- Do I have enough items for an auction?
- How can I get the most for my auction items?
- Can you help me select and organize auction items?
- Can you help me select a time, date and place for my auction?
- Can you help me cater my event?
- Can you help me donate or dispose of unsold items from my auction?
- How do I get the sold items to their new owners?
- How much will it cost?
- Do I need to attend the auction?
1) Do I have enough items for an auction? The answer to this can only be handled on a client-by-client basis. Usually, an estate sale should last no longer than 5 to 6 hours. If we sell at a typical rate of 80 to 90 items per hour, we would need to consider having 400 to 500 items. However, in cases where there is less than the desired number, your items can be combined with those of another client or numerous clients for what we call a “consignment sale”.
Each individual consigner’s items are labeled with a “seller number” so that the proceeds from each individual seller are clearly identified for disbursement at the conclusion of the sale.
Fundraising auctions, on the other hand, require a far fewer number of items, as there is much more interaction with the bidding audience. Fundraising auctions should last no longer that one hour, and the number of items should not be more than 10 to 12.
Business liquidation sales can last significantly longer, say 8 to 9 hours because these generally deal with items that have a limited appeal. Therefore, the bidders attending a business liquidation auction are far more likely to stay at the auction until the item(s) they are interested in is offered during the sale.
The type of auction has a great deal to do with this, but generally, all auctions have several common denominators for achieving the maximum dollar return: Product placement within the time-frame of the sale;
Product merchandising, to make the product as appealing to the eye as possible; and attracting the bidders that want to buy what you have to sell. In other words, it would certainly be a waste of time attracting people who buy antiques to attend an auction of used restaurant equipment. Through selective advertising, marketing and direction to our web site, we can attract the maximum number of bidders who are interested in what you have to sell, increasing the amount of interest in the items and intensifying the competitive bidding process.
Virtually any item that can be sold can be sold through the auction competitive bidding process. However, some items are prone to bring in more dollars than others.
A 19th century piece of furniture in great condition will most certainly bring in more money than Aunt Mimi’s 1970’s lime-green sofa in great condition. At Gillium & Hays Auctioneers, we can help with the selection process through an on-site inspection of the items, letting you know which pieces should be included, and which would probably be a waste of time and effort.
The organization of the items is what we refer to as “set-up”. We are trained in how best to present your items to maximize your return. For example, a vehicle that has been sitting in a garage for many years is probably in good shape, but probably also dirty and dust covered. To maximize your return on the vehicle, we would make sure that it has been washed, waxed and detailed, making it much more appealing to the eye. The amount spent on this is minimal compared to the increased return generated by a great looking item.
We are fully prepared to organize an auction from start to finish. With you as our client, we will work together to determine the best time and date for the auction.
The location most always depends on the type of auction. Fundraisers, for example, are best held in a “ballroom” or “auditorium” venue. Estate sales can be held at a local hall for hire, service club hall, or in some cases on-site. On-site auctions are usually held at properties in a rural area, as most municipalities have a myriad of restrictions in place, making an on-site auction nearly impossible. Business liquidation auctions are almost always held on site because there are already facilities in place, such as ample parking, restrooms and so on.
Absolutely! One often-overlooked aspect of an auction sale is food. It’s important to have food available for any multiple-hour auction, simply because people get hungry.
If your bidding audience gets hungry and there’s nothing available at the sale, you’ll soon lose your buyers. You’d much prefer to keep them at your sale, rather than leaving in search of a chili relleno.
We can arrange to have catering, usually provided by a local company, although there are alternatives. In some cases, at the client’s request, we have invited a school or service club to provide sandwiches, drinks and snacks. The proceeds from the food sales then go to support that school or service club project.
Yes, in most cases. Unsold items from an estate sale usually amount to miscellaneous household items. In such a case, the items may be returned to the owner, or we can arrange to have them donated to a local non-profit such as Goodwill or Salvation Army for resale. If the items are particularly large, such as refrigerators, washers or dryers, a fee may be charged against the proceeds of the sale to cover the costs of transporting the items from the auction site to the non-profit. This usually necessary when the auction is held in a local hall or service club which must be vacated by a certain time.
For a business liquidation auction, disposal of any unsold items becomes the responsibility of the owner, unless other arrangements have been agreed to.
In most cases, the items simply leave with their new owners after payment has been made. The exception to this would be when an auction is conducted with the help of Internet bidding. In such cases, we may receive a bid for an item from someone in a distant city or state, or perhaps even overseas. When this happens, we can arrange for the item to be packed and shipped using one of the companies best suited for this task, such as UPS or FedEx. In most cases, however, items sold at auction are sold “as is, where is” and become the responsibility of the buyer to arrange for shipment, and shipping charges are assessed via credit card at the time of sale.
In nearly all cases, Gillium & Hays Auctioneers receives payment derived from a percentage of overall sales. The percentage amount is determined by the quantity and quality of the items to be offered, and is negotiable to some extent. Other expenses such as advertising, rent for a facility to house the auction and others, are deducted from the seller’s portion of the proceeds. Naturally, these expenses can vary greatly from one type of auction to another. We invite you to contact us regarding your specific situation.
It is not necessary, but the presence of the seller is always welcome, and can be of help in cases where there is a question from a bidder about an item.