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Thread: online auction, a step by step commentary

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    Storman's Avatar
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    Default online auction, a step by step commentary

    Well, here I go. I've got 14 units to auction and today I started the process using an online auction company. I won't post the name of the company until the auction process is complete.

    Today, 2 guys showed up right on time dressed appropriately in company logo'd polo shirts to go over the agreement and the game plan. We talked about timing of the online auction related to the requirement to advertise in my local newspaper for 2 consecutive weeks. We reviewed how the online auction would be in compliance with the CA lien law and I asked questions that came up while looking over their agreement prior to signing. They were both very professional and had answers to my questions immediately.

    After confirming with me the units that are ready for inventory, they asked me for the unit sizes so they can put that info in the auction description. I had already cut the locks off and done a cursory inventory of the contents, but they now go to each unit and do their own along with videotaping every move they make.

    A tripod and camera is set up in the driveway showing them opening the unit. One of the men wears a video camera that is rolling nonstop on his cap, and has a still camera in his hand. He walks into the unit and you see what he sees. He then opens boxes and moves things around to take as many still pictures of items as he can, from as many angles as possible, while the video camera on his head is rolling. These videos and still pictures will be uploaded to their site and tied to the auction of this particular unit.

    Right now, I'm preparing the legal advertisement to be sent to the newspaper for publication this week and next. The online auction is scheduled to start Friday the 16th and run through Monday the 19th. All items must be out by Wednesday the 21st. They will hold a $100 cleaning deposit on my behalf to be returned to the winning bidder only after I agree to release it.

    So far so good, I'm very interested in seeing how these auctions go as compared with the ones I've held in person.
    Last edited by Storman; 1st August 2013 at 01:29 AM.
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    Default Re: online auction, a step by step commentary

    The guys spent about 2 hours videotaping and taking photographic inventory of the 14 spaces. I would guess that a few hundred photos were taken altogether. Probably by Monday the individual units will be live on their site, where potential bidders can see the pictures and watch the live videos of each unit. I placed the ad with the newspaper company to run in their legal notice section. The ad is a little different, as it states the URL of the auction company and the time that the bidding will open.

    Although the individual unit pages will not be live until Monday, bidders will be able to look at the units long before the bidding opens at 12:01pm on Friday the 16th. The auctions are only open to bidders from Friday the 16th to Monday the 19th. There is a policy of "soft close" once the close of bidding time arrives, which means the bidding does not close until 3 minutes pass without a bid. I like this policy.

    Just to get an idea of what to expect, I estimated to these guys what I thought one of the units would have gotten me at a regular live auction. I estimated $200, and they thought it would probably bring closer to $500 online. It will be interesting to see.

    The videotaping and pictures cost me $15 per unit, which is charged against my proceeds at the close of the auctions. There's also a 15% hammer fee on each unit. The $15 per unit for what they did today seems to be very reasonable, and if these online auctions go as they think, I'll be selling units for well over 100% more than I would've gotten live.

    All very interesting to me.
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    Default Re: online auction, a step by step commentary

    Did you have to modify your LN or PLN and Legal Notices to address to changes in sales procedures?

    Looking forward to the updates amd I hope it works out great.

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    Default Re: online auction, a step by step commentary

    No, nothing changes to the PLN or LN, all of that stays the same. The only difference is in the newspaper ad where you would normally state the date and time of the live auction. That is replaced by the date, time and URL of the online auction.
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    Default Re: online auction, a step by step commentary

    I forgot to mention that when the team was done taking pictures and videos of the unit, I re-locked the unit with a company lock and they continued to roll the video while they installed a numbered plastic tamper seal in the hole next to my lock. This tamper seal and number is clearly photographed and shown on the auction site. When the winning bidder arrives at the unit, they can compare the number on the seal on the door to the number on the site and know that the unit has not been opened since being photographed.
    Last edited by Storman; 2nd August 2013 at 08:12 PM.
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    Default Re: online auction, a step by step commentary

    Let us know how well it works for you

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    Default Re: online auction, a step by step commentary

    midweek report:

    The auctions go live on Friday at noon through Monday evening. So far, it looks as if the page views of the different units up for auction is averaging between 175 and 200 with 5 more days to go before the auctions close. Even if only half of those views are from interested potential bidders, that exposure is exponentially higher than my best day with bidders on the facility for a live auction. Hopefully those page views turn into aggressive bids...
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    Default Re: online auction, a step by step commentary

    Waiting with baited breath for the gavel to sound and to hear the final results.
    Gina 6k
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