Sunday, June 10, 2018

You Can't Win Them All

I didn't realize how spoiled I was for customer oriented auction houses--and the customer service provided to us from our favourite auctioneers.

Until today.

Dear One is occupied elsewhere,  it is gray and drizzly at the moment, and I ventured out of my usual territory to attend an auction by a company I was unfamiliar with.  I had viewed their site online and saw some wonderful mid century chairs that really interested me.  The drive would be an hour-ish, the auction starting time reasonable and off I went.

I arrived on site about an hour ahead to view the sale--and the crowd was already huge.  It easily swelled to 200 people. 
They were there for all the tools and hardware and traditional man type things.   I was very warmly greeted by the clerk.  She directed me to the one of the auctioneers to answer my question of the order of the sale--I knew that pieces of furniture are usually not the first items that are sold.

Let's cut to the chase.  I really had been waiting and waiting and WAITING.  The drizzle started and my patience was thinning as I heard the auctioneers auctioning choice on a large box of belt buckles.  $2.50 each belt buckles.  It was going to be a long day.

I had viewed the chairs I was interested in.  Strangely, they were in the basement of the house, in a very poorly lit room.  Normally in "these parts" the items are brought out of the house for good viewing.  I was glad I had a strong flashlight with me--and saw the four of nine chairs that I could be interested in.

Waiting waiting WAITING, I decided to double check on something with a couple of the ring men.

 "If I am successful in winning a few chairs in the basement, will you bring them up the stairs for me?

" Ha ha Lady.  We are selling as is, where is, when they are sold they are your responsibility."

"W-w-w-what?  I am by myself and I could not possibly get them up without help.  I can load my truck, but the steps are steep.  Quite a hazard actually."

"Yeah, right. Not my problem  Bring somebody to help you."

And that was that.  It took me exactly four minutes to walk to my car and drive away--to drive away with my eager bidding card and full checkbook.

My interpretation.  This Deadbeat Auctioneer was able to get this estate to auction by keeping their costs down---not much sale set up- which was attractive to the consignor.  This means--sell the stuff in place-- you don't have to pay set up people- and let the buyer deal with it.  I wonder what happens if someone is injured loading stuff out--who is responsible?  The hapless consignor who does not know that they hired a Loser Auction House?   

Live and learn.  How can I still be learning after being in the business this long?

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