Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gordon Tuck, Steam Engines, & Machine Shop

Looking For a very unique opportunity to own your own steam engine ? This sale is for you !

You will want to be in ST THOMAS, ONTARIO, CANADA on October 1st 2005 for the Gordon Tuck Antique Farm Auction.

Gordon Tuck is well known in steam circles both Traction Engine and Railroad, his equipment is 1st class and has been kept to the highest standards.
If you are a Steam Collector or Machinist this auction is on your list.


Sawyer Massey 20/60 Traction Steam Engine, certified 150 psi, with new fir box, stays, and piston rings;
George White 25/75 Traction Steam Engine, certified 100 psi, 24” wheels
Sawyer Massey Wooden Water Wagon, complete with vinyl liner.

Rumely 36-60 Separator

R. Watt, Ridgetown, Ont, 28-44 Wooden Separator


Colchester Model 2A Shaper; Bridgeport 9 x 32 Milling Machine; Cincinnati No. 2 Horizontal Mill; Universal Dividing Head & Tail Stock, large; Hendy 14” Lathe w/taper; 35 ton Press; Keetona 80” x 1/8” Power Shear; 48” Hydraulic metal rollers; 48” Asquith Radial Arm Drill; London 34” (44” in gap) x 11’ long Lathe; King 36” Vertical Lathe; 14” Rotary Table; Canablast Cabinet; 400 lb Sand Blast Pot; Hydraulic Power Pack; Compressors; 125 KBA, 100 Amp Gen Set; Pedestal Drill Press; Milling Vises; Grinders; Band Saws; Vernier 40” Caliper; Gauges; Measures; and Tooling

Steam Parts, Patterns, & Tools:
Steam Whistles, large & small; Steam pop valves; Steam valves & fittings; Governor & Governor parts; Oiler parts; Sawyer piston rings; Geo. White piston rings; Handhold parts; Grease cups; Oiler cups; Goodison Saw pulley; Engine mount buzz saw frame; Geo. White 20HP rear mount pinion gear; Sawyer & White gears; New Crane whistle valves; Pair of rear wheels for Sawyer Massey 17HP; Steam Engine test fan; American Marsh steam pump; Water tank pump; Locomotive Steam turbine generator; Fire Box Rivets; Seamless pressure tubing;
Sawyer Massey wheel cleat pattern; 75HP Case front door ring pattern; 25HP Geo.White side mount intermediate gear pattern; 20 HP gear train patterns;
Steam Engine Indicator in Wooden Case; Tube Rollers from ½” for steam cars to 4” dia.; Boiler tube beading tools; Air rivet bucking tool; Oster Threader with new dies for 12 thread stay bolts plus pipe dies; Babbit jig for 25Hp Geo White connecting rod; Stay bolt taps; Quantity of Babbit, Tin, etc; Oil cans; 2 Drive Belts 120’; Water suction hose; Hydrostatic test pumps; Boiler Repair Tools; Spare engine parts; Coal;

Shop Heating Boiler:
Welded Shop heating steam boiler with ceiling fan units;

