, , , , , , , ,

I regularly see auctioneers ask on social media and otherwise — “What platform?” and the answers are varied. Yet, there are always a few who say, “Use a white-label solution” and create your own marketplace.

I’ve witnessed this many times: (1) New auctioneer (2) Seller (3) White label (4) Disaster. That’s because starting out, the new auctioneer has no marketplace and therefore no bidders.

Specifically, I’ve had several auctioneers tell me (and tell a court,) “Well, it was on the Internet so it was properly marketed …” I’ve also had auctioneers tell me essentially all that matters is the platform is cheap and easy to use.

There’re two erroneous statements here. Just because it’s on the Internet, doesn’t mean it’s marketed, and it’s wildly incorrect to judge platforms based merely on cost and ease of use.

We have written about this many times including here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2023/02/15/auctioneers-tell-me-benefit-doesnt-matter/. Cost matters, but benefit matters just as much.

A few years ago, auctioneers sought out online solutions given the COVID pandemic. Here again, we pointed out auctioneers were looking at “getting the auction online” without any cost/benefit analysis.

Cost/benefit analysis is essential when choosing an online auction platform. In fact, it’s the only consideration and without it sellers — and auctioneers — suffer accordingly. https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2020/03/31/just-get-it-online-no-matter-the-platform/.

This may be the best strategy: When first starting out with a seller, use a “marketplace” platform but begin to collect bidder information such as names, emails, etc. This way, you are helping your current seller and potentially working to help your future sellers.

Yet, if you aren’t selling the same type of property all the time (cars, yellow iron, real estate, antiques, jewelry …) then your own marketplace from a real estate auction (for example) won’t likely help you much with your upcoming jewelry auction.

Auctioneers should also know that all those prior bidders might not be buying anymore — except for resellers, who aren’t necessarily paying market value: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/you-have-a-database-of-what/.

In summary, as an agent for your seller, your loyalty to your seller is paramount, and as such you have to work to maximize your seller’s position, rather than put your own interests ahead of your client, and cost/benefit analysis really matters.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.