How To Discover Your PERFECT Home Based Business – The Sixth Of Seven Keys – It Is Competitive

This is the sixth in a series of seven articles that tell you how to sift through all the home business opportunities you hear about every day, and find the PERFECT home based business for you.What makes an opportunity P.E.R.F.E.C.T.? In the first five articles in this series, we learned that the “P” in PERFECT stands for “Profitable”, the first “E” in PERFECT means “Easy”, the “R” stands for “Real”, the “F” means “Fits With Your Desired Lifestyle”, and the second “E” stands for “E-friendly”.Key Number Six-
The “C” in PERFECT stands for “Competitive”. Can your home based business be competitive? Can you win your share of the business, or even be a market leader?In your PERFECT home based business, you will offer products that are better, different, provide more value, or are offered in a different way, allowing you to compete effectively and get your share of the profits. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that “cheaper” means being competitive. Sometimes trying to be the cheapest product is a losing proposition for you, and also for everybody else trying to compete with you.”Competitive” means:• You have a unique selling proposition (a unique or better product or service, or one that is offered in a unique or different way). This gives you a way to answer your prospect’s question “Why should I buy your product, and why should I buy it from you instead of your competitor?”.While it’s great to have a better product, sometimes just having a better product is not enough to be competitive. According to another marketing expert Mark Joyner, you need to find a way to make an “irresistible offer” to your prospects, one that makes them feel like a fool if they don’t take you up on your offer. Then, you’ll really be “competitive”.If you create your own products based on your knowledge, experience, and personality, this will contribute to your unique selling proposition. Nobody else can offer your unique perspective on the subject matter you create your products around.• Your product and market enable you to be a big fish in a small pond.If possible, you want to be able to control the market in a smaller niche, not just get your small share of a larger market where you are one of many “same old same old” suppliers. Still, there’s nothing wrong with getting a small share of a very large market, if you can do it with your own irresistible offer. It’s just harder to be competitive in a large market.• Having a high publicity potential (news worthy, new, novel, popular fad or trend).This is certainly not the most important factor, but it really helps if your PERFECT home based business or product does have a high potential for publicity. You can get thousands of dollars in free publicity if you can get press coverage and internet coverage by writing “news worthy” news releases and articles.• Rapid, wide distribution can be accomplished.The first to market with a new product often wins the highest profits and gets the highest market share. Whether your product is “new” or not, you need to get the word out about it quickly to the broadest audience to be competitive and remain competitive. Sometimes the best protection you can have for your product, even better than patents or copyrights, is to make sure the whole market knows about it first and fast.We’re almost there. The PERFECT Home Based Business must be COMPETITIVE. And, it must be PROFITABLE, EASY, and REAL. It must FIT WITH YOUR DESIRED LIFESTYLE, and must be E-FRIENDLY.

Three Key Benefits for Starting a Home Based Business Today!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last five years, you undoubtedly have been impacted in some way by the state of our global economy. It is a fact that many have lost homes, jobs, and in some cases their lives due to the economic downturn that has had a largely negative impact on the way that people live, work and think about earning a living. Though much is said about the negative aspects of the financial times in what we live in, I would charge that this is the best time, and most importantly a vital time to either begin a home based business or re-energize a business that may be dormant. There are three key reasons that I make this statement.The first reason is for tax benefits. Unless you plan on going to jail or living on ‘the run’ for most of your life you will have some tax liability and exposure if you earn an income. Many miss the point and think that if they can just make more money, all their problems will disappear and life will be great. There is nothing wrong with making more money, but what is more important is keeping more of what you make! Home business ownership allows you to make legitimate deductions that will lessen your tax burden and result in you keeping more of your money. Some of the most notable deductions that you can make for having a home business are: Home office (Space, and utilities needed in running the office), Office supplies, Furniture, Other equipment (e.g. computers, copiers, faxes), Software and subscriptions, Mileage, (Travel, meals, entertainment and gifts), Insurance premiums, Retirement contributions, Social Security, Telephone charges, and Child labor (as in employing your own children). This initial dozen are a great start, but by no means is a completely exhaustive list. You can build an additional income stream by having a home based business and keep more of your money in the process.The second reason for establishing a home based business is to create an additional revenue stream to compliment any full time employment that you may have outside of the home. CAGR, inflation, and all of the other indicators basically tell us that everything is more expensive today than yesterday and will continue to go in an upward trend. Plain and simple, it takes more money to maintain the same standard of living year over year. Most corporations are not increasing their pay to employees at the same rate as inflation. In fact, most pay less within recent years. To cover the gap individuals must become creative in producing additional income for themselves and their families. Home based businesses allow for almost a limitless variety of options to accomplish this task, while keeping overhead low and the potential upside high. Best of all, if the business is chosen carefully, it can become an asset that can be transferred from parent to child or other family members to create perpetual generational benefits.Last, but certainly not least, the home based business can be the ultimate ‘Plan B’ in case your full time work ceases. In the event of a lay-off, down-sizing, company closure, a home based business can provide the revenue to keep your home above water and repel creditors (mortgage companies, etc.) while you replace your lost income, or decide to invest 100 percent of your time and energy in your home based business. Having the peace of mind that additional revenue streams exist during tumultuous change in the corporate world is priceless. To under estimate the importance of having a ‘Plan B’ is like not having car insurance. You just don’t want to go there, because sooner or later you will need it. In addition, the security of having additional income in the face of medical emergencies or for retirement is huge. How many times do we read that medical emergencies are the number one reason for individuals filing bankruptcy or that people who should be retired have to continue to work because they simply can’t afford retirement?If you have not thought about starting a home based business, give it serious thought and find something that you believe in and go for it. If you have a business, but have not done anything with it for a while, get busy. Death and taxes are a reality that we all must face, but if you can reduce your tax burden and live a quality life as long as possible, I think we all can agree, would be a great thing.