6 Railroad lanterns; Locomotive Steam Turbine Generator; Railway Post Lamp

Machine Shop Equipment:
10” Rockwell Chop Saw, Heavy Duty 3 phase; Bench Grinders; Hydraulic Press Brake, 40 ton, 220 volt; 35 ton press with power pack: 250 Amp Ideal Arc Stick Welder: 200 amp Canox Migmatic welder; 2 ton Jib crane w chain falls; Large Vise; Canablast Glass Bead Cabinet with extra dust bag cabinet; 48” Hydraulic metal rollers; 10 HP air compressor with extra tank; 48” Asquith Radial Arm Drill, 3 phase; Large London Lathe 34” swing, 44” in gap, 11’ long, 3 phase; Hand surface grinder; 36” King Vertical Lathe 3 phase; 14” Rotary table; Large Rosebud torch and arc gouging gun; 80” x 1/8” Kenton power shear, extra knives; Large milling vises; 20” Lathe & Mill combination; 14” Rockwell Band Saw; Pedestal Drill Press; Hendy 14” Lathe with taper attachment, 3 phase; Heavy Duty Oxygen Acetylene hoses & cart; Small drill sharpener; Large Drill Bits; Colchester Model 2A Shaper, 3 phase;
Bridgeport Milling Machine 9 x 32, 3 phase; No. 2 Cincinnati Horizontal Mill, 3 phase; Large Universal dividing Head & Tail Stock; Gear Cutters; Milling Cutters & Slotting Saws; 40” Vernier measuring Caliper; Kalamazoo metal Band Saw; Bolt Bin full of Bolts; Lathe tool post grinder; 1” to 6” micrometers; 6” to 12” micrometers; Machinist height gauge; 400 lb Sand Blast Pot with all the hoses etc; Gardner Denver 1947 Compressor with 319 Caterpillar, restored; 125 KBA Generator set, 100 amp, 440 volt, 6-71 Detroit Deseil Engine, skid mount; 2 large riveted job site boxes;

Highway Tractor, Backhoe, Jayco 5th Wheel Camper, JD A tractor, Geo White Thresher, Greenhouse
Peterbilt Cab Over, air ride, 50,000 miles on new 400 Cummins Engine, New Paint, New Glass, Double Sleeper, 15 speed over Road Ranger, two 150 gal fuel tanks, a 99% restoration; 580 Case Model B Loader Backhoe with bucket and Forks; Jayco 28’ fifth wheel camper trailer in very good condition; 1946 John Deere A, row crop serial 578046, original not restored and seized; No 6 Geo White Thresher, original not restored; Greenhouse frame 30’ x 45’ x 16’ high.

And Much Much More !

Click Here for the complete salebill with Photos.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Power of Google

Google, Google, Google!

Published: August 25, 2005

Everywhere you turn these days, online and off, Google is there. David Hallerman, an eMarketer Senior Analyst, talks about where the company is going.

One thing no one has to search for is Google. Open a newspaper or business magazine, turn on your television or computer, and changes are within a few minutes you'll see something concerning the search giant. And it still is, first and foremost, even before all the things it is about to morph into, the search giant

In July's monthly qSearch analysis of activity across competitive search engines, released by comScore Media Metrix, Google maintained its market share lead in the US search market with 36.5% of all the searches submitted, followed by Yahoo! at 30.5% and MSN at 15.5%.

As reported in the Internet Retailer, the total volume of online searches conducted in the US reached more than 4.8 billion, up 22% from July 2004. The top six search engines, led by Google, continued to dominate the field, accounting for 99.4% of all searches, up from 98.5% in the year earlier.

Google is also in the news because of the introduction of its new Google Desktop Two, which branches out beyond pure search to manage e-mail, instant messages, news headlines and music, a move that will increase competition with portals and, eventually, Microsoft. In fact, Google is attempting to provide — and control — more of the users' complete experience, in much the same way as Yahoo!, Microsoft and AOL currently do.

Even more intriguing was Google's surprise announcement that it plans to take advantage of a tripling in its stock price since the IPO of a year ago to sell $4 billion in shares. The move is yet another sign that Google intends to accelerate its expansion beyond the search, mapping and e-mail functions that have drawn users and vaulted it to the number one position in Internet advertising.

A key to Google's future, says eMarketer's David Hallerman, will be moving beyond paid search. "The power of paid search is enormous — it's the most popular, most common, and most used form of online advertising," says Mr. Hallerman, a senior analyst at eMarketer. "But they need to get a share of brand advertising, as more traditional advertisers move online."

International growth will be another key, says Mr. Hallerman. International revenue growth has outpaced domestic gains, reaching nearly 150% in the second quarter, compared to a "mere" 75% pace in the US.

Need in-depth information about the search market? Read eMarketer's report, Search Engine Marketing: Search Users and Usage.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ten things you didn't know about eBay

We normally try not to comment about Ebay and the Ebay phenomenon, but traditional auctioneers should keep an eye on what is going on with the competition.

