an excellent auction, attend it as often as possible. By frequenting good sales, you help increase the bottom line of that business. It’s difficult for many auctioneers to keep the quality of merchandise consistent, so good attendance certainly helps. And when an auctioneer gets to know you as a buyer, he/she will go out of the way to accommodate you, to keep you coming back.

Why Baby Boomers Need a Home Based Business Now!

Where have all the good times gone? The new economic realities are hard on all of us. If down sizing and right sizing and layoffs aren’t affecting you directly, then the “Thelma and Louise” like drive off a cliff of the stock market and real estate industry probably has you grasping at thin air and wondering why you didn’t bring a parachute. The new economy has something for everyone to be anxious about. And for Boomers, these times can be especially challenging.With fewer jobs in the marketplace, Boomer’s skills and experience may not work in their favor and may instead prove to be too expensive for many employers. Also, Boomers are more likely to have greater overhead and responsibilities. And for most of us, taking a low paying job and crashing on a friend’s couch until we ‘get on our feet’ isn’t an option. So what are Boomers to do? First, let’s look at a couple of key factors that are shaping Boomer’s current and future financial picture and why now is the time for many Boomers to consider a home based business.Retirement plans are in the basement – If your 401k is now a 201k you know what I’m talking about. What makes it worse is that the people we trusted to manage our funds have been playing fast and loose with the rules… and their common sense.Top income earning years have evaporated – For Boomers in their 40′s and 50′s this was supposed to be their top income earning years where they could aggressively fund their retirement plans – For most Boomers, that just isn’t a reality. Big paying jobs are hard to come by and many Boomers are dipping into savings just to keep afloat.Progeny more reliant on Mom and Dad – After years of paying for their kid’s college education, many Boomers are finding that they are either 1) Competing with their 20 something year old kids for jobs or 2) That their 20 something year old kids are moving back into the house because theycan’t find a job.Aging parents need help – Most Boomer’s parents are well into their senior years and in the very near future are going to become more and more reliant on their Boomer children to help with their care, either at home or in a (costly) managed care environment.We are forever young – Our generation doesn’t want to slow down or grow old! Boomers are not going to retire to a rocking chair or go gently into that good night. We want to travel, have fun, explore new challenges and spend time with family and friends. This desire to continue an active and engaged lifestyle is going to need financing.Though these realities may suggest serious challenges ahead, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train. These are exciting times we live in and it has never been easier or more lucrative to take your experience, skill and passion, set off on your own and create extra income on a part time or full time basis with greater control over your schedule, work environment and income. Here are a few areas to consider when thinking about starting your own home based business.Professional- Many professionals may already be accustomed to working from home or doing consultancy work on the side. Intellectual based professions such as Lawyers, Accountants, Engineers and Designers, are fields which lend themselves more readily to a home based environment without much change in work habits… other than now being able to work from a deck chair by the pool or in pajamas over the kitchen table.Artisan- There is a growing population of home based tinkerers and artisans who craft everything from jewelry to car accessories in their home studio or garage. And no longer resigned to selling their wares at local art fairs and specialty markets, these creative innovators and artists can now reach a global marketplace with a few taps on a keyboard and clicks of a mouse.Passion- Now is the time for many Boomers to pursue their passion! How about you? Do you have a love for Italian cooking? Antiques? Stamp collecting? Always wanted to write a book? Pursue your interest in painting? If so, then it may be a simple step for you to create a business plan around your passion where you can do what you love and still create a meaningful income from it.Network/Internet Marketing- We’ve all been approached by an over zealous in-law with their latest fast money scheme or magic potion. The reality is that network marketing in the 21st Century provides a viable, professional and affordable entry to home based business ownership. These are typically businesses in a box where products, websites, marketing, training and support is already in place for you. Network Marketing has produced more millionaires than any other industry. And it has also produced more failures. The biggest problem as I see it is that many people don’t treat a business that cost them a couple hundred dollars as seriously as they would a business that cost them a couple hundred thousanddollars. Do your research and go with a product that can stand alone and attract and retain customers above and beyond the team building aspect. Also, look for a product you can be passionate about and a company you can believe in. The internet is full of opportunities. Explore your options and be open to taking an educated risk and learning new skills.The bottom line? No matter which avenue you choose to pursue, in any business endeavor the main variable is YOU. What drive, desire and commitment do you bring to the table? Take an objective and subjective look at your goals and what you hope to achieve. Dig deep and get philosophical. Get quantifiable and look at the numbers. Put it all together and cast your vision. Yes.. a vision for a home based business. Without it, you may lack purpose and passion and not have the focus you need to see the income opportunities before you.Last thought. To me, being a home based business owner encompasses many of the best beliefs set by our generation so long ago; beliefs of equality and freedom, peace and love that many of us fought for on the streets, on the battlefield, in the court room and in the dorm room. The growing trend in Baby Boomer owned home based business is more than about meeting a financial need, it is an opportunity to invigorate those beliefs and values and to create a legacy that is powerful and lasting.

