Sunday, February 10, 2008
Daryle Lambert: 73 Year Old Takes On Ebay with Blackwells Live Auction
Wouldn't it be a breath of fresh air to return to the days of olde, when you were present at a live auction, bidding on an item by holding up your paddle, and the selling fees were reasonable?
If Mr. Donald Karr has his way, this just might be possible, but with a modern twist.
Yesterday, I was privileged to speak with Donald Karr, founder of Blackwells Live Auction, for about 2 hours, and they were two of the most rewarding hours I have spent in many years. At 73 years of age, Karr is as young and optimistic as they get, and he wants to make it possible for individuals to still make money for themselves, as they sell their treasures, without giving a large chunk of what they make to the ones that least deserve that large chunk --the auction houses.
Yes, auction houses do provide a wonderful service for people who want to depose of their treasures and belongings, but over the last twenty-five years, the auction houses have truly gotten greedy. When I started in this business, as I have shared with you before, the auction fees were 5%. That was only to the seller, and there were no fees to the buyer. What a far a cry 5% is from where we are today with some auction houses, particularly those whose fees reach 50% when you include the commissions of both the buyer and the seller.
Mr Karr wants to return us to the Days of Olde in a sense, and has introduced a new concept in online auctions, Blackwell Live Auction. A resident of north Palm Beach, Florida, Donald Karr has been a long time Antique and Jewelry dealer well aware of the auction business and the changes that have occurred in the industry. So why am I so excited about this, and why is this auction different than any others? For starters, you will be a live participant at each auction you are a buyer in. Your name will be raised on a bidding paddle as you bid, and if you are the fortunate winner, you will know it immediately.
But it gets even better than that, and you'll know why each one of us might be praying for Mr. Karr's success. The news that landed me on my behind after the chair fell out from under me was this: THE TOTAL FEES FOR ANY ONE TRANSACTION WILL BE A MERE $2.99! Yes, I did say $2.99. You might want to pick yourself up off the floor and check out this website for yourself, because in addition to this great news, Blackwells Live Auction will be auctioning off $100 bills every day with no reserve in order to get people acquainted with the auction. Brilliant!
Let's see what this new concept in online auctions really means to you and me as sellers. Selling a $5,000 item at the regular auction, the seller will bid 20% less than he was willing to bid on your item because of the 20% buyers fee. On the $4,000 that he did bid, you will pay $1,000 in commission. That means that your item, that should have sold for $5000, now is selling for $4000 of which you will only receive $3,000. Not so good you say? Now le'ts do the same thing if you sold it with Mr. Karr at Blackwells. Your bidder bids $5,000 because there is no buyers premium, and you only pay $2.99 for the commission. You net $4,997.01. My math might not be very good, but $3,000 verses $4,997.01 means that you've just made an additional $1997.01 -- 66% more than if you had sold it at the regular auction. Now that is something to get excited about.
I have some hesitations about the technical parts of this venture, but Mr. Karr has assured me that every question I asked had been covered. I pray he will have enough server space, because I can already hear the thunder of the approaching stampede just around the bend.
I am always looking out for you and the 31 Club and will continue to bring you newsworthy economic and industry news as I see it.
Blackwells News Release.
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