Professionals have opportunity to shine in easy-to-enter field

A web-savvy teenager, a 30-something entrepreneur and a retired couple have something in common: A computer and easy-to-use online auction software.

In a month, a week or maybe even tomorrow they can get their new businesses — Internet-only auction companies — up and running. They might ultimately leave buyers and sellers with an impression of the auction industry, good or bad.

How can auction professionals compete with other proprietors who might have less training, less experience and possibly lower ethical standards? How can she differentiate herself from would-be competitors, establish trust and convince sellers they will make more money in highly successful sales?

Enter Macro-Level Trend No. 2 — technology — from “Give Me Five, Now Ten … Years Into the Future,” a white paper produced by the National Auctioneers Association’s Council on Future Practices.

The paper focuses on trends its authors believe will have a significant effect on the auction business in the next five to 10 years. In addition to technology, these trends are economic uncertainty, the “freemium” concept and government regulations.

Specifically, the paper looks at the idea that “developing technology increases visibility into auction results, auction business practices and entry into the auction business.”

Online auctions, it seems, represent the biggest opportunity, and in some cases the greatest challenge, for auction professionals, according to the paper.

The paper emphasizes that auction professionals should cherish the tradition of the live auction, but it says Auctioneers must embrace online auctions. Many auction professionals, after all, are already using the Internet to promote and market their events.

NAA members, it asserts, now and into the future have to deal with the fact that auction results are more transparent — people all over the world, even competitors, can make judgments about auction businesses based solely on prices achieved.

Technology opens auction companies up to instant scrutiny; however, as the paper points out, this can improve the quality of auctions and ultimately weed out the poor performers.

Read the complete story in the November issue of Auctioneer magazine.

Read the Council’s White Paper.

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Filed under Auction Industry, Auction marketing, Auctioneer magazine, Education, NAA Members, National Auctioneers Foundation, Technology

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