Ten things you didn't know about eBay
CNBC Special Report looks behind the scenes of global online marketplace

David Faber
Wall Street Correspondent

Just shy of its 10th anniversary next September, eBay has exploded into both a cultural and an economic phenomenon. Some 1.8 billion items, worth more than $40 billion, are expected to be traded on its global electronic marketplace this year: Everything from cars, clothing and electronics gear to Justin Timberlake's French toast breakfast and a gumdrop sucked and discarded by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some people are addicted to the site.

And the company has changed the fortunes of many — in fact, if eBay employed the 430,000 people who earn an income selling on its site, it would be the nation's No. 2 private employer, behind Wal-Mart. Those people include a disabled mother of two who makes a living selling on eBay; an Army wife who turned to eBay when her husband was sent to Iraq; and an Iowa couple who transformed a $2,000 investment into an eBay business expected to reap more than $1 million in sales this year.

These people help make up the eBay community, and management works hard to understand them at "voices" focus groups, trying to make sure the site will keep their interest. But despite those efforts, some former sellers feel betrayed and have deserted the popular auction site.

In a CNBC Special Report hosted by David Faber, including exclusive interviews with CEO Meg Whitman and founder Pierre Omidyar, “The eBay Effect” reveals little-known facets of the company’s history and operations, including:

1. EBay has been the fastest growing company in the history of U.S. business. Though it will not turn 10 until Labor Day weekend in September, eBay will take in more than $4 billion in revenue this year. It has 9,000 employees and 135 million customers.
2. EBay — the dominant global cybermarketplace — conducts more transactions every day than either the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq. This year, about 1.8 billion items are expected to be listed on eBay and, by year-end, more than $40 billion worth of cars, clothing, computer and anything else you can think of, along with many you will not, will be traded. More than $80,000 dollars of goods and services get traded every minute.
3. EBay is different from virtually any other company because its business depends on the hard work of hundreds of thousands of people who sell on its Web site but are not employed by eBay. Almost half a million people earn all or most of their income from selling on the Web site. If they worked for eBay it would be the second largest employer in the country- after Wal-Mart.
4. EBay goes to great lengths to stay attuned to this “community” of users. Ten times a year, it brings a group of eBay buyers and sellers to corporate headquarters in San Jose in a program called “Voices,” to find out what they do and do not like about eBay. These consultations last two days and nights, and afterward eBay officials continue to keep in touch with Voices members.
5. Ebay’s Network Operating Center keeps track of every transaction, every visit to the eBay auction site. That means that, at any minute of the day, eBay knows exactly where its money is coming from, how many people are on the site, their listings per second, the number of bids and so on. This monitoring allows eBay to troubleshoot problems. In the aggregate, the traffic information provides a fascinating study of American activity, allowing eBay to track social events. For example, when the American Idol show is on, traffic dips, lasting for about two to three hours as it cycles through from the East to the West Coast.
6. Although eBay says that fraud occurs in less than one hundredth of one percent of all its transactions, victims continue to be frustrated by eBay’s stance — that buyers and sellers should try to resolve their differences on their own. Complainers about fraudulent transactions generally get only an automated response to that effect from eBay, though the company does monitor the site from bases in San Jose and Salt Lake City for fraudulent items — bouncing blatantly fake art, for example.
7. EBay’s recent fee increases for sellers continue to diminish its business. According to, some 7,000 eBay stores have shut down because of the increases.
8. EBay’s Rules, Trust and Safety committee meet to review whether questionable items should be allowed on the site. Among those the team has rejected: Breast milk (for safety considerations), personal sexual services, and families for rent.
9. EBay, which entered the European market six years ago and the Asian market four years ago, is counting on major growth from overseas. The company operates in 27 countries, and this year roughly half of its revenues will originate outside the U.S. Germany is eBay’s largest market outside the U.S.’ meanwhile, its user base in China grows by some 20,000 people every day and is already above 20 million. International eBay users look for many of the same things as Americans, and it is true, too, that the London Tube buys spare parts on eBay.
10. EBay has spawned a raft of businesses for others – including school districts that make money offering classes in eBay, the drop-off stores for people who want their stuff sold for them on eBay, and many businesses that help people sell wares on eBay like pink packing peanuts and software designed to help buyers win auctions at the lowest possible price.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How to step away from a hundred years of family farming--in four hours or less

