Friday, July 18, 2008

Daryle Lambert – When is Enough My Good Man ?

I think that the public has finally said enough is enough: no rising prices from auction houses. My phone is ringing off the hook with people looking for alternatives to selling at auctions. Our marketplace at the 31 Club is going to be one of the answers to this dilemma. Once the combined commission for the buyers and sellers went beyond 25% it was only a matter of time before the customers would get fed up and look for alternatives. However these alternatives don't appear over night; they have to evolve. Your staff has spent many hours discussing how we could serve our members best, and be assured if they did the work most of the profits would end up in their pockets. Please look at our commission structure if you list your items on the 31 galleries. The maximum is 10% for items selling under $5000 if you are a member of the 31 Club. That the higher levels the commission is even less. Now that some houses have over a 50% combined commission I think the customers have had enough.

In my opinion this is the reason that eBay is turning to what appears to be a more retail friendly model. They know that these commission rates can't be sustained. One of the reasons that auctions were attractive was because under normal circumstances their item would be sold on a certain date if it met the reserve that they had settled on. However today if they are receiving less than 50% of the hammered price, I think they may be willing to wait a little longer for their items to sell where they receive 90% or more of the sales price. The great thing that we are offering the market with our galleries is when customers search for quality Antiques and Art they won't have to struggle through thousands of items to find one that is worthy of their consideration.

One of the promises I made each one of you was that I would keep you ahead of the trends and I stand by that promise. We were one of the first to share with you the changes coming with eBay. Yes they didn't go all the way to satisfying their base but at least they acknowledged that there were problems.

Just a little history lesson; when I started in the Antique and Art business the commissions at auctions were 5% with no buyers premium. Unbelievable, right? Today it is more important than ever to search out the best venue for selling your hard earned treasures. Yes you might say “ Daryle you said that it is all about buying and never about selling.” That is still true and if you buy right it really won't matter where you sell because your goal will still be met. But why be satisfied with such a small profit from your efforts when if you use the recommendations of the 31 Club those profits will be expanded tremendously? Jeremy and Cindy are in the process of accumulating these lists as I write this blog.

The 31 Club is going to be your best alternative to the outside forces that are trying to minimize the importance of the people becoming educated in the field of Antiques and Fine Art by convincing them that they are a fortune to be able to pay over 50% of the selling price of their treasures, but I don't believe that and neither should you.

So that you will know that I heed my own advice, I would like to share this little story with you. Just a little side bar. When I decided to publish my book “The 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques and collectibles “ everyone said I should go to one of the large publishing houses. So I listened and they informed me I would be fortunate to sign with them because I would receive 20% of all sales, but I would have to do most of my own advertising. I politely told them to write their own books, that no way would I take a deal were even if the book was successful I would lose money. Guess what? Thanks to you I can say that I am very thankful and God is blessing this venture that we are taking together and I wish nothing but the best for those publishers, but my books will always be sold directly to you. I also was told if I didn't put them in stores my sales would be limited. Wrong again. I still believe that the people have the last say and I have heard from you loud and clear.

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