Free help by SBA for Small Business Loans

Why should anyone be interested in helping you for free?The government benefits if it gives small business start up loans and that is why it helps.o Statistics show that small businesses number more than the big businesses.o Small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the work force.o Small businesses contribute to more than 50 percent of the nation’s GDP-Gross Domestic Product.o Small businesses are the principal source of new jobs.Starting a small business or expanding your small business is not easy. Expert guidance and help is given to you for free by SBA. The US Small Business Administration was established in 1953 and has business offices in every state. SBA works with thousands of lending, educational and training institutions nationwide. It does not provide grants but offers counseling. Government small business loans are offered to many entrepreneurs. Look up the web sites of the state economic development agencies to know if it is available in your state.SBA is only a guarantor of loans offered by banks and other private financial institutions. The lending institutions that agree to terms of the SBA provide loans to small businesses through SBA. In case of inability of repayment of loan within the stipulated time; the SBA pays the lender the agreed upon guarantee amount, and the borrower has to pay the SBA the entire amount.Can the SBA help you?Small business is one that is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field of operation. SBA has regulations to determine whether your business qualifies as a small business. You could look up the SBA website or federal government regulations to find out if your small business startup loan or small business loan for expansion qualifies. Your business has qualified then the next question that any lender would ask you, is: Do you have a business plan?Most lenders would require a detailed description of the business you are going to start up or expand. Look up the SBA site http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/index.html for planning options and counseling. The many things that SBA helps you iso Writing a business plano Getting the loano Marketingo Licenses and Lawso Patents and copyrightso Selling to government and abroado Hiring employeeso Buying the right equipment.Notable among it various programs are Small business loans for minorities, Small business loans for Women, Small business loans for veterans and young entrepreneurs. The various small business loan programs offered by SBA are.Basic 7(a) Loan GuarantyThis is the primary business loan program. It is offered to those who do not qualify for loans through the normal lending channels. The terms offered by SBA are more flexible. Valid loans are those where the proceeds of the loan are used for sound business purposes. The maturity is 10 to 25 years depending upon working capital and fixed assets. http://www.sba.gov/financing/sbaloan/7a.htmLoan PrequalificationLow income borrowers, disabled business owners, exporters, rural and specialized industries are the target for this program. Bad credit small business loans do not fall in this category. The applicant has a credit merit then it is easier to secure the loan. http://www.sba.gov/financing/sbaloan/prequalification.htmCertified Development Company (CDC), a 504 Loan ProgramThis is a variant of the Basic 7(a) loan to obtain real estate or equipment for expansion or modernization. http://www.sba.gov/financing/sbaloan/cdc504.htmMicro Loan, a 7(m) Loan ProgramThis is available in selected locations in most states. The SBA stand as guarantor to organizations that provided the loans, technical assistance and management for small scale financing. Not-for-profit child-care centers can also avail these loans for working capital or purchase of inventory or supplies. http://www.sba.gov/financing/sbaloan/microloans.htmDisaster RecoveryHome owners, Property owners in disaster areas qualify for this loan program. Term of the loan is 30 year and the rate of interest is below 8 percent for those who can obtain credit elsewhere and below 4 percent for those who cannot obtain credit elsewhere. http://www.sba.gov/disaster_recov/loaninfo/property.html

Is a Home Based Business Opportunity Credible?

How can you become financially independent?

You worked hard and you squeezed almost everything you have just to pay all your expenses, however, at the end of the day you realized that what you earn is not enough. Well, can you imagine a lifestyle wherein you only have to work 4 hours a day and yet you still earn twice or even thrice as much as what you earn right now? You know what? That can happen through a home based business opportunity. Throughout this article, you will discover important principles before getting into a home opportunity, and hopefully will make you say: Yes! I can be financially independent.

What is a home based business opportunity?

A home based business is simply an investment or any kind of business that you can work at the comforts of your home. This is the dream of many people. And I bet you also want the same thing. So, what are the things you should know?

How credible is the opportunity?

