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.

Legitimate Home Based Business – Is There Really Such a Thing?

You already know these are tough economic times don’t you? You’ve probably already toyed with the idea of starting a business at home to provide some extra cash and a little security in case your full time job goes away. But you’ve also probably seen all the get rich quick obvious scams which leave you wondering if there actually is a legitimate home based business that you could get involved in.Well the short answer is yes there is. Nearly 50 million North Americans are running home based businesses either part time to provide a little extra money each month or full time. When you think home based business you almost automatically think internet, and that’s not a bad place to start, but there are other avenues that may be better suited to you as well. The business that has the best chance of success for you depends greatly on what you expect from the business and what you can afford in terms of time and money to invest in it.Think about that for a moment. Why do you want the business? Is it just a stop gap measure to get through a tough time or do you want to start and build a regular income stream? If you’re working today, how much time will you be able to devote to the business when you get home from your day job. Do you have any background in running a business? Do you have a particular skill that you think is valuable? Every legitimate home based business has costs. What’s your budget for this venture?The answers to these questions will determine what kind of home based business that is best suited for you. Let’s take a look at two of these opportunities. 1. Internet MarketingWithout question this is the most popular route that many people take. The idea that you can make money simply using your computer is very attractive. It is also the favorite target of scammers who have taken the old scams of stuffing envelopes and assembling parts at home and given them a new spin. The message is the same however. No skill involved, lots of money, and work from home. Avoid these like the plague.Internet marketing has an extremely low financial threshold. You can get into it for nothing or next to nothing. However, in the beginning you should also expect nothing to next to nothing in revenue. There is a learning curve in internet marketing and that’s where most people make mistakes, spend a bunch of money, and simply quit too soon.On the flip side, for those who persevere there can be really huge financial rewards.2. FreelancingIf you have a skill that people will pay money for, then there is probably a demand as a freelancer. If you have a technical skill, writing skills or administrative skills there are sites that are dedicated to matching up freelancers with companies looking to hire. This is another viable legitimate home business that can bring in some extra money with your spare time.The competition is stiff and you have to learn how to market yourself with compelling proposals, but if you can land a recurring deal you’ll have a nice steady source of income. Freelancing is great for people who are uncomfortable with all the complexities of being an entrepreneur. The downside is it is common for freelance jobs to be paid less than what you might think is the going rate.There are several other legitimate home based business opportunities but this should give you an idea of what to look for. Just know this; every business requires some skill level and actual time on the job. Successful home based businesses are the result of solid, smart work.

Free Home Based Business Leads – Are You Getting Them?

Free home based business leads. Every online marketer knows you gotta have them, particularly when you’re just getting started and especially if you don’t have an endless supply of money for marketing your home based business. But what’s the best way to find them? Ah…that’s the question every online affiliate or mlm business owner desires the answer to. Do you have the answer to that question? If not, or you just want to pick up some extra tips, than this article is for you.

In reality, there are quite a few effective methods for generating free home based business leads at the time of this writing, so I’m going to share a few with you here. But keep in mind, when it comes to attracting home based business leads on the internet, the rules of the mlm lead generation game are always changing, and sometimes they change fast. That’s just the nature of the internet…constantly new and better methods being developed all the time.

That leads me to your mlm lead generation system that you are currently using. You are using one, right? Your best bet for being able to stay in the game until you create that incredible mlm income is to use a system that instructs you on how to consistently generate free home based business leads that come to you, how to turn those targeted leads into prospects, how to monetize those prospects with your system’s funded proposals, and then lastly, how to get a percentage of those prospects to ask you about your online mlm business.

As I previously mentioned, things change quickly on the internet, so mlm lead generation strategies that work really well today may not be as effective a few months from now because so many people are using them. That’s why it’s so very critical that the mlm lead generation system you use constantly provides you with training on the newest cutting edge strategies to keep your free home based business leads coming in on an ever increasing basis.

Keeping that in mind, here are some of those strategies to begin generating home based business leads right away. You’re most likely familiar with some, if not all of these techniques, because a lot of folks are successfully using them. However, there are “tricks” and techniques you can use that will provide you with an advantage, but I’m afraid that would involve a lot more room than we have here right now. So here are the basics of a few of those strategies.

Blogging. Blogging has been around for quite a while now, but done right, it is a great way to develop your reputation as an authority on your niche so that people will be drawn to you. The system you use should provide you with step by step instructions on how to get started with your own blog, how to incorporate your system’s funded proposals into it, and how to effectively promote it. This is not the fastest way to start generating free home based business leads, but using it with and promoting it with additional lead generating techniques is a great way to brand yourself as a leader (which people are attracted to) and is great for the long haul too. Google loves good content blogs! Just make sure you are providing lots of valuable niche specific, keyword optimized info on your blog and not creating a huge blatant sales page.
Article Marketing. Article marketing is a terrific way to generate lots of free highly targeted leads. The more keyword optimized articles you write on your best niche topics, the more exposure you will enjoy. If you create articles that provide valuable content for your readers and use the author bio to point them back to your content-rich blog, you can generate lots of free home based business leads for years to come.
Social Media Sites. Social media sites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook provide a fabulous way to connect with millions of people online. However, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to use them. The mlm lead generation system you use should provide training on how to effectively use these sites to build relationships and network with other like minded people. This is an excellent free resource for generating home based business leads that everyone should be using.
Video Marketing. Video marketing is an extremely valuable asset to add to your mlm lead generation arsenal. It’s simple and yet highly effective, and is a method that can generate free home based business leads very rapidly. Your system should provide training on the most effective ways to use video marketing to promote your blog, your articles, and well, simply put, You. If you’re not making use of video in your marketing, you may be losing out on the 6 out of every 10 people online that are watching video!
Pay-Per Click Advertising. PPC is probably one of the most effective mlm lead generation strategies on the entire internet at present, but I left it for last because you must have a marketing budget that will last several months to truly use this effectively. Most people starting out in internet marketing don’t have the money for this. However, once your funded proposals start generating some consistent income, I would highly endorse utilizing this method. Your system should provide training on how to use PPC the right way, and when you do, it can literally begin generating free home based business leads in a matter of hours of writing your ads!
Now this is in no way a comprehensive list for generating home based business leads, but it offers an excellent place to start. Forum posting, niche-related blog posting, etc. are a couple more ways you can get backlinks to your blog and increase your search engine ranking. The list goes on…

Bottom line, there are several effective mlm lead generation strategies you can make use of to attract targeted free home based business leads to your site or lead capture page and put you on the fast track to the mlm income you’re dreaming of. Of course, how you process your leads after you get them is a whole different story that we’ll have to save for another time. Until then, keep it real, and keep taking action!