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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Hello to everyone!!

I decided to downsize and decided to go to a company that specializes in online auctions. (their own online site) Their mission statement says that they do estate sales, sales for those that are moving and also sales for those who just want to downsize. All of these sales are conducted in the home or if there just isn't enough items for an onsite auction, then they can put the items in their warehouse and combine items for an auction.

I'm going to list in chronological order what has occurred since I contacted the auction house. (saves time on typing unneccesary words.)

-Owner of the online auction company came to my house the first week of August. I'll call this person A. Looked at about half of my items and told me that my house was to far away from their office to get a good bidding response from their customer base. That I also had far to many items that would require too many man hours and travel time.

-A than gave me the name of another auctioneer to consign my items to, but stated that I should put my really awesome items aside for the company to list from their warehouse. That a truck could be sent out to collect the items when I was ready. (this really isn't as bad as it seems. This auction house has a great customer base and bidding prices can get very high, so I made it known that I would still be interested in consigning a few items for an online auction)

-I called the referral, talked to woman and was tried to be persuaded do online auction with her.

-Was confused because I thought this was a traditional format auction company and contacted A who was very upset that the referrals given were going to be used as competition for their company. Told me not to commit to consigning to them. Turns out that the partners split up and I called the wrong one.

-Spent weeks boxing up items to go to regular auction. Set aside a few special items for online auction.

-Emailed A that I would appreciate it if someone could come out before I have the other auction house come pick up all the boxed up items and tell me if the items I picked out for online auction was appropriate. I don't want to be left with items that could have gone to the regular auction house.

-I was told to use my best judgment and that they don't have time to come out to my house. They are very busy and That they set a priority for estate auctions, moving auctions and than downsizing auctions. In that order. If I want to get anything listed, I have to bring it to their warehouse.

-Noticed on their website that they held an onsite auction 10 miles away from my house, that's 10 miles even further away than my house. (remember, I was told that I was situated to far out for a successful auction and it would require to much traveling for the workers of the online auction company)


I know longer have warm fuzzy feelings about this online auction house.
I have not sign any paperwork committing my items for consignment. Am I still legally bound through a verbal?
I know that a few selected items will sell better with them but should I?

I really don't feel that I have bad collectibles and do not understand the off-hand treatment that I am receiving. Do they want my business or not? or are they just that busy and cannot find the time to help me. Their commission is based on them coming to the house and sorting everything and selling everything. If I still decide to sell items through them can I request they reduce their commission?

I'm just so confused, I don't know if I am misreading what is going on.

Someone tell me what I should do!!

Just a last note, I don't think that I am being put off because of the quality of items. Some of the items that I have are 100's of vintage marbles, 1000's of antique and vintage buttons, a few pieces of Rookwood, Roseville, Weller, Mccoy, Bybee, Niloak, Fulper, Studio pottery, Hutschenreuther, etc. Civil war letters and documents, 100 or so postcard from around 1900, Aladdin lamps, chandeliers, stemware, silver items, depression and art glass, old clocks, several hundreds of pieces of jewelry. Of course I do have the items that every auctioneer dreads, mcdonalds beanie babies, HAHA, tons of glassware, plastic dishes, tea sets, modern Christmas, barbies (newer) and so on.

Can anyone validate that I am being given the runaround or do you think that I am entirely to sensitive and am proceeding fine in this process.

Thanks for any input
Deb


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:03 pm 
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Location: Adrian, Mi.
Where are you located? If you were in my area, I would do your auction in a heartbeat.

My suggestion is to find a good reputable auction company that is in your area. You should be able to find one who can do an onsite auction, put some of the items up for online bidding if that is what you want or they can take absentee bids. Stick with one auction company. Do not give the prime stuff to one guy and then expect someone else to perform miracles with your leftovers.


Ask for references and testimonials from previous sellers and then actually contact those sellers just to make sure they are real people.

Lyn Liechty, Auctioneer
http://www.arealauction.com


Last edited by Lyn Liechty on Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:29 pm 
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Hi Deb,
As Lyn stated where are you located as it sounds like I would like to look at your auction and give you another opinion. From what I read I would suggest you contact some one else as it seems (and I might be talking out of school here) that this company isn't very professional and are just trying to take the best items and stick someone else with the rest. If company A isn't a full service company find another company that would do you a complete job. Not trying to say that there may be some items that won't sell at auction, because there may be some items that you would want to sell at a garage sale or just donate to a charity. A qualified auctioneer should be honest with you and let you what would and what wouldn't be worth your time & money (or his) to list at the auction and not just try to get you to unload these items on another auctioneer.
In short, call several auctioneers, compare them as well as thier service, get references. and good luck!