There are lots of websites out there claiming that they have the best home based business opportunity, but many of them are actually gimmicks. So, what is the number one rule? Make sure that you are looking for a 100% legitimate home based business opportunity. You need to look at the credibility of the business. That is the number one principle you have to consider before going into any home based business opportunity. I know, it is not easy to see that right away, that is why we need to make some thorough investigation and research. How can you do that?

Well, you got a lot of resources that you can actually use or avail of. Number one is through the internet which is very accessible. Do a little surfing through the net or spend considerable time reading testimonials about this type of business. Surely, you will know and learn more about it and find out the type of business which can actually work for you. You can also find more about it in magazines, journals and e-books that talk about home based business opportunity. Reading them can increase your knowledge and enhance your skills for brighter and promising business opportunities.

Are those enough? No, because you have to be confident with yourself in dealing with the kind of business that you decided to get into and leave no room for doubts. You will try to be clear of everything and resolve issues that you may have about the home based business opportunity that is of interest to you. You can even call or send inquiries via email from those offering such information through websites. And if certain answers are a bit doubtful or suspicious, you can consider looking for another search. Now, have I got your minds tweaked about a home based business opportunity, what should you know next?

Is there a home based business opportunity that would interest you?

Just like you, when I first heard about this, I was very skeptical. But now, I want you to think differently-to have a positive doubt about it. It is okay to be cynical at first, but I assure you that a home based business opportunity is the key to your financial independence. How cool is that?

With a home based business opportunity, you get thousands of options, products, and services that you can use to run a business. You can work on stuffs that interest you the most and thus, provide you maximum commitment and motivation every day. If you are musically inclined, you can set up your own online music store. Or if you love sports, you can sell athletic goods as well. This is how a home based business opportunity becomes flexible for you. You can get out of your shell, and do what you love. What do you think? Do you enjoy your work at the office?

At the start of this article, I asked you how you can become financially independent. I do not know what your answer is but what I do understand is that you are creative and you have goals to become rich. Today, you realized that a home based business opportunity is what you need to make it happen. Now, if you want to find out more about it and understand how I became very successful with my own home based business, please visit my website.

Why Is Marketing and Advertising Essential for Every Business?

To survive in today’s competition, every business – large, medium, or small – needs to promote itself. It should make people aware of the products and services it offers. The availability of a variety of media sources like television, radio, print, outdoor media, the Internet, etc., offers businesses numerous opportunities to promote themselves with a little effort. Many businesses have already understood the importance of marketing and advertising. Businesses in US spent around $144 billion on marketing and advertising in 2011. Globally, it was $ 498 billion.

Marketing and advertising are not the same
Marketing and advertising are two unique concepts which are important for every business to succeed. Many people wrongly assume that they are the same. But, they are not. Marketing involves various activities like identifying the target markets, their needs and requirements; new product development, promotion, building brand image, etc. Advertising, on the other hand, is one of the marketing activities. It is a kind of promotion to make consumers aware of the products/services available under a brand.

In this article, we will discuss on how marketing and advertising help businesses.

• Marketing defines target markets: Target markets or target customers is a group of people who are more likely to buy products/services offered by your business. Unless a business identifies its target market, it cannot design its advertising strategy that is customized to serve potential consumers. Marketing helps the businesses effectively identify their target markets. Marketing involves research to identify people who you want to sell your products and people who need your products.

• Identifies customers’ needs: It is important to continuously monitor and produce products that suit the requirements of your target group. Marketing does this exactly. It identifies customers’ requirements by conducting various polls, campaigns and research, which enable the businesses to produce products that match the needs and wants of the consumers.

• Builds brand image: Good reputation makes a company stand-out from the rest. As marketing enables a company to produce products as per the customers’ demand, and helps it conduct various programs to promote the brand and its products, a kind of brand image will be established among the public.

• Advertising helps publicize company’s products and services: While marketing involves all the back-end operations like research, collecting opinions, identifying needs and requirements and so on, advertising is associated with publicizing the brand to the consumers. It creates an awareness of the brand as well as the products/services offered by it among people and thus makes the brand well known among the target markets.

Besides creating brand awareness, an effective advertisement does have the power to persuade the public to buy the products. The diverse means of advertising include non-electronic media like newspapers, brochures, journals, magazines, banners, posters, etc., and electronic media such as television, radio, the Internet, etc.

• Differentiates company’s products from others’ products: Another advantage of advertising is that it gives a company an opportunity to differentiate its products from its competitors’ products. Many of us might have seen advertisements which compare the effectiveness of their products with that of their competitors. A popular example is consumer product advertisements, which show comparison of the products. This kind of promotion helps people understand the specialty of your brand/product.

• Enhances your presence in the market: An advertisement campaign continuously reminds the prospective customers about the brand and its products. In a troubled economy, where so many companies are coming in and going out of business within months, an ongoing advertising strategy helps businesses reach their customers effectively. In the long run, it helps the companies build long term relationship with their target customers.

