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Stewardship is not often thought of by many in business today – or should I say that it is when it comes to the business owner’s interests and not their client’s.  Auctioneers are the fiduciary of their clients and are morally and ethically to always do what is in their client’s best interest.   That is supposed to be…  This includes everything from protecting from damages & theft, to the prices realized at auction, to the marketing of the items to be sold, and labor to conduct the auction. 

The marketing of an auction is one of the most important aspects of the auction.  Effective marketing is essential for success.  If only a few people know about the auction then only a few people will show up for the sale. Less competition for the items sold will result in a lower return for the client.  There are some auctioneers who market effectively and efficiently and others who do not.  Some things to consider when interviewing an auctioneer about the marketing is the auctioneer also making money from you with the advertising?  Some auctioneers offer “advertising packages” where a person can pick and choose from the auctioneers list of ways to market.  What the client doesn’t know is the auctioneer is making money from each package.  The client pays not only the price from the advertising vendor but also a price for the auctioneer creating the ad and submitting the ads for publication.  Another thing you want to consider is, does the auctioneer know what advertising even works and what advertising is not effective?  There are many auctioneers who take a “shotgun” approach and spend lots of money on every type of print media available.  To these auctioneers it doesn’t matter if the media they publish in actually works or not.  They figure it is their client’s money and it gets their name out there so they see it as a way to market their business at their client’s expense. 

How can you know if an auctioneer actually cares about his client?  You will know if you go to an auction and before you get a bid card they ask you, “How did you find out about the auction?”  Auctioneers who actually track this information know what advertising works and what does not.  Auctioneers are to give copies of receipts of everything to their client.  This would include each and every advertising vendor they use.  Each and every cost for the production of the auction must be accounted for by statue or the auctioneer could be brought up on charges and lose his license. 

Print media is a dying industry and has been for years.  Costs of publication are rising, rates keep increasing, and subscriptions keep going down!  Just today (19 October 2012) in the Wall Street Journal was the article about Newsweek after 79 years of being in print will only be a digital publication in 2013. ( Read Article | View Video | Slide Show | Stock Quotes )  What does this have to do with auctioneers?  Next time you see lots of ads scattered about in all types of print media you may want to ask yourself does this auctioneer care about saving his client money or does he care more about spreading his name anywhere he is able at the client’s expense? 

Many auctioneers still don’t get it and this is why you see them spending their client’s money.  At True Blue Auctions, by His grace, we are “True Blue” to our clients which means that we are good stewards of our client’s marketing costs.  We know that digital is the future and that is why you will always see the most robust website able to be built, as well as the latest marketing methods used for our clients.  If there is any print media used it is because we know from years of tracking everyone who comes to our auctions just what advertising works and what does not.  In fact, every auction we have ever conducted has tracked every bidder as to how they found out about the auction.

We have done some very high profile auctions for distinguished celebrities where we auctioned their mansion, automobiles and all the contents of their homes and used zero print media.  One was a three time Super Bowl player and at his auction there was not even standing room available.  Over 200 people attended and it was in February we we had just had 18 inches of snow and had to have the place “plowed out” for people to attend.  I was told by several of our auctioneers, “Skip, you must get something in the paper.”  I said, “With the advertising rates they have and what little space they give you?  No way!”  Now did I care about my client?  Absolutely!  Enough to make sure I was not about to waste his money on what I knew did not work.  His auctions were a huge success and he was very pleased with how we did all we could to save costs and make him the most money possible. 

Never be afraid to ask the hard questions to an auctioneer.  They are to be doing what is right by YOU, the client.  I hope this article gives you some insight into how you can know if an auctioneer is being a good steward of his client’s best interests.  If you have any questions, always feel free to reach out to us from our website, www.TrueBlueAuctions.com and let us make certain your hope by faith through grace today.