P.S. If your in Missouri give me a call and if it's to far from me I know several trustworthy auctioneers that I would recomend.

Bob Dunker

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Bob Dunker
Dunker Auction Service
http://www.dunkerauction.com


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 113
Location: Belchertown, Massachusetts
Most Importantly, If you no longer have 'warm & cozy' feelings, Shop around.

You should be comfortable with who you are dealing with. You are trusting them with your items. Always get a signed contract with whoever you are going to use.

Depending on your area, onsite/online/at auction hall each may have their own advantages or disadvantages but Lyn is correct, Get references, be it prior sellers, attorneys or auction goers, and check for License or Bonding.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Thanks for the advice Lyn, Warren and Bob

I think that you are right. My gut, along with my pride, states go with someone else. I have been trying to hash this out for several weeks now and I needed some experienced opinions. I usually, privately, overreact when I am upset but I usually calm down and try to think things through. I put myself in person A's position and I understand that estates must come first, especially if a death is involved. I also know that they are trying to move towards high end auctions that include some fabulous furniture. I don't have any high end furniture, just some country antiques, so I can see why I am put on the back burner, but it would be nice if they didn't keep me hanging for months and then tell me if I wanted to list items then I have to bring them in, still not giving me a date for a sale.

I'm sorry if I sounded like I was using the online auction house for all my good stuff and leftovers for the auction house. I really wasn't planning on doing that. In fact all my depression glass, most of my American pottery, marbles and what I call man stuff (you know old tools, antique hardware and such) were going to the regular format auction. Over the last few months, I noticed that these do much better at a live auction then an online auction.

I have been checking out our local auction houses as well as attending them, I'm not buying anything, just taking notes on what sells well. I have not been able to find a place that has a client base that is diverse. Most places do well with country furniture, depression glass and American pottery, but do not do so well with antique watch parts, European pottery, clocks and art glass. Some places sell jewelry at astronomical prices, and others a few dollars. One place will sell linen a piece at a time for a nice price, another will sell a whole box for a few dollars.

I have not found any other place that does as well with online auctions as my original choice, although I know that will change when they get a larger clientele. I haven't found anyone that has a spotless BBB report that does both online and live auctions. I have also asked the owners/managers of the auction houses that I have been to for information on commission and expenses and they all say the same thing. It all depends on the quantity, quality of the items. I need a straight answer before I can narrow down choices. After reading about some of the hidden expenses and high commissions, I want an upfront answer.

Is it always this difficult to find someone honest and reliable with a diverse base of customers?

Doing an onsite auction is out of the question now. I spent a month packing everything up. I refuse to get it all out again. I have filled over 80 24"x24"x18" boxes and since you helped me decide to go with one auction house, I still have about 10 more boxes to pack and I haven't even started on the marbles, jewelry, buttons and ephemera.


I will keep looking at auction houses, I heard some good things about one in Kentucky that I have to travel 3 hours to get to but I figure it's worth the drive if I find someone who fits the above criteria. (honest, reliable and diverse)


I do have crappy stuff that belongs in a yard sale, that plastic dinnerware, the nice but not outstanding dinner plates, silverware and the tons of non impressive glassware, still depression glass but nothing special and of course 4 shelves of silverplated items. I already took most of the really common items to my local goodwill. I was told by person A, not to bother bringing in my older Christmas decorations, or my lace tablecloths and linens and aprons even though they had never even seen them. That they have a limited amount of space at their warehouse to store them. (remember, they said I was to far out for an onsite auction, hence my items would be stored at their warehouse.)

So, yes, I have a couple boxes of items that are more for a yard sale than an auction but I don't have enough yard sale quality items to have a yard sale. I mostly have collectibles. No clothing or shoes, worn out appliances, avon bottles, roller skates,(except the old ones with the red wheels) no comforters, baby toys, stuffed animals, or adolescent toys. I'm still giggling about the beanie baby comments on other posts. I have those packed up in an auction box. But I am partially excusing myself for that faux pas due to ignorance of their worth. (do I get absolution if I say that I kept the Mcdonalds bags too?)

