While I was driving the other day, I saw a sign that said “Coming Soon. Auction House.” It was on a large, vacant piece of land along the highway, zoned Commercial. Hmm. Interesting. You know I’m always thinking business!
Then, as I was reading this month’s issue of Inc Magazine, I saw a short article (Or maybe it was an ad) for a TV show called “Auctioneer$”. It said that the auction industry did $270 billion in 2010. That really got my attention. So I did some research.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
In 2008, the National Auctioneers Association reported that the gross revenue of the auction industry for that year was approximately $268.4 billion, with the fastest growing sectors being agricultural, machinery, and equipment auctions and residential real estate auctions.
In addition, online auction revenues as of 2008 were $ 10.2 billion.
The Oldest Profession:
According to National Auctioneers Association, auctions date back in history so far that no one knows exactly how they got started or who started them. Records from ancient Greek scribes document auctions as far back as 500 B.C. I’m sorry to say, women or daughters, were auctioned off as wives.
It’s said that in Rome, around the time of Christ, auctions were prevalent in selling war plunder!
Fast Forward to Today:
Technology found its way into the auction business during the 1990s. Computers, fax machines, cell phones and other technology enabled auctions to run better, faster and easier. And in 1995 eBay was launched.
The future of Auctions:
The abounding bad news for far too many people, brings continued opportunities for auction entrepreneurs. Liquidating all types of assets to generate cash for clients, including governments, retail store inventories and fixtures, surplus commercial equipment, and even the liquidation of household items, and bankruptcies, is expected to continue and even increase.
The economic factors of today create more opportunity:
- With unemployment over 9%, there’s demand for anything that can bring in quick cash. Selling stuff is what a lot of people end up doing.
- According to a RealtyTrac article published this year, lenders have foreclosed on one out of every 45 homes in the United States. Lenders often turn to Auctions to unload their inventory.
- Adding to the problem, they also report, up to 50% of the foreclosed properties held by banks, insurance, and GSE’s are not even on the market yet.
It Takes Entrepreneurial Thinking
The point is there are many ways to survive a bad economy and high unemployment. In the case of the auction business, people need cash. There’s absolutely nothing wrong (and everything right) about helping them get that cash by assisting in the liquidation of things that can be replaced at another time.
It’s all about how you look at it and what you decide to do next.
See the opportunities.
How can your business fit in today’s economy?
Another Source and Recommended Resource: For more information on the Auction Business, I highly recommend Mike Brandley’s Blog. It has fabulous in-depth information!