Everything Must Go

Would you like to buy a tractor? An auger? An ice-fishing lure? Mary and Allen Peris in the weeks after the auction

Minneapolis City Pages
by Peter Ritter
August 24, 2005

Allen Peris's combine is a Massey Ferguson 850, a boxy, ketchup-red thing that looks like a toothy Zamboni. When Peris bought the machine, in the early '80s, it was top of the line. Farming has changed since then, and farm equipment with it. Now he worries that the combine won't fetch a fair price at his upcoming farm auction, where, along with the dated Massey machine, he'll be getting rid of his old tractors, augers, grain bins, and all manner of odds and ends accumulated during a lifetime of farming. After almost 40 years, Peris is getting out of the business: Everything must go. But he worries that there are simply fewer and fewer small farmers like him around who might have use for such modest equipment.

When I dropped by to visit a couple of days before the auction, Peris was out in the yard setting up and cleaning his machinery in preparation for the sale. He was wearing short sleeves and suspenders, and his forearms were tanned and ropy with muscle. Beneath the rim of his baseball cap, Peris's face was sun-lined. But his eyes were bright and clear and strikingly blue. Peris was reserved but not unfriendly in the manner of a man who's grown used to spending his days alone. It was muggy already at 9:00 a.m., and the stillness of the air suggested an oncoming storm. Sure enough, within half an hour, a menacing black thunderhead had blown in from the northwest.

You can see weather coming a long way off in Renville County, a flat, exceptionally fertile area about two hours south and west of the Twin Cities, just beyond the groping tendrils of suburban development. Highway 212 bisects Renville, running west to the South Dakota border. Blacktop and dirt roads further divide the county into a tidy checkerboard of soybean and cornfields edged with cottonwood windbreaks.

Peris has lived in Renville his entire life. He jokes that he's moved only once, when his family tore down the old farmhouse and built a new one six feet to the south, on the site of an old strawberry patch. His grandfather, who came from Germany, bought the land from the railroad. After a stint driving a livestock truck into South St. Paul, Peris's father took over the farm in the '30s. His two brothers farmed the place across the road. Peris, in turn, took over the operation when his father died, in 1967. He started with 160 acres, but soon bought another 160. Later, he added another 40 acres, then rented 80 more.

At the county fair, the farm bureau gives out certificates to families that have been on the same land for 100 years or more. Peris has never claimed his award, though. It's not terribly uncommon to find families in Renville County who've worked their spread for well over a century.

Inside the bright and immaculately clean farmhouse, Peris's wife, Mary, was waiting with coffee, cold iced tea, and muffins. Curio cabinets in the living room displayed Mary's collection of Santa Claus figurines. Mary was a first-grade teacher in the local school district for 34 years. When she retired last year, she and Allen agreed that the time had come to get out of farming. Though they plan to continue living on the farm--Peris has already rented his land to a younger neighbor--they'd also like to enjoy the freedom retirement affords while they're still young enough to do so.

"We decided that a long time ago," Allen said. "There were things we wanted to do that maybe we physically couldn't do in 10 years. Climb mountains. Things like that." After the auction, they were planning on taking a church retreat to Alaska. Then they were going to drive the RV parked in the driveway down to Florida and do some fishing in the mangrove swamps there.

Before she married Allen in 1971, Mary had never lived on a farm. "She had a little hard time at first," Allen said. "Her idea of income was a monthly check on a regular schedule. And farming is: You harvest a crop and then you sell it. That's all there is to it, really. You don't know how many bushels you're going to sell, and you don't know what the price is going to be."