• Marketing and advertising both help a business increase revenues: The final goal of both marketing and advertising is the same – to improve sales and revenues of the company. While marketing improves sales by producing products that serve the needs and wants of the customers, advertising enhances the revenues by making people aware of the products offered by the company.

Any business can accrue these benefits by considering marketing and advertising as essential elements of business. Implementing effective marketing and advertising strategies customized to a business is, however, essential and works out better when both the strategies are integrated. To make the most out of them, it is better to take help of professional advertising and marketing service providers who offer tailor-made strategies designed to meet your business goals and help you prosper and grow bigger.

The Finer Points of Internet Auctions

WHAT IS A PENNY AUCTION?

Penny auctions have exploded in popularity with the massive growth of the internet. However, few people know the true origins of penny auctions.Beginnings actually stretch back to the Great Depression. Those were hard times for everyone, but even harder for farmers. Farmers struggled to bring in steady income because of droughts and crops not selling as well as they had previously. As a result, the banks would foreclose on the farmers who couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments.

The banks weren’t satisfied with just repossessing the house, they wanted to raise as much capital as possible, so they resorted to selling off the possessions of the owners of the repossessed houses. There was not much the farmers could do about it so they began bidding ridiculously low prices, pennies, on the items while threatening others who dared to bid higher than a few pennies.

The auctions of today hardly resemble their tremulous beginnings. Being part of a penny auction today is exhilarating, fun, and addictive. It combines the selling format of auctioning with a little bit of chance factored in.Auctions are a game of strategy but also a game of luck.

The premise behind penny auctions is giving people the chance to win an item at a drastically reduced price.Auctions make that possible by spreading out the cost of the product among multiple bidders. In order for a person to take part in an auction, they must pay a set price for each bid. For example, if a person wanted to bid on a fifty dollar Amazon gift card then he would spend a dollar for each time a bid placed. If he ended up winning the gift card, then he would only have spent a few dollars for a fifty dollar gift card. Usually penny auctions sell bids in packages.

HOW PENNY AUCTIONS WORK!

The main foundation of penny auctions is the pay-per-bid format. It is the key that allows bidders to win items at the fraction of their retail value and allows the auction owners to keep their site profitable. Most y auction sites run on the same premise: people pay a set amount for each bid, whenever a person places a bid within the closing seconds of the auction time will be added, the last person left with a unique bid after the clocks runs out will win the item. There are a large variety of items that can be won, but they tend to be popular electronics or gift cards to popular stores.

There are two types of auctions: lowest unique bid auction and highest unique bid auction. Lowest unique auction sounds confusing but it is actually quite simple. A unique bid is when only one person has a bid at a certain price. Bids usually start at one penny, a bidder can then place a bid at two pennies. Until another bidder places a higher bid, the most recent bidder will be the lowest unique bid because that was the only bid at two cents and nobody bid higher. However, penny auctions generally don’t stop at one penny. It is not uncommon to find auctions that end up at a couple hundred dollars based on the popularity of the item being auctioned. However, the same principles apply for those auctions. Highest unique bid auctions follow the more traditional auction format such as eBay. The person with the highest bid at the end of the auction wins the item.

Auction site owners turn a profit by selling bids. Say twenty people are bidding on a ten dollar gift card at one dollar per bid, at the end of the auction if there were twenty bids placed in total then the site owner would have made twenty dollars with a ten dollar profit.Auctions do seem like a win-win situation:The site owner makes money while the bidder gets an item for dirt cheap. However, not everyone wins in penny auctions. The people who paid one dollar each bid but left with nothing to show for their investments will not be so happy.

HOW TO WIN!

Penny auction has a lot of chance mixed into it, but one can incorporate strategy that will help raise the chances of winning. Playing smart can make all the difference between gambling and auctioning.

The first crucial tip to winning penny auctions is to know how to manage your bids. Your goal should be to win as much as possible without spending a ton of money buying bids. Managing your bids means that you should already know how much you are willing to risk in order to win an item. The amount of capital you are willing to risk will determine how many bids you can use. Once you know how many bids you have to spend on an item, then you will be better able to manage how and when you place a bid. That will keep you from blowing away all of your bids in the first few seconds of the auction.

The next tip is to practice time management. When fighting in the trenches of penny auctions, you have two enemies: other bidders and time. Knowing when to bid is a must if you want to have success. Placing a bid when there is a lot of time left on the clock is never a good idea. You have to remember that the key to winning a penny auction is being the last one standing when the clock runs out and that each bid increases the amount of time left. It would be a good practice to wait until the last few minutes of the auction before you begin to bid.

The final tip for successful auctioning is to keep your emotions under control.Auctions have a lot of similarities to gambling, and just like gambling, your spending can get out of control. If you keep your emotions level, it will keep you from making rash decisions and blowing loads of cash. Keep your mind clear so that you can gage the behavior of the other bidders and outsmart them.

