Nobody goes to live auctions anymore …?

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crowd051315 (2)I happen to arrive to our auction a bit late from teaching at Hondros College of Business (real estate law class.)

I’m blessed to have Peter Gehres, Laura Mantle and Patrick Brown along with other great auctioneers and staff to handle things in my absence.

The special duty Groveport, Ohio police officer has our driveway blocked to incoming traffic. Yes, even I can’t pull in to my own property with nearly 3 acres of parking.

“Hey Mike … you’re full back there. Maybe park along the street back up near (State Route) 317?” the officer told me. And I parked about 1/2 mile from the entrance and walked back.

Yes, indeed I was told in no uncertain terms about 6 months ago from a 30-year veteran auctioneer that “Nobody goes to live auctions anymore.” My reply? “What about Barrett-Jackson? What about Sotheby’s and Christie’s? What about Ritchie Brothers?

What about … over 3,000 other live auctions every day in the United States? Are you saying nobody is there at these events?”

The auctioneer telling me this then qualified his assertion. “Well … it’s not that they don’t go, but they go begrudgingly.” He could tell I didn’t necessarily agree with that statement either.

People do still go to live auctions. And they especially go to live auctions which are events. What makes an event? A good property offering, good food, sufficient parking, friendly and helpful staff, and quite frankly great bid calling helps.

NFL and college football stadiums are sold out, even though the games are available on television. Concerts are sold out even with iTunes a click away. People go to church even though the services are available via radio, television and online. People quite frankly still like to go out and interact and socialize with other people.

Shopping at a live auction is an inherently social experience, and people are inherently social beings. It seems unlikely that there will be a time that truly, “Nobody goes to live auctions anymore.”

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.

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