I just learned of an auction being held in Uniontown,Ohio on Friday October 25,2013 at 10:30 am... 1926 Model T Speedster... Model T and Model A parts... Packard items... gas station items including 1910 Texaco fuel pump.
Look at KIKO Auctions www.kikoauctions.com
I have nothing to do with the sale and I can't attend but I wanted to share it with everyone as soon as I found out.
The Texaco pump is from the mid or late 1920's. Visible pumps did not come around until the early 1920s The speedster is nice - a mixture of years. The head lights are model 16 John Brown from 1911. The side lights are E & J from about the same time ( 1910-1911-1912.
Fascinating speedster - RH drive, with a brake and clutch pedal. Reverse must be the other lever. Wow!
Thanks for the correct information on the gas pump and car. I just copied the information from the auction brochure.
If someone from the forum does happen to make the auction I would be interested to know what the car and gas pump sell for.
Again I have nothing to do with the sale just wish I could go to find more T stuff.
The steering column, foot pedals and levers appear leftover from an old fire truck I saw a few years ago. The dash switch suggests there might be Model T coils on the other side.
The steering column, foot pedals and levers appear leftover from an old fire truck I saw a few years ago. The dash switch suggests there might be Model T coils on the other side.
I see they're planning to apply the now-common surcharge on fools willing to pay for the service of having someone try to jack their last nickels out of them.
I assume you are referring to the "Buyers Premium" that they add to the total? I don't understand it either, but I've never been in the auction business. Perhaps someone who has been can explain the reason for that.
I would like to know what the car and gas pump sold for.
.This speedster is very similar to one I saw in the Munich Transportation Museum in 2008, Same color and same features. It was on loan from a private party who happened to be there when we were looking at the T. I have pictures and will try to find them
I've never understood it at all. I've been to lots of high and low quality auctions and each time, I always felt that the auctioneers had well earned their percentages of the sales, but I've also always felt that the person to who or for whom the service is provided should be the one paying for it.
Similar, but not the same. Here is the one in Munich, Germany in 2008
I was still wondering if anyone attended the auction in Uniontown, Ohio that was held last Friday? If so what did the car sell for and what did the pump sell for? Were there other good T parts and were they reasonable? I just like to compare prices from different areas. Sometime folks say you got a good deal and others say you pay to much. My theory is it all depends on the location and day of the week.
Here's what I understand about buyer's premiums. In the old days, an owner would pay the auctioneer some percentage for his services, say 20%. With a buyer's premium, the buyer now pays 10% and the owner pays 10%. This supposedly makes the auctioneer more competitive in what he can offer the owner.
As I stated, that's what I understand... but I might be wrong. Any auctioneers care to explain? Stan H.?
I'm sure you're correct, but since a service is provided to only one of the two, that one should be the one paying for it. Getting the most $$$ out of a buyer to give to the seller is a wonderful service for said seller.
Out here, a BP auction means that 18% is added to a winning bid.
I was at the auction. The Speedster sold for $14,000. It wasn't as nice as it looked in the picture. I thought it was a little high. The gas pump was pretty nice. It sold for $2,000. I bought a truck load of parts and they were very reasonable.
Buyers are at fault for Buyers' Premiums. Most people quote a price paid for an item as $14.95, neglecting the sales tax they paid. Auctioneers learned that mental weakness, and just take advantage of it.
I quote prices paid, rounded up, with tax, which is what comes out of my pocket. I might even lump in the cost for the trip to the store, as I would the shipping.
Having been an auctioneer several years ago the buyers premium is a way to get someone to consign to an auction the does not want to pay the standard 20-25% plus setup to the auctioneer.
What people do not realize is that you usually have to pay your crew to come out and cleanout and setup for 2 to 5 days before the sale so it is an order when the sale starts. People think that auctioneers make a truckload of money but we do not (if you are honest).
The big boys that auction the old cars charge on both ends so to rack it in.
Well, the auction business can be pretty lucrative. Or not. It all depends on what sales you are getting and what you charge, what you get for whatever you are selling and how much you spend to get it done. Just like any other business. Ralph is right. Most people don't think about the buyers premium when they bid. Most. Or they just figure it is part of the cost of getting what they want.