HOW TO AVOID SCAM SITES!

Penny auctions are a great addition to the web whether you want to win an item that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to afford or if you simply enjoy the thrill that comes with bidding in auctions. Unfortunately, scam sites have tarnished the reputation of the legitimate penny auction sites. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from scamers and enjoy your auctioning without having to worry about losing your money due to dishonesty.

Checking the reputation of the auction site before you start spending your hard earned money is always a good idea. Chances are other people have tried the site before you and some of them have left reviews. The reviews are your way to gage whether a auction site is trustworthy or not. If a site is getting overwhelmingly negative reviews, then that is a clear indication that you should steer your business elsewhere.

Another tool you can use to protect yourself is checking the Alexia ranks of the auction sites. Alexia rank will give a solid view of how much traffic the auction is getting. If you see a huge difference in the amount of traffic Alexia is projecting and the amount of active bidders on the site, then warning signals should be ringing in your head. Some auction sites have been known to set up robots that automatically bid on projects in order to keep the auction going and inflate the price. That is known as shill bidding. You can sniff out those sites by comparing the traffic the site should be getting to the amount of users using this site.

CONCLUSION!

New legislation may come out later down the road that will officially make penny auctions gambling, but until then, it is a fun, exciting auction that allows one to win the item they’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford.Auctions are also quite lucrative for the site owners because of the pay-per-bid strategy they’ve incorporated. Penny auctions had humble beginnings with farmers who just wanted to get back at the banks who kicked them out of their house. More recently, auctions have enjoyed an explosion in popularity with the rise of the internet.

There are two main formats fora auctions, lowest and highest unique auction, however they both run on the same premise where the last unique bid wins the item. Winning a penny auction will require a certain amount of mental tactic and a bit of luck. However, you can increase your odds of winning by practicing certain techniques such as managing your bids wisely, learning how to work with the time, and keeping a level head and your emotions under control. When you combine those three strategies to your bidding plan, you will find that you win a lot more often.

It is important that you do your due diligence to protect yourself when participating in auctions. Not every auction is run by honest and trustworthy people. There are people out there who just want to take your money. You can protect yourself by ensuring that you only bid on sites that already have a very positive reputation from real users.

How to Find Great Live Auctions for Resale Items

Hi, my name is Walt. I’m an auctioneer with 25 years of experience in the auction business and licensed in the state of MA. I own Quick Auction Service, a company that specializes in building and running custom auctions, I’m also the webmaster of my own site and have been on eBay for 8 years. Besides eBay, the types of auctions I run most frequently are antiques and on-site estate auctions, although I’ve run everything from business overstock auctions to charity & special event auctions.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and stories of the auction business. My goal for article is to help folks get the absolute most out of their auction experience.

Whether your fresh out of the package or a seasoned dealer I think I can offer something in this article to help you with your auciton adventures.

There may be as many reasons to attend auctions as there are types of auctions to attend. Maybe you want to attend an auction to buy items for re-sale on eBay, or some other market. Maybe you want to furnish your home with wonderful antiques, or you want to furnish your home as inexpensively without sacrificing quality.Some folks are just looking for a fun night out. With a little perseverance all these things are possible.

There are antiques and estate auctions, auto auctions, overstock auctions, absolute and no reserve auctions, real estate auctions, specialty auctions where only one genre of items are sold, tailgate auctions, live auctions, online auctions, sealed bid auctions, silent auctions, charity and fund raising auctions and many more.

Can you really buy for pennies on the dollar at an auction? You bet! Many times I’ve seen folks buy and re-sell at the same auction on the same night for a good profit, although be advised, this should only be done after the auction is over.

There are a lot of ways to find an auction, but here are some tips on how to find and attend the best ones.

Visit the genre of shops in the area that apply to the type of auction you want to attend. IE: If your looking for a good antique auction to attend, stop in the local antiques shops and ask for what there are for good auctions in the area. Sounds obvious right? But listen to what they don’t say as well as what they do say. Oftentimes when a dealer speaks poorly about an auction he or she attends, it may be likely that they are trying to keep a good thing secret. Think for a moment, why would a dealer keep attending a lousy auction?

Newspaper ads: I personally like to find ads in the classified ad section rather than flashy display ads. Flashy ads are usually indicative of an auction that will be high priced, may have reserves, (a set price on an item), and usually an enormous crowd. While any auction can be profitable to attend, it is usually best to steer clear of the glitzy ones, at least for the beginner.

Here’s the minimum you want to find out before you go. If there is a phone number in the ad, call and ask for the terms of the sale. What forms of payment do they accept? Is it an absolute auction? An absolute auction is one that has no minimum or reserve bids on items. These are the best auctions to attend! Is there a buyers premium? A buyers premium is like a tax that everyone who makes purchases at that auction must pay above the winning bid price. Most auctions these days do charge a buyers premium, 10% is not unreasonable but I feel much more than that is greedy, and the auctioneer that charges over 10% is counting on most bidders not doing the extra math as the bids quicken in pace.