Mary came over from the kitchen and sat down with us at the dining room table. "The thing that drove me crazy about it," she said, "is that a person can go out and do the very best job. You can work yourself into the ground. And if it doesn't rain, it didn't do any good. If the prices are bad, it didn't do any good. I wanted to go crazy, thinking, How can you do all this work and you don't know if you'll get anything out of it? But that's just how it is. You know, he was always so calm about it."

Allen shrugged. "You just put your faith in God and hope you'll make enough to keep living."

Mary said, "I can remember the year after we got married, we had planned a trip up to the Boundary Waters, and Allen kept waiting and waiting [to sell the corn]. He said, 'I think corn's going to hit $2.' So we waited, and finally corn hit $2." That was more than three decades ago. "On Saturday, corn was $1.86 in town. So the only solution is to grow more of it. Not only more acres. You also need a higher yield per acre."

"Thirty years ago, it was a big deal to get 100 bushels an acre," Allen continued. "Now you're looking at an average of 150. Sometimes you get better than that. Last year was the first time in my life I got 200 bushels an acre.

"It's a crapshoot. When you plant that crop, that's your year's income. So if you make a mistake and planted the wrong one, that's it. There's so many variables all the time you can't control."

Allen took a sip of his iced tea. "That's one thing about farming. Every year you lay out basically all the money you got, plus you borrow some. And if you don't get a crop, well, you just lost everything. You're gambling everything every year. Then there's these two things you have no control over, and that's the market price and the weather. So you're very vulnerable. And the worst part of it is, there's not a great reward if you do survive. It isn't like: 'Oh, this year I'm going to make $100,000 or $200,000.'"

"If you're lucky you make up for the years when you don't make anything at all," Mary explained. "So most farmers are carrying a lot of debt."

During the '80s, this debt, combined with depressed crop prices, ruined many small farmers. "A lot of people were getting forced out. There were a lot of auctions that were forced by the banks," Mary said. "I had a good friend who asked me just yesterday if I needed her for moral support to come out here on Thursday for the auction. Her family--she and her husband--had gone through an auction that they were forced into. It was such a terrible experience for her that she was real sure I was going to need her just to hold me up. She said, 'I'll come if you need me to, but I don't want to be there, because I can hardly stand to be at an auction anymore.' She started to cry. It's been really hard on a lot of people."

The Perises' impending auction, while no sad occasion, did inspire a certain amount of reflection. "It's sort of the end of my way of living," Allen said.

"It's the end of an era of this farm," said Mary. "This spring was the first time in over 100 years there hasn't been a Peris going out and planting these fields." Mary went out onto the back porch to answer a phone call. Allen sat with his hands folded on the table in front of him, smiling placidly at the idea of leaving all of this behind.

Peris had agreed to show me around the place, so we went back outside. He led the way over to the farm's century-old barn, which his father put up with a team of neighbors. He opened the door. Weeds were pressing through the floorboards. Patches of dusty sunlight came through gaps in the wall slats, falling on long-unused stalls. Starlings wheeled about in the cool darkness. Long ago, Peris's family kept 150 head of beef cattle in here. Before that, they had dairy cows. "Every Saturday I cleaned this barn out by hand," Peris said. Another low-slung barn with a sagging roof housed the family's hogs. Behind the house stood a dilapidated chicken coop.

We were standing near the foundation of the old farmhouse. "No one had any money back in the '30s," Peris said. "They butchered their own meat, put up potatoes in the cellar. The house, it was originally just two rooms. Later on, they added a kitchen, then an upstairs. They put in a furnace that burned wood and coal. You had to get up by six to feed it. Even then, if you spilled water, it'd freeze. You'd run downstairs to dress over the furnace grate."

