Transcript for Maximize Your Auction Outcome
Chris Schwartz: All right, Mike. Say we have a potential client that’s looking at doing an auction, what can a seller do to maximize their auction outcome, and what can they do to prep for an auction before you guys come in and start doing your process? Is there any tips you can provide for that?
Mike Hopper: Whew, there’s a lot to unpack there. The first thing I would say is every auction is different and every situation is different, so just because I give you some tips or some ideas on what maybe some best practices are, it doesn’t mean it’s going to fit for everybody, because everybody’s situation and what they’re trying to do is different. People are always like, “Well, everybody else does this and everybody else does that,” and I’m like, “Yeah, but this is your situation.” And so we customize what we do based on what the situation is for that particular seller, because everybody’s different. Everybody has a different space, everybody has different stuff, quantities, the whole deal. And so what I would say is this. The fact that we can get on site and have a conversation face to face with the seller prior to us even agreeing to do the sale allows us to have that kind of a conversation. So, I prep from when we have that first meeting on what it would look like for us to do a sale for them in this location.
I’ll just give you maybe a little bit more of a specific example so that it can help, because every situation is a little bit different. There was a situation where we had a company that was doing construction. They had some materials outside the building, they had some materials inside one building, and then they had a second building on the site that was about, oh, I don’t know, three or four football lengths away from the first building and they had stuff in that building. So there was two different buildings and then there was stuff outside, and then they had a few items that were offsite at a third location, or at a second location inside a third building. So, the biggest thing that we can do from the standpoint of running the auction with the end in mind is having all of the items in as close to proximity to each other once we get to that point as we possibly can.
Part of what we talked about with this particular seller was, “Hey, can we have the stuff from that building brought to this building, and can we have the stuff that’s offsite brought to this building?” And then that way, we are only dealing with this one building and there’s space here, there was space at that location, so they were like, “Yeah, we can set this up.” So basically, they brought everything to one building and then the stuff that was outside that couldn’t be brought inside wasn’t that far from that building, and we were able to do the sale in a much more compact location than trying to walk sellers or walk buyers from one building to another and disrupting everything that’s going on.
From a preparation standpoint, a lot of what takes place is trying to make sure everything is in one location and in as close proximity to everything that’s there as we possibly can. Because the goal with the auction is to get people in there and out of there as quickly with their stuff as we possibly can, to minimize the disruption to their current business flow as much as we possibly can. Because everybody’s got stuff to do, everybody’s got things that is always going on, and
so when we position ourselves in a position where we’ve got our stuff set aside, then we can direct them to where they are on that location and where they need to go, and get them in and out of there in a very timely fashion. That’s the first thing I would say, is organizing stuff in close proximity to each other.
The other thing they can do to prep for us is, if there’s stuff that they’re selling and stuff that they’re not selling all in the same location, to the best of their ability to separate what’s staying and what’s going, so that we don’t have to guess once we get there and we start the setup process. The number of hours that it takes to do the setup is somewhat determined by how much time and energy we have to spend organizing and sorting through things in order to get it ready to be sold. And so if they’ve done that sort of prep work and said, “Everything in this room, this is what we’re selling. Have at it,” it makes it real simple and straightforward for everybody involved, because then we’re not selling stuff they don’t want to sell and we’re not forgetting things that they did want to sell.
Those are the two biggest things from my perspective on prepping for what is to come from a seller’s perspective, because literally the goal is for us to take this off their plate. My job, our job as an auction company is, from the time they sign the contract until they sign the back of the check and deposit it in their account, they’ve done as little as possible from the standpoint of the work that is involved in getting their stuff sold. That’s our job. Now, that always can’t happen, because if we’re selling construction equipment and there’s things that need lifting or loading help, or those kinds of things. There might be some things that we talk about as far as how they’re going to be involved in that, but for the most part, our job is to run and organize and do the actual work of the auction, and their job is to let us do what we do best. That would be the things that help us the most when we’re coming onto a location and getting ready to do a sale.
Chris Schwartz: From the sounds of it, it mostly just comes down to logistics and how you’re able to maximize your time spent there, and that all goes into cost, and that all goes into how much an auction’s going to cost.
Mike Hopper: Absolutely.
Chris Schwartz: Good points there.