It started out as a way for auctioneers to get business and, I think, has evolved as a way to make more profit. I do not charge a premium but then I have been in the business for 31 years, have had 401 commercial auctions and am now the oldest actively working auctioneer in the state. I have seldom bid on an auction, I tell them if they are looking for cheap I will give them a list of names, if they are looking for good I am standing right there. I have pretty much a set fee schedule and don't cut down from that. Everybody knows I am more expensive than other auctioneers by at least a percent or two but do a better job than most others. I haven't gone out and pursued an auction for years. My phone rings. If they don't like my percentage, I go home. In western Montana there are four of us who are in this category. Shobe, Pate, Gardner and me. Probably three or four in eastern Montana. All the rest are out beating around looking for business and some of them have gone to the buyers premium to get business. It can make a huge difference in the bottom line at the end of the day. But usually the auction company has to bid against somebody else and so they are cutting the percentage to the seller in order to get the auction. On a $50,000 auction 10% is five grand. But if you have to do the auction for 6% instead of 10% you are losing four grand up front. It's a hard call. My view is that I'd rather keep on doing it the way I have for the last 30 years, everybody knows we don't charge admission, we don't charge buyers premium and we have no sales tax in Montana. I probably won't be in the business forever but so far nobody local has been able to make a go of it here besides me.
That all said, most people don't seem to mind. The reality is that an auction is often an opportunity to obtain an item that there is no other possible way to obtain. There is the possiblity that you will be able to buy it for less than you believe it is worth but the important part is that you can obtain it. Think about it this way. There is an auction with a NOS 1909 open valve block. Are you going to boycott the auction and miss a once in a life time opportunity to own it because the auctioneer structures his commission differently than you think he should? Are you going to let someone else buy it, double the price and then buy it from him because you wouldn't attend the auction? He will certainly raise the price more than the buyers premium was for the auction.
Another thing to consider is that for all the harping people do about supporting home town businesses and "Shop at Home" campaigns this time of year, virtually every person will do some business at the big box stores like Walmart and Shopko and order a lot of merchandise on-line rather than going down to the locally owned store and supporting their neighbor's business. Then when the local business goes under they will go to the auction and try to buy everything left as cheap as they can. The auction business is a business. It costs a lot of money to do a good auction, it takes a lot of help, a lot of advertising and a crowd that is willing to spend some money. Are you supporting your local auctioneers???? Making any effort to keep Joe's Auction Service in business so when your widow needs a good auctioneer Joe will be there to do a good job with his 35 years of experience?? Probably not. Auction companies all over are going under because of the competition from on-line auctions, new fees, regulations and general lack of business.
I just cancelled a contract yesterday, only the second time I have ever done that because the sellers kept pulling items out of the auction. They notified me yesterday of more items they had pulled out and it looked to me like it was going to be impossible to make $500 for a week's work and possibly not break even. A buyers premium on this one wouldn't have saved it. Some people who are so honest they wouldn't take a package of Life Savers from Walmart will pull all the guns out of an auction after the advertising is out (like these people did) and think nothing of it. They pulled the guns and a thousand dollars worth of commission yesterday. We have had people sell cars the day before the auction, sell a $5000 china cabinet the night before, give the $2500 antique buffet to the granddaughter by telling her to just buy it at the auction and then not want to pay the commission because someone in the family bought it, etc. People who are pillars of the church will go to an auction and steal anything they can get their hands on and not see it as stealing. They will lie about what they paid and try to get the cashier to change the price, they will take items off a table and put them in the bottom of a box so they can buy them cheap, they will try to leave without paying, they will register under a false name or an ex brother in law's name or as one guy did in Washington, register as his ex wife's new husband and buy $22,000 worth of farm machinery and leave it set. The auctioneer had to pay the owner for it and then resell it to get his money. Of course, the "buyer" was willing to pay more than anybody else so he was never able to fully recover his money. The guy got a couple hundred dollar fine and walked away laughing. At our last big car auction last month, even tho we had two well identified security men there, somebody stole two hood emblems off a 1946 GMC panel after it sold and before they buyer got it loaded.
Somebody stole a box containing all the gauges for a 1940's Chevy flower car minutes before it sold, while everybody was intent on watching us sell a 1959 Ford retractable hardtop. Security was busy keeping an eye on the bidders and missed the guy. Out and out theft -- it happens more and more.
We video the registration line and the cashier station. The video is on a tripod and just runs all day. Someone (we know this was purposfull because we watched our hidden video to see who did it) tipped the camera up just enough so it wouldn't show the registration line. We know this guy and watch him anyway. During payment, one of the cashiers told me that a guy was standing in line with a wad of cash to pay for what he bought, saw the cashiers checking every bill with the pen that checks for counterfit and put his money away and wrote a check instead. Yup, right there on the video. We have at least two camera running all the time, when you register you sign a statement that you agree to be videoed for security purposes and survelience, we now have a guy in the sale truck with the auctioneers who videos the bidding on any high dollar item. We require a government issued photo ID for registration and reserve the right to hold any item until payment clears the bank, etc., etc., etc.