A fair auction will have ample time to inspect the merchandise, usually at least 2 or 3 hours. Find out when inspection starts and make sure to attend! Never attend an auction if you can’t make the inspection, not unless your prepared to gamble. Most auctioneers sell at a rate of about 100 items per hour, which is why they sell “as is”. They simply don’t have the time to give a detailed description of all the items. Since almost all items at auction are sold AS IS, there are sure to be some damaged, refinished, fake and incomplete items at any given auction. Beware of any auctions that offer very little or no inspection time.

Good auctions will usually have 150 to 400 lots. A lot may be one item or a group of items. The exception to this are specialty auctions, auto auctions, real estate auctions etc.

When you attend your first sale, take note of the 1/2 dozen or so dealers that buy the most often. See if you can find out about other area auctions they attend.

When you do find an excellent auction, attend it as often as possible. By frequenting good sales, you help increase the bottom line of that business. It’s difficult for many auctioneers to keep the quality of merchandise consistent, so good attendance certainly helps. And when an auctioneer gets to know you as a buyer, he/she will go out of the way to accommodate you, to keep you coming back.

Hiring An Auction Company

Estimating your assets value:

Typically, one of the first questions a business owner will ask me is, “how much will the assets bring at an auction”. After taking the time to review the assets, the auctioneer should give the client a conservative estimate of the sale based upon his experience and the current market trends. It is important that the company give realistic expectations so the seller can make informed decisions based on their best interest.

Compensation and Expenses:

Is the company you are considering working for you or against you? The agreement you decide may determine this.

A business owner should carefully consider how the auction company is compensated. The most common commission structures include: straight commission, outright purchase of assets, guaranteed base with a split above to both auctioneer and seller, guaranteed base with anything above going to auctioneer or a flat fee structure.

In a straight commission structure, the company is paid an agreed upon percentage of the total sale.

In an outright purchase agreement, the auctioneer simply becomes your end buyer. The company purchases your assets and relocates them. While this can be an option in some unique situations, keep in mind that they will want to purchase your assets at a very reduced price to make a profit at a later date.

In a minimum base guarantee, the auction company guarantees the seller that the auction will generate a minimum amount of sales. Anything above that amount either goes to the auction company or split with the seller. While a seller might feel more comfortable doing an auction knowing that he is guaranteed a minimum amount for his sale, keep in mind that it is the best interest of the auction company to secure a minimum base price as low as possible in order reduce their financial liability to the seller and secure higher compensation for the sale.

In a flat fee structure, the auctioneer agrees to show up for the sale and call the auction. There is no incentive for the auctioneer to get the best prices for your assets. The auction company is compensated regardless of the outcome of your sale.

What is the best option for business owners? In my experience, an agreed upon straight commission structure. This puts the responsibility on the auction company to offer the best outcome for everyone involved. There is an incentive for the auction company to work hard for both parties, set up and run a professional sale, get the highest bid and sell every item on the inventory. Successful auctions translate to a higher bottom line for both the seller and the auction company.

Auction Expenses:

In most auction agreements the expenses to conduct an auction are passed to the seller. If the auction company pays for the expenses, it is simply absorbed in higher commission rates.

All expenses should be agreed upon in advance in a written contract. Typical expenses will include the costs of advertising, labor, legal fees, travel, equipment rentals, security, postage and printing. A reputable auction company will be able to estimate all expenses based upon their experience in previous auctions. An agreement should be actual costs charged as expenses, not an estimated amount.

Advertising is typically the highest cost in conducting an auction. The auction company needs to set up an advertising campaign that will promote the sale to its best advantage and not overspend to simply advertise the auction company.

Once the auction is complete, the auction company should provide a complete breakdown of all expenses to the seller, including copies of receipts within the auction summary report.

Buyer’s Premium:

What is a buyer’s premium? If you attend auctions regularly, you are very familiar with this term. The auction company charges a fee to the buyer when they buy an item at auction.

The buyer’s premium has been around since the 1980′s and is standard auction practice. It was first used by auction houses to help offset costs of running brick and mortar permanent auction facilities. Since then, it has spread to all aspects of the auction industry. It is prominent in online auctions and allows auction companies to cover added expenses incurred from online sales.

It is the responsibility of the auction company to provide clear disclosure of the buyer’s premium to both the buyers and the sellers. Those not familiar with auctions are often taken back by the buyer’s premium. They looked upon it as an under handed way for the auction company to make more money. Reputable auction companies will provide full disclosure within the auction contract, advertisement and bidder registration.

Typically, an auction company will charge online buyers a higher buyer’s premium percentage than those attending an auction in person. Extra fees are incurred with online bidding and are charged accordingly to online buyers. This provides the seller a level playing field for both online buyers and those attending the auction in person. Without the buyer’s premium, there is no way to do this.

Pre-Sales:

We’ve all been there. We’re looking forward to attending an auction only to find that some items were sold prior to the auction date.

