Are you thinking about buying or selling at a Tempe consignment auction? This article will provide you with information about Tempe consignment auctions and the ethical behavior of auctioneers. Specifics may vary from auction to auction; however, the following information includes helpful and important guidelines from which everyone can benefit.
A local auctioneer recently picked up some very nice antiques at a storage auction. He needed to turn the merchandise around quickly due to a cash flow problem. He rushed them into his next auction without having time to properly advertise the antiques. The buyers who showed up at the auction weren’t interested in antiques and the bids were lower than the auctioneer felt was acceptable.
So what did he do? He had one of his employees bid on the antiques so that he did not lose any items if the bids were too low. Oddly enough, this very same auctioneer has a reputation for becoming very upset with consignors when they bid on their own merchandise. He discourages in others the very same self-protective behaviors he engages in himself.
Why is this story important? I believe that it nicely illustrates a widespread problem in the auction industry. It is the cavalier way many auctioneers treat the property that is consigned to them for sale. Auctioneers treat consignor’s merchandise in a manner they would never treat their own property if it was up for auction. Merchandise is rushed into auctions at the last moment or without proper advertising. Merchandise is included in the wrong auction to turn it around quickly. The lots are either too expensive, too large, or too mixed for that particular auction.
Why is this behavior so widespread? I believe it has to do with auctioneer’s day-to-day experience with auctions. Every auctioneer has encountered an auction where everything was done right; it was heavily advertised, the auction was well organized and run. However, for some unfathomable reason, the attendance was poor or the bids were unusually low.
Auctioneers have also experienced auctions that were poorly advertised and organized nightmares, where and the merchandise sold at unusually high prices. Auctioneers soon learn that there are factors involved in making an auction a success over which they have absolutely no control. Unfortunately, the next step for many auctioneers is to begin thinking that because they cannot control all of the factors influencing an auction, they shouldn’t put a lot of effort into controlling the ones they can control. They begin to conduct auctions that obviously have a minimum investment of thought and organization. They try to get by with the least amount of time and effort necessary for a good auction.
Why should an auctioneer strive to control those factors of an auction of which they do have control? Because the extra effort profits the auctioneer even more so than it profits the cosigners. The auctioneer maximizes the profitability of each auction making their percentage of the take larger. The auctioneer gains a reputation for having well planned, well organized and well run auctions, which make people more likely to consign merchandise.
Auction attendance is improved because bidders a more likely to attend an auction where they know that they can make the maximum number of purchases for the minimum investment of time and hassle. What is the most important reason for doing your best to plan and organize an auction? Because when a consignor’s merchandise sells for a disappointing price, you can look them in the eye and honestly say that you did everything in your power to make the sale a success — even if the consignor is you – the auctioneer.