No MidLife Crisis...My Final Auction Review. The TRUTH

We have receive a LOT of feedback regarding our decision to focus on tag sales/e-commerce and no longer do auctions. (ALL of it was honestly appreciated good & bad).  I thought I would just share a few and give my final opinion on auctions and what made me make such a dramatic decision in many people's minds.  The best emails were asking Becki if I needed counseling and if I was going through a dramatic midlife crisis.  That never occurred to me but I suppose I could be....but no.  A few others....Wanting to make me a wager that I would not make it 3 months without working an auction, I should have stopped the free wine a long time ago, and that auctions are on the comeback and I have it all wrong.  All taken in stride...I love and appreciate to hear from our faithful followers.

Of course this blog is merely my opinion...but is backed up by a very large statistical database on my end and via Nationwide websites.  This is just my "Final" take on auctions as I now have no interest in blogging about them in the future.  The Truth:  After I went from penthouse to outhouse around 10 years ago...I promised myself to always be forward thinking and follow the market.  (had I done this 12 years ago...I would be on easy street...but that is water under the bridge). Auctions were originally derived to liquidate farms and homesteads....and the industry was possibly at it's most robust in the 80's/early 90's at the start of the "Ebay/Online Movement".  However, the industry as a whole has went in many directions the past decade and has hit new record low numbers in the Central and West States.  Blame buyer's premiums, increased commercial real estate rents, or a number of other factors but stats are black & white and don't lie.  There are still pockets of strong auction demand back East.  We at Bullseye spent $1000's upon $1000's of marketing dollars to develop a customer core over the past 6 years.  But all businesses are about consistency and following distinct trends.

I did one final "experiment" of 6 live auctions in 7 weeks a the end of 2017 to push me to a decision to either do more auctions or exit.  Obviously I chose exit.  While I won't bore you with numbers...the major two factors that will eventually bleed the auction market dry is DEMOGRAPHICS & SELLER DEMAND.  The generation of under 50 year old buyer's makes up less than 20% of the base.  There is little to no interest in auctions from the younger generation...not even on the online platform.  Our average age on the last 6 online auctions was over the age of 50.  I could see in black and white we were flat-lining for new customers and that our "older base" was near capacity.  Not a good prognosis on paper....and I simply have no way to attract new buyer's or solidify the business base.  

I look at a LOT of estates and deals and the demand to even have an auction is almost non-existent.  The overwhelming majority of sellers/estate heirs want nothing to do with an auction.  The extended period of time it takes to finalize, the unknown amount of revenue, & the overall hassle are just no longer in the mix.  Obviously this is a much faster-moving society than it was 10 years ago and it is crazy obvious in this business.  The majority of sellers are on a strict timeline and simply want to sell or be done with the situation rapidly.   Combine that with how difficult it is to consistently get high "auction quality" merchandise and it is one tough business environment for auctions.

So...Does this mean a good auction is impossible?  Absolutely Not.  There will be a handful of auctions a year that are worth the time of attending over a year.  And honestly an auction makes sense in a sporadic few deals I look at but certainly not many.  But this is by FAR the most challenging times I have ever seen for the auction world and we at Bullseye will focus our efforts in a rapidly growing and popular e-commerce segment of the market.  I truly want to say THANK YOU to all our customers and know a lot of you loyal auction lovers are very too.  I will miss working the auctions and all the great times that you can't possibly predict at an auction.  At this point change is good and feels necessary to move forward and stay relevant.   Will I ever work a live auction again?  Oh..maybe someday as I have learned to never say never but you won't see me on a mic anytime soon.  Bulllseye Auction Out...See you Soon!