As an auctioneer with over thirty-six years of experience, I can honestly state that pre-sales will hurt an auction. When a company decides to liquidate their assets, it is easy to sell off high-end pieces of equipment through online sources, equipment vendors or to other businesses. The seller receives instant cash and avoids paying a commission to an auction company.

Auctioneer’s find themselves appearing to acting in a self-serving capacity when potential clients say they are planning to sell off parts of their inventory prior to an auction. It’s hard not to consider the auctioneer’s commission when they warn you not to pre-sell anything. Yes, the auctioneer wants to earn a commission on those sales but it is more important that the auctioneer protect the sale from potential negative backlash that comes from pre-selling. The buying public knows when an auction has been “cherry picked” prior to the sale and it reflects in their bidding. It becomes a sale of “leftovers” and that impacts prices.

A buyer who purchases prior to the auction usually does not attend the sale. They already bought equipment at a good price with no competition. If they do attend the auction, they tend to let others know of their great pre-sale purchases which again, impacts prices and the overall excitement of the sale.

It is important to understand that auctions work best with a complete inventory. You want competition on your higher end equipment. The easy to sell items make it possible to gain respectable prices for hard to sell items.

When a business owner decides to liquidate their equipment assets, there is only one opportunity to do it right. Hiring a reputable auction company will assist you with a professional, orderly and timely liquidation.

Five Tips for Selling at Live Auctions

Ah, the old-fashioned country auction! The idea of a country auction conjures up certain images for people. The image of a fast-talking auctioneer offering up an antique table or chair is a popular example.

People who are buying household goods or collectibles are looking to get their items at the lowest price possible. However, the people who are selling their items at auction are hoping for the highest price!

Unless a person is in the business of buying and selling antiques or other items, not a lot of thought goes into how goods are prepared for sale via the auction process. However, if you are one of the growing number of people using auction venues to sell your collectibles or other inventory, there are a few things to learn first about how to sell at auction before you bring a truckload of stuff over to the next event.

Tip 1: Make sure the things you want to sell are a good “fit” for the auction house you’ll be using.

Never bring a load to an auction house without actually having been to one of the previous auctions. It’s important to get a feel for the type of goods that the house sells. For example, at one very rural country auction it was common for the owners to sell live chickens, pots and pans, car parts, and farm equipment.

After close investigation, this would not be the right venue for selling your daughter’s “Hello Kitty” collection. On the other hand, the spare John Deere parts that you bought at last week’s yard sale might be just the right thing for the buying crowd at this auction.

Tip 2: Be sure you clearly understand the terms and policies of the auction house.

Visit with the auctioneer ahead of time. Call to find out what the best days and times are to visit. One of the worst possible times to drop in for an informational visit with an auctioneer is the day of the auction. Call ahead and ask. While you’re at it, find out what are the best days and times to drop your stuff off.

Once you have a little time with the auctioneer, you’ll be able to find out what type of commission he or she takes from consigners (which is you), and what type of paperwork might be needed. Some auction houses send out Form 1099 tax forms at the end of the year. An auctioneer may need to see your identification and have you fill out a W-9. Be prepared.

Find out what happens to your items if they don’t sell. For example, some auctioneers may have a minimum starting bid. If, for some reason, one of your items does not sell, it may be grouped with another one of your pieces. Know the auctioneer’s strategy beforehand so that you aren’t surprised on pay day.

Tip 3: Make sure the auctioneer knows what you’re selling.

It might be perfectly obvious to you that the signed print you are consigning is a rare and valuable piece of art. However, the auctioneer may not know this particular artist. Make a note of anything particularly special about your items, and leave the note with the piece. Be sure to tell the auctioneer about it as well. He or she might determine that this is something to highlight on the company website or in the newspaper listing.

Tip 4: Present your items neatly.

No one likes to have to dig through a box full of grimy and greasy car parts to see what treasures might be in there. Separate the parts and lay them out on a flat, or use more than one box to de-clutter the lot.

There is no need to buy fancy display boxes. It’s easy enough to go to the local convenience store or supermarket and ask if you can have the emptied boxes or flats that they are discarding.

While it’s good to present clean items, take care not to ruin the value of anything by over cleaning. For example, if you find some old cast iron cookware, clean the obvious dirt and grime, but don’t scrub it to its original finish. For many people, this ruins the value of the item. So, clean and tidy and organized is the key here.

Tip 5: Don’t complain to the auctioneer if your stuff doesn’t sell for as much as you’d like.

The phrase to remember here is, “You win some; you lose some.” That’s just the way it is. There are some days where an auction house is loaded with people who all seem to want what you’re selling. There will be other days where the crowd is sparse, and the bidding is simply not competitive.

Remember that it’s in the auctioneer’s best interest to sell your things for the highest possible hammer price. But sometimes, it’s just not going to be a stellar sale. The auctioneer is only human, and is also disappointed if a sale doesn’t go as well as planned.