Real Estate Auctions – The New Land Rush

On a sunny afternoon in Florida, an energetic crowd gathers on the lawn of a high end luxury estate. A loud and eager banter between an auctioneer, a group of bidders and bidder assistants fills the air. For several minutes the auctioneer asks for the next highest bid and the bidders respond. Suddenly the bidders grow silent. The high bidder holds his breath in anticipation of winning the auction. The auctioneer calls for one more bid. In a loud clear voice which rolls over the audience he says, “Fair warning, last chance” the auctioneer pauses, “SOLD!” And in less than 10 minutes another multimillion dollar estate has changed owners.

Successful real estate auctions like the one above are happening all over North America and the Caribbean. Recently real estate auctions have been on the rise, the increase in popularity is partly driven by growing inventories and fading buyer confidence. Properties that were selling in weeks using traditional methods are now languishing on the market unable to attract buyers even as seller’s lower prices. Many say the real estate boom is over but savvy buyers and sellers are profiting from real estate auctions.

Real Estate Auctions Work in Up or Down Markets.

Regardless of trends or market cycles, real estate auctions provide an open and transparent process for buyers and sellers. Properly conducted real estate auctions attract ready and willing buyers and motivate them to act now.

The auction method removes the “wait and see” attitude which serves to further depress real estate values. Buyers are always concerned about overpaying. Buyers gain confidence with their purchases at real estate auctions because they can see what others are willing to pay.

When market demand is high and inventories low, real estate auctions can deliver selling prices well above what a willing seller would have accepted in a negotiated private treaty sale. In good selling climates many property owners using traditional real estate methods; negotiating with one buyer at a time, leave thousands of dollars of equity on the table. During up markets real estate auctions are the best way to establish top market price.

Evaluating Your Real Estate for Auction

Not every property or seller for that matter makes a good candidate for auction. First of all sellers must be ready to sell now and for the current market value. Also a real estate auction will not fix problems caused by a downturn in market value of your property, if you owe more than a willing buyer will pay, be prepared to come to closing with your check book.

Properties that do well in real estate auctions have a high uniqueness factor. Ask your self, “What makes my property different from most others?” Maybe you own a resort property or high end luxury home, commercial properties and land do very well at auction. Real estate auctions thrive on uniqueness. If your property is like everyone else’s, the best thing you can do is offer the most competitive price.

Most importantly sellers must be reasonable about setting a minimum bid. A seller must look at the lowest, most current comps and price below that to generate the interest and urgency necessary for a successful real estate auction. Once the auction begins and qualified bidders start competing against one another you can watch the selling price increase.

Locate a Qualified Real Estate Auctioneer

Start by checking with the National Auctioneers Association, the best real estate auctioneers belong to this organization. These real estate auctioneers are well trained and adhere to a standard of practice and a code of ethics. Many attend the annual International Auctioneers Conference where the latest techniques and innovations in the real estate auction industry are presented.

Find out if the company you are interviewing is a full time real estate auction firm. Many real estate agents are getting auction licenses yet have no experience with the auction method of marketing. Conducting a successful real estate auction is nothing like (private treaty) traditional real estate sales. Go with a real estate auction pro.

You’re probably better of with an auction house that specializes in real estate auctions. There are many qualified auctioneers who have generations of experience selling personal property; furniture, dishes, lawn equipment and the occasional rare painting. Selling real estate at auction is a complex matter that should only be attempted by full time experienced real estate auction professionals.

Commissions and fees may vary, sellers must pay all marketing expenses up front and buyers typically pay 10% of the sales price to the auctioneer of which a share goes to participating real estate agents.

Types of Real Estate Auctions

Auctions are effective because they create a seller’s market. Professionally conducted real estate auctions create urgency, a reason to buy today and competition for the property. Terms and conditions of sale are established ahead of the auction. Real estate auctions will follow one of these three approaches:

Absolute Auction

The property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price- using this process often returns the highest sale price.

Minimum Bid Auction

Seller agrees to sell at or above a published minimum bid price – this method is useful for internet auctions.

Seller Confirmation or Reserve Auction

With a reserve auction, the seller “reserves” the right to accept or decline any bids usually within 48 hours of the auction. Reserve auctions are used when there is a lien on the property from a lender or a court ordered sale with a minimum selling price.