This is not the business it used to be. It is not much fun anymore. We never even used to think of things like ID's and security personnel with video cameras to try to catch miscreants and thieves. WE have not changed this business. It is the people who come to auctions who can not be trusted. THEY are the ones who are making us expend all this effort and spend all this money to try to catch THEM at theft and misrepresentation. And this is rural Montana where everybody's handshake used to be their word and bond, where in some counties they would go years without a report of a theft, where houses were left open so if someone needed in the door would be open and nobody worried about anybody stealing anything. It is not that way anymore.
Everything we have to do to try to stop the theft and other problems costs money. It is harder and harder to make a profit. A buyers premium is one way to try to stay in business. I've thought about it but we have never done it and probably won't.
I will be out of the auction business in a few more years. One way or the other. Either I will just retire or will just get too old to do all the work and stress associated with it. There is nothing to sell but a mailing list and a sound system. I'll look back on 30 + years of a fun, very profitable and interesting business. I tell prospective sellers I will give them a list of everybody we have ever had an auction for and they can call them for a recommendation. Three people will tell them they wouldn't have that SOB back on the place and the other 398 will tell them we did a good job, we got what we could for their merchandise, we solved their problems and made them some money. I'm glad I'm not starting in the business now, it would be a tough row to hoe today.
A young guy near Great Falls just booked an auction of about ten cars that I probably could have got it I'd have pursued it more. I'm pretty sure he will have a buyers premium because he went to the widow and told her he will do the auction free just to get going in the business. I don't know if he has money to back himself or not, probably has money from another job or from his momma. I never did that. I went to work when I got out of auction school, booked a couple little auctions and then had the biggest estate auction held in Montana that year. They next year I had the biggest one in the state and I probably charged more than anybody had ever charged. The seller still talks about how much money they made "Even tho he charged us 35%." It was probably the best thing I ever did because it really put me in the business, I knew I was going to make some money and could afford to do it right. I spent a lot of money on advertising and did a big spiffy auction at the best hotel ballroom in the state at that time.
Well, now I'm old and have to fix carburetors to make a living since the auction business in Montana is just about dead so I'd better get to work.
Thanks Stan, that was an interesting insight. I attend many antique phonograph auctions and know that theft is almost always a problem. Sad.
I view a buyers premium the same way I view a tipping a waiter at a restaurant. It's a way to shift expenses to the consumer.
I also do not understand why it is tied to a percentage of overall cost instead of a flat rate. Does a waiter work harder carrying a $35 steak than a $10 burger? Why should I have to pay more when I'm already buying a more expensive meal?
Thank You Stan,I go to alot of Auctions...one I went to they kept all the K.R.Wilson tools listed even after the Auction. Trouble is we drove 5 hours to get there for the Tools and they had been sold to a guy up North and removed from the Site. The Auctioneer played Stupid with us. I reported him to the State! Now when I'm gonna drive 2+ hours I call the day before and make sure what I'm after is still there. A auction with a BP things start and go for $1 no BP they start at $5 and jump up $5 it cost the same at the end of the day. When A auction is run well/First class I allways tell the Auctioneer I enjoyed it!
The auctioneer probably had no control over them selling the K R Wilson tools prior to the auction. But he should have told you who the owner or person that sold them was so you could go give him hell. The auctioneer shows up for the auction and things are gone, what can he do? We've had that happen more than once. I went to an auction in Opportunity (by Butte) several years ago that had 5 Ford 9N & 8N tractors listed. They were all one owner and people had been there the day before looking them over and driving them around to make sure they were OK. The morning of the auction they were gone, the grandson sold them after the auctioneer -- who had been there all day the day before the auction -- went home. The guy who bought them loaded them and left in the night and they were gone in the morning. Everybody but me was mad at the auctioneer. He and the grandson had a big blow up but what it amounted to was that there was nothing he could do about it. If that had happened to me I would have announced to the crowd who did what and who bought them if I could find out and I would have withheld full commission from the proceeds. That's what my contract says. But there just isn't much else you can do about it.
Tim -- a friend who buys a lot of old cars -- and I drove 450 miles to an auction where they said the 30's Ford pickups they had advertised would sell in the afternoon after the farm machinery and shop tools had sold. We got there at noon and the pickups had all been sold. We asked about it and the auctioneer said the crowd had been pretty light in the morning so while they were waiting for more people to come they went down and sold all those old pickups and cars. Now THAT is STUPID!! I've never gone to another one of that guys auctions so I don't know if he learned anything or not.
