Auctions have been going on in Tennessee for as long as people can remember. First done by Colonels (thus the term “Colonel” for auctioneers) in the military to liquidate spoils of war or estates of soldiers. This turned into a small business venture and overtime Auctioneers were born. Mostly done by local farmers in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Auction schools began to open and Auctioneers were born. Tennessee founded its Auctioneers Commission in 1967 and business has grown from there.
My Great Grandfather, Jim Carman, actually started his career as a local Auctioneer in 1910 (as early as as we can find). it all started when a local Auctioneer moved to Nashville and a need was created. People in Trousdale Co began to wonder who would or could do the auctions since he had left. My Great Grandfather stepped up and said “I can do it!”, and thus 4 generations of Auctioneers were born.
Back then, word of mouth and small local paper ads were used to let the public know of the upcoming sale. I the 60’s and 70’s Newspaper ads along with signs became the trend. Eventually a few radio spots were added. In our world today, Social Media, internet ads (like Auctionzip.com), along with paper ads and signs are what would be considered the norm. The goal always being reaching the most people effectively to let them know about the Upcoming Auction!
It is extremely important when you are marketing the Auction Sale that as many people here about it as possible. However, there is the limitation of Cost vs Effectiveness. Today’s paper ads can easily run into thousands of dollars if the Auctioneer is not careful and frugal on behalf of his client. Changes have been coming fast and furious in the Auction world, and one of the most important is a proper, yet cost effective marketing scheme.
So the question is now not only, “How can I reach the Most people,” it must also be “how can I reach the most RIGHT people?” Our world is one of constant change and growth. People are forming new clubs and groups constantly. Internet and especially Social Media allow people of similar interest to connect easier than ever before. So the question becomes, how do I as the Auctioneer reach the most and RIGHT people for my upcoming Auction?
1. Know your product. So many times, the amount of stuff to be sold is overwhelming and much of it can be hidden. It lies treasured away in boxes or nooks and crannies of a home. An Auctioneer could in days of the past simply say “Tons of stuff” and the crowd would come. But in today’s world, there are so many competing auctions on any one given weekend, you must be much more specific in order to attract the Right crowd.
2. Know your Audience! This comes along with knowing your stuff. One you have identified your items (and taken tons of photos!) then figure out who you need to let know about this upcoming Auction! Local ads are simply a must combined with wide reaching efforts of online marketing (email list, Auctionzip, and Facebook). But also know if there is a certain group of people you need to contact. Have tons of glassware, find a group of collectors or dealers via online searches. have something rare? Then email a brochure to groups who specialize in that rare item.
3. Become an Expert. If there is something of rarity or of an unusual nature at your sale, then take some time to research it. With the internet, there are no excuses for ignorance anymore. Also, with connections on Facebook and Twitter to national groups of other Auctioneers, it is a great avenue to reach out and see who else might have seen one before.
4. Do the work! Yes, it will take some time to get the information into the right hands, but is can very beneficial, especially for your client for whom you are working. Don’t just settle for the “norm” in advertising, and don’t expect the potential customer will always find you! Try and Find them!
With just a little extra effort, you can reach the Most Right buyers for what you are offering!
That is my thoughts on the subject, feel free to share yours!