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.
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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