Last year there was a big auction with tons of Model T parts near Wolf Point. I pulled my big trailer up there, bought a bunch of stuff including four trucks, would have bought a bunch of stuff form the salvage yard but they guy who was having the auction got in a snit because he didn't think he was getting enough for the parts and stopped the auction. What could the auctioneer do??? Not much. They hauled it in for scrap the next week.
Dan, there are a lot of things like that. Why does a steak cost so much more than a Chicken dinner when the only thing that costs more is the steak? The cost of the salad and soup and baked potato is the same. If a Chicken costs the restaurant two dollars and a steak costs the restaurant six dollars, shouldn't a steak only cost four dollars more than the Chicken dinner? It is among the mysteries of the world.
Collectors are missing out of a lot of iron that should be saved because scrappers are hauling in anything they can get their hands on when China is paying good money for iron. A LOT of people won't have an auction because they are afraid to gamble on what they might get when in reality they will get top dollar is the auction is done right. A LOT of people want to sell off the easy, high dollar stuff because they are afraid the auctioneer might make some money. Then they want the auction company to take the dregs and get top dollar for it. They also want the auction company to do the work for nothing.
So.......... Have you all told your wives, children and other heirs who you want to do your estate auction? Have you looked at who does a good job and who would know something about the tools in your shop, your Model T's and other cars; do you have a summary of the better points of each one to give to the auctioneer so he can advertise that the Ruckstell was just rebuilt or that you just put in a $3000 Warford??? I thought not. So they are going to have an auction of your stuff with the low bidder who probably doesn't know a Model T from a Velie and wouldn't know what a Ruckstell is or what it does and why it should make the car more valuable. Will he know what your Plasma cutter does or will he just know that as cheap as he bid the auction he can't afford much time or advertising or help to set it up right if he is going to make any money on it? Will he be smart enough to direct mail to the MTFCA and other old car club members in a 3 or 4 hundred mile radius who might be interested or will he say the hell with it, there isn't any money in that junk anyway, the real money will be in the washer and dryer and the Kubota tractor and the other new stuff?
Here is a question before I go off to slave over a carburetor bench for the day. WHY DO YOU CARE how much money the auctioneer is making as long as he is doing a good job, selling things as they should be sold - individually or in groups, in the right order, etc. -- being honest with both the seller and the buyers and moving along at a pace that allows bidders to bid but not so fast that they can't keep up??? Do you care that the guy who does your dress shirts makes fifty cents or two dollars on each shirt because he does a good job? Do you care that the guy who sells you tires for your pickup just made $300 on that set of Hankooks? If he sold them to you at a fair price and will stand behind them if something goes wrong, didn't sell you a set of blems for full price, etc., do you care if he made a profit? So why do you rant and rave if the auctioneer did a lot of work, hired a good crew and then made some money??? I see that all the time from sellers and buyers both. They will P & M about how much money the auctioneer made when he got them ten thousand dollars more out of a tractor than they expected.
Isn't it worth something to have a well run auction that is a tribute to a collection that took forty years to put together?? Isn't it worth something to have advertising that is well written, well printed and gives the needed information? Most people don't seem to think any of that is worth anything. I see auction brochures that are a joke. Misspelled words, stupid descriptions, no directions to the auction site, etc. But they are getting business. How???? I'll bet they were the low bidder. Web site??? It's a major part of today's auction advertising. Do they participate in Auction Zip, Auction Finder, do they belong to their state's professional organization and make use of that web site and auction advertising. Do they go to the conventions and ongoing learning seminars. Or are they just low bidder?
The bottom line of the buyers premium is this: Figure out what the item is worth to you Total Price. If the hammer price is $90 and the buyers premium is 10% it is going to cost you $99 to own it. If it isn't worth that to you quit bidding when it gets to what it is worth to you. That is grade school math and basic business sense.
Thank you Stan, I always enjoy your post. It is generous of you to spend the time.
Stan - Thank you for the "inside story" of the auction business. What you wrote is a mini-education of the business side of auctions, of which many of us weren't aware of.
Unfortunately, the changes you've seen in auctions over the last 30+ years is much the same as the changes in our society in general, and we can't change it....we just have to live with it.
Maybe when we drive our T's it's like escaping from all that and pretending we're still in a simpler time back when our cars were new.....
Well, we can dream, can't we?
Thank you very much, Stan, for taking the time to write such an insightful, and entertaining couple pieces. I know that you are correct on everything you said.
I also agree very much with Kieth G. It is a societal change. One that bodes very badly for the human race if WE THE PEOPLE do not do something about it.
Now, I have said enough.
Drive carefully, and enjoy the escape, W2