Thank You for all your advice
Deb
Located in Ohio


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Location: Corbin KY
I may be able to assist you since you are in the KY & OH area. If you are to far from me, as some of the others have stated I can refer you to some excellant auctioneers in your area.

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Adam Hill
Interstate Auction
Corbin KY 40701


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:47 am 
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Location: Adrian, Mi.
Debbie,

I am in SE Michigan, about ten miles north of the Ohio line. I am approx 40 miles west of Toledo, Ohio and about the same distance east of the Indiana line.

You find the right auctioneer and it may be possible for an on site auction even if you have everything packed up. However with winter coming on, transporting everything to a dry, secure building might be your best option.

A good auctioneer should be able to meet with you, evaluate your needs and come up with a solution that will work for you.

It is important to understand that prices will vary from day to day and from auction company to auction company and normally that is no reflection on the auctioneer. It is just the reality of the market and auctions.

We cannot guarantee prices on items, but auctions remain the single best method of liquidating a large quantity, quickly, efficiently and get it done in a day. At any auction, some things will sell so high they will leave you giddy, some items will disapoint you. You do need to understand that simple truth and be prepared to accept the bottome line.

If you are anywhere near me, I invite you to visit my website at http://www.arealauction.com. View the information there carefelly and make sure you view the Auction Highlights page and the Testimonial page. After that, if you would like to email or call me I would be happy to speak with you. That is assuming you are in my part of the world. You can find my contact information at the website.

Regards,

Lyn Liechty, Auctioneer
http://www.arealauction.com


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Debbie how did you make out.
Richard
Scorpion Auctions


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:45 pm 
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Location: Charleston, SC
Debbie: Give Adam or one of the other auctioneers that have reached out to you a call. See what they have to say.

LYN just gave you some very good advice from a seasoned auctioneer. personally I think you are over analyzing the situation. Do some thinking about which auction house will do the best, honest job for you and let it ALL go with him. Either on-site or gallery. Sounds like gallery to me.
I would not worry too much about the online lure, but if online so appeals to you for a handfull of items then try ebay yourself.

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I'm not an expert; I just play one on the Internet!

Regards, Ed Roumillat
Charleston, SC
er @ a-a.com
WWW.A-A.COM


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Deb:

You might be better off with the old hat local auctioneer.

I have been selling at auction since 1998 and we offer online bidding to 100% of our sellers.

The cost to sell personal property at online auction where we do the ad creation and handle everything from A to Z is not worth it for items under a couple hundred dollars each.

Do you want to pay $25 ad creation fee for each item listed at internet auction?

Do you want to pay 50% commission for items that sell for under $50?

So what if the online auction will get you $45 for a piece of pottery that the live auctioneer may sell for $30?

The online fees are going to be $25 for the ad then 50% of $45 = $22.50 where you would owe me $2.50 to sell that same item.

Now compare that to Lyn who is old school, very upfront about his fees and no buyers premiums and lets say he charges you 30% or $10.00

$20.00 will be your net on that piece which is one heck of a lot better than paying the online auction house $2.50 to sell it for $45...

Most of the items will be under $100 which is where even if all the fees are disclosed in advance you can get "nickeled and dimed to death" because of the costs incurred to sell those items at online auction.

I have no idea which company you are talking about for the internet auctions nor their fee structure but I am intimately familiar with what it costs to properly photograph, describe, store, collect, pack, ship, settle disputes, etc that go into online only auctions.

Add that to the fact they don't have time to come to your house when there are a half dozen auctioneers who would love to auction this consignment at competitive rates and pay you quickly.

Did you happen to ask the questions about how fast they pay? credit card charge backs? bad checks policy? shipping insurance claim policy? etc? There are a lot of variables and details that the average seller does not think of until after they get hit with all the extra fees that were in the fine print and the people who were too busy to come to your house were also too busy to go over the contract with you.

What would you rather have?

5% of $250 sold at Internet auction
20% of $100 sold at live auction

_________________
William F. Burke, CAI - AARE Auctioneer

It's all in my book!
Secrets of an AARE Auctioneer
http://www.aareauctioneer.com
The Most Comprehensive & Complete Guide to selling real estate at auction


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