, , , , , , , , , ,

This advertisement notes that, “We surf the Internet. We swim in magazines.”

Further down the page, as the case is made that the Internet doesn’t necessarily displace magazine readership (which is up 11% over the last 12 years of Google’s lifespan), the advertisement continues with:

    “What it proves, once again, is that a new medium doesn’t necessarily displace an existing one. Just as movies didn’t kill radio. Just as TV didn’t kill movies. An established medium can continue to flourish so long as it continues to offer a unique experience.”

Despite some who are predicting the contrary, in regard to online-only auctions, it seems equally clear that online-only auctions will not displace live auctions, as live auctions offer an established medium which offers a unique experience — a very unique experience.

It is also worth noting that the Internet is used far more to direct people to live auctions, than it is used to allow bidders to bid online. In other words, the Internet may well have changed the way auctions are marketed and/or advertised, and the revolution has been that — and not that bidders bid via the Internet instead of live.

In talking with another auctioneer recently in Michigan, he noted that proxy bidding has been available at their auctions since the 1960’s. As such, the Internet has allowed him to advertise his auctions to a wider audience, but the ability to bid absentee or proxy has remained unchanged — bidders can still call, email or even mail a bid to him.

More importantly, however, he noted he would prefer people call him to leave an absentee bid so he can discuss the item with them, and build a relationship with the bidder. He said, “I would much rather engage a bidder in conversation so I can explore his situation further, and possibly even discuss us selling some of his items at a future auction.”

The most recent data (2008) on online-only auctions versus live auctions shows that over 26-times more revenue is generated from live auctions than online-only auctions ($268.5 Billion versus $10.2 Billion.)

Because of the Internet, more and more people are finding the exhilarating and enjoyable aspects of a live auction. Yes, we can bid via the Internet, but we experience live auctions.

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. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.