If you notice that every time you bring a bunch of goods to sell that you’re not realizing as much as you think you honestly should, try another auction venue and compare apples to apples. That is, bring the same types of items to the new auctioneer and compare the results.

Unless the auctioneer is particularly disagreeable or inconsiderate to you or buyers, there is no reason to confront him or her about a sale. If you find you just don’t care for an auctioneer’s style or methods, find another one. Believe me, there are plenty of them out there!

The primary thing to remember as you learn how to sell at auction is that the business is unpredictable at best. You will have good days, some not-so-good days, some great days. The more you sell, the more experience you will gain, and the more enjoyable the business will be.

Real Estate Auctions – The New Land Rush

On a sunny afternoon in Florida, an energetic crowd gathers on the lawn of a high end luxury estate. A loud and eager banter between an auctioneer, a group of bidders and bidder assistants fills the air. For several minutes the auctioneer asks for the next highest bid and the bidders respond. Suddenly the bidders grow silent. The high bidder holds his breath in anticipation of winning the auction. The auctioneer calls for one more bid. In a loud clear voice which rolls over the audience he says, “Fair warning, last chance” the auctioneer pauses, “SOLD!” And in less than 10 minutes another multimillion dollar estate has changed owners.

Successful real estate auctions like the one above are happening all over North America and the Caribbean. Recently real estate auctions have been on the rise, the increase in popularity is partly driven by growing inventories and fading buyer confidence. Properties that were selling in weeks using traditional methods are now languishing on the market unable to attract buyers even as seller’s lower prices. Many say the real estate boom is over but savvy buyers and sellers are profiting from real estate auctions.

Real Estate Auctions Work in Up or Down Markets.

Regardless of trends or market cycles, real estate auctions provide an open and transparent process for buyers and sellers. Properly conducted real estate auctions attract ready and willing buyers and motivate them to act now.

The auction method removes the “wait and see” attitude which serves to further depress real estate values. Buyers are always concerned about overpaying. Buyers gain confidence with their purchases at real estate auctions because they can see what others are willing to pay.

When market demand is high and inventories low, real estate auctions can deliver selling prices well above what a willing seller would have accepted in a negotiated private treaty sale. In good selling climates many property owners using traditional real estate methods; negotiating with one buyer at a time, leave thousands of dollars of equity on the table. During up markets real estate auctions are the best way to establish top market price.

Evaluating Your Real Estate for Auction

Not every property or seller for that matter makes a good candidate for auction. First of all sellers must be ready to sell now and for the current market value. Also a real estate auction will not fix problems caused by a downturn in market value of your property, if you owe more than a willing buyer will pay, be prepared to come to closing with your check book.

Properties that do well in real estate auctions have a high uniqueness factor. Ask your self, “What makes my property different from most others?” Maybe you own a resort property or high end luxury home, commercial properties and land do very well at auction. Real estate auctions thrive on uniqueness. If your property is like everyone else’s, the best thing you can do is offer the most competitive price.

Most importantly sellers must be reasonable about setting a minimum bid. A seller must look at the lowest, most current comps and price below that to generate the interest and urgency necessary for a successful real estate auction. Once the auction begins and qualified bidders start competing against one another you can watch the selling price increase.

Locate a Qualified Real Estate Auctioneer

Start by checking with the National Auctioneers Association, the best real estate auctioneers belong to this organization. These real estate auctioneers are well trained and adhere to a standard of practice and a code of ethics. Many attend the annual International Auctioneers Conference where the latest techniques and innovations in the real estate auction industry are presented.

Find out if the company you are interviewing is a full time real estate auction firm. Many real estate agents are getting auction licenses yet have no experience with the auction method of marketing. Conducting a successful real estate auction is nothing like (private treaty) traditional real estate sales. Go with a real estate auction pro.

You’re probably better of with an auction house that specializes in real estate auctions. There are many qualified auctioneers who have generations of experience selling personal property; furniture, dishes, lawn equipment and the occasional rare painting. Selling real estate at auction is a complex matter that should only be attempted by full time experienced real estate auction professionals.

Commissions and fees may vary, sellers must pay all marketing expenses up front and buyers typically pay 10% of the sales price to the auctioneer of which a share goes to participating real estate agents.

Types of Real Estate Auctions

Auctions are effective because they create a seller’s market. Professionally conducted real estate auctions create urgency, a reason to buy today and competition for the property. Terms and conditions of sale are established ahead of the auction. Real estate auctions will follow one of these three approaches:

Absolute Auction

The property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price- using this process often returns the highest sale price.

Minimum Bid Auction

Seller agrees to sell at or above a published minimum bid price – this method is useful for internet auctions.

Seller Confirmation or Reserve Auction

With a reserve auction, the seller “reserves” the right to accept or decline any bids usually within 48 hours of the auction. Reserve auctions are used when there is a lien on the property from a lender or a court ordered sale with a minimum selling price.