Before you decide to have an online auction with us, we want to be sure you understand it. For each client it can be a little different. Most of the time we find people are happy with the auction solution once they are clear on the details, and the benefits.
This also means we can explain it to your family and bring them into the decision making process if you wish. We always ask “How do you like to make decisions?” Sometimes people are very confident making their own decisions and so we report to them alone. Sometimes people like to get input from family or trusted friends, and we can accommodate that. We move forward based on what the client wants whether in person or through email or phone conversations.
We will give you all the information we can, but the decision is still yours to make. We'll follow your instructions because we work for you. We just want to be sure you have the right information so whatever you choose you feel confident in the decision.
Let me tell you a story about a client going against our advice. I was visiting the client's home and she did not have a lot of stuff. Evidently she had already taken a lot of steps to get rid of her possessions. We have a minimum threshold for an auction, and there was just not enough. I explained that she was going to lose money on this transaction. The amount the auction brought in would not cover our costs so she would end up owing us. She thought about it for a few days and contacted me saying she wanted to go ahead with the auction. I did not feel good about this, so I wanted to be sure her daughter was brought into this decision. Even with her daughter's input, she wanted to go ahead with the auction. Worst case scenario, she said, was she owed us a bit of money.
What happened? The auction brought in 4 times the amount of money I thought it would, exceeding the cost of the auction significantly, and leaving my client with a lot of extra money in her pocket. So why was I so sceptical about this auction, and why was she so invested in it going forward? She wanted to sell her original paintings. She wanted them on the internet, and wanted to be able to say she had sold her art online.
So she had an ulterior motive. I don't mean it was sinister at all, I just mean that, for her, the auction was not about the money. So we will give you all the information we have to help you make an informed decision, but that decision is still up to you. For the vast majority of people, an online auction is a great solution.