If you are looking to build a business, salesmanship is a must. One thing that most sales courses teach is the value in orphan customers.
For our purposes we will define orphan customers as customers who have been dropped or forgotten by other salespeople.
We in the auction industry have just inherited the largest amount of orphan customers that we have ever seen. How so you ask? I can answer that in just one word “EBAY”, that’s right Ebay. For a long time now that has been such a dirty word to auctioneers in the industry. I think everyone who has been in the business throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s has a war story about the estate that was loaded with awesome highly coveted items that were weeded out by the son-in-law or nephew and sold on Ebay, leaving the auctioneer with only the scraps.
A 2013 article published by Stanford University shows that Ebay’s migration had moved to less than 15% auction listings. So what happened to those who used to take advantage of the potential bargains of the other 85% of the ebay listings? You guessed it, they have been orphaned. Like a gift from the Auction Gods plucked from the Ebay clinches and delivered to guess who, you: the local, knowledgeable, trustworthy auctioneer.
So we now have inherited a huge sum of orphaned clients from the world’s largest auction platform suffering auction withdrawal and eagerly waiting to bid on online auctions. I’ve heard all of the excuses, but the truth is the easiest way to expand your market is to provide services to these millions of orphans.
This portion of the auction industry will continue to grow until we can meet up with the demand caused from the orphans. The moral of this story: if you aren’t taking advantage of online auctions you are missing out on what is probably going to be the largest opportunity in the market place in your lifetime.
I’ll be the first to tell you, online isn’t always the best platform for every auction. I’ll also tell you that for many auctions it is. At Continental Auctioneer School we teach the techniques for successful online auctions. Whether you’re a seasoned auctioneer looking to expand your tool belt, or a newbie looking for a small overhead high return entry into the market place. Come and learn what it takes to conduct online auctions and how to distinguish what characteristics you need to examine to determine what method is best for your sellers and your pocket book.
Success to you, and have a bunch of great auctions,
Jason Hallberg President Continental Auctioneers School