Peris had arranged his equipment along the wide horseshoe of the farm's driveway. He stopped at an old red tractor. "This is what I farmed with when I started out," he said. His father, he explained, rigged a snowplow to fit the tractor's front. Like many small operators, both Peris and his father supplemented their income with jobs off the farm. For a time, Allen Peris drove a livestock truck. During the pea harvest, he worked for the Green Giant plant in Glencoe. And he fixed tractors and combines in a local repair shop.

In the tall grass on the opposite side of the lawn sat a rusted-out 1950 Ford pickup that also belonged to his father. Peris learned to drive in this car. He isn't the type to get sentimental over an old machine, though. "It's just iron," he said.

Peris pointed out a nearby object that looked like a battered old drinking fountain. "That's a cream separator. When you couldn't get your milk to town, you'd store the cream." He chuckled. "I'm old, old."

We came to what looked like a piece of a dismantled amusement-park ride: an iron crossbar with four seats welded onto it. The bar, Peris explained, would attach to the front of a tractor. While he drove, Mary and their three children would sit in the seats spraying weeds by hand. Even with umbrellas to block the blazing summer sun, it was, he admitted, an oppressive chore.

Coincidentally, none of the Perises' kids--an engineer, a hotel consultant, and a zookeeper--showed any interest in going into the family business. And why would they? At the mercy of the weather and buffeted by the vagaries of the international commodities markets, the modern farmer is never very far from ruin. Meanwhile, the immense capital investment required keeps younger farmers from starting their own businesses. Conceivably, farms like Peris's may soon be as much of a museum piece as the old combine in his driveway.

The Perises' auctioneer, Henslin Auctions, is easy to find, since it's situated directly beneath the only stoplight in Bird Island (pop. 1,195), a pinprick-on-the-map town a few miles down 212 from the Peris place.

Hanging in Henslin's storefront window is a poster advertising the upcoming Polka Fest at the Bird Island Ballroom, as well as a bill of sale for the Peris auction. The auction business is booming these days, and Henslin is highly esteemed in the area, as evidenced by the trophies and plaques filling the firm's office.

LaDon Henslin was out at an auction when I visited, but his son Allen was in. The phone was ringing off the hook. A woman in Arizona with a piece of land to sell. Someone shopping for antiques. A farmer looking to place a bid on a tractor. Summer is the busy time for auctioneers, the younger Henslin explained. He is an earnest young man with the quick-draw smile of a born salesman. "Right now, the majority of our auctions are for real estate," he explained. "I'd say that's 65 to 70 percent of our business. Back when there were a lot more farmers, there were more farm auctions. The majority of farm auctions we do now are retirement auctions."

The Henslins hail from nearby Clara City (they are, in fact, acquainted with the Perises through their church). Allen began working with his father during high school. At first, he served as a ringman--the assistant who handles the merchandise and keeps track of bidders during an auction. Later on, Allen attended the Continental Auctioneers School in Mankato, where both he and his father are now instructors.

LaDon Henslin got his start in the business in the early '80s, when the farm crisis was at its worst in Renville County. A bull-necked fellow whose unhurried manner is much at odds with his tommy-gun auction chant, LaDon had always wanted to be either a farmer or a farm-implement dealer. Auctioneering, he figured, offered a bit of both worlds. "For me, when I was just starting out, those were not easy times," LaDon said. "People think that auctioneers have it good when farmers have it bad. But that's not the case. Auctioneers got it good when interest rates are low. Then people are willing to buy and people are willing to sell."

In those early days, Henslin said, auctioneers were viewed somewhat differently from the way they are now. The farm auction was symbolic of the farm crisis then sweeping rural America. Everyone saw television images of weeping farm families forced into foreclosure sales, sometimes shadowed by bank officials and federal marshals. The '80s even saw the return of the "penny auction," a tradition dating from the Dustbowl years, in which neighbors of a bankrupt farmer would buy up his equipment for mere pennies and then cede it back to him. During these times, the farm auctioneer was naturally regarded in somewhat the same light as an undertaker or a highway patrolmen: someone you'd only encounter in the event of disaster.

According to Henslin, there are fewer farm auctions these days--but not necessