Auctions At Our Hall
We provide a 12,000 sq. ft. dedicated auction hall for conducting year round sales. Cold and snowy? Hot and sticky? The weather isn’t an issue when your merchandise is in our heated or air conditioned hall. Ample lighting assures that bidders are able to adequately view merchandise during the inspection. While awaiting sale, we can temporarily store your merchandise in our 3000 sq. ft. storage area for no additional charge.
Auctions At Your Location
Over fifty years ago we got our start doing on site auctions. These years of experience will be put to work for you in determining if your site lends itself to an onsite auction. If adequate parking, display and viewing areas are available, we will be happy to discuss conducting an auction on your property.
Occasionally, some circumstances require that a sale be held that is not open to the public. Most often these are estate situations that are open to family members only. Because these sales are highly specialized, please call to discuss your situation.
We no longer perform formal, letter head appraisals but we can discuss informal, verbal appraisals. Please call for details.
In addition to our base auction service we can arrange to empty out any size residence or property. We excel at dealing with overwhelming situations where family members are unable or unwilling to effectively handle the personal property. Packing and moving services can also be arranged. If you have a difficult situation and you’re not sure where to start, call us first. We would be happy to discuss your options.
What To Do With Grandma’s “Stuff” or, “Closing a household while keeping peace in the family.”
A family member has passed away or moved into assisted living. What should be done in situations where the family can’t or doesn’t care to deal with the personal property that’s left behind? Generally speaking, most items in an estate situation will fall into one of the three following categories:
Ideal method for turning a large quantity of personal property into cash in a short period of time. Properly conducted it will achieve competitive prices for those items of an antique or collectible nature and it will effectively “move along” household and other items. There is a reason the auction method is used to break up the world’s largest private collections and estates. It works. Putting merchandise before the general public at an unreserved auction and selling it to the highest bidder is a time tested way to achieve strong prices and in many cases, record prices, for personal property.
Some items, clothing of the elderly as an example, don’t enjoy strong demand at auction and should be donated to a charitable organization. Low end, common items with little demand in today’s market that don’t have enough value to warrant spending too much time or money on them.
And then there’s the stuff that accumulates when you’ve lived in one house for 40 years. Even neat-nicks will have a certain amount of stuff from the “just in case” mentality. At the other end of the spectrum are the folks who have been through a world war and a depression and they’re not going to be caught short the next time around. Six foot tall stacks of used cottage cheese containers, full chest freezers that amount to archeological digs, 45 half used, half dried cans of paint. All of these things need to be properly disposed of or recycled.
Back to the auction….
Many decisions need to be made.
Are there specific bequests? Do the children or other heirs have a want list? Typically an appraisal is performed for items going to individuals. If the items are to be shipped a good auctioneer should be able to handle this for you.
Is what’s left saleable? There is a tipping point where expenses can exceed the value of the personal property. More stuff doesn’t always equal more income. Refer back to the six foot stack of used cottage cheese containers. In a worst case scenario you may be using the auction proceeds to help offset the expense of emptying out a property.
Does the personal property fall into an old money, well to do or advanced collector category? If so, tread carefully. People of means typically bought quality items regardless of the end use. The garden shovel is probably made in England, the picnic basket might well be pre Yuppie Abercrombie & Fitch and the water tumblers are likely from George Watts.
And then there’s the good stuff. An advanced collector will usually have a detailed inventory, appraisal or insurance papers that detail the collection. If not, your auctioneer should be able to tell you if it’s good, great or just so-so. Does the collection consist of high demand, widely sought after items, i.e. toys, clocks advertising and main stream collectibles or is it a niche market of narrowly defined pieces, i.e. watch fobs, curling trophies and hay trolleys? Rare and old doesn’t always equal valuable. Somebody has to want it or need it.
Oftentimes the family will be under the impression that Mom and Dad’s stuff is extremely valuable. Sometimes it is, but if it isn’t, the family needs to be told what they can reasonably expect at auction. Educating the seller prior to the sale is paramount. Unrealistic expectations need to be tempered. A good auctioneer will handle this diplomatically and professionally.
Conversely, the family may feel that it’s just “stuff” of no particular value and they may push strongly to simply split it up and dispose of the balance. That’s fine where the situations warrants, but get a qualified outside opinion before letting them top off the dumpster.
OK, we have quality items that are in high demand. What’s next? Make sure that your auctioneer is qualified to sell your items. Be wary of the auctioneer who holds himself out as an expert in livestock, heavy equipment, commercial sales, real estate, households and fine antiques. If he’s wearing too many hats, none of them probably fit well. The right auctioneer will know your merchandise. This translates into effectively advertising it, reaching the right audience and knowledgeably selling it.
Why an auction?
Auctions offer multiple advantages over other methods:
At auction the person willing to spend the most amount of money will be the successful buyer.
At auction, the public determines the selling price. The one who pays the most, wins.
At auction, register to bid and start bidding. Immediately.
At auction, the playing field is level. The auctioneer is contractually bound to sell the items through open, competitive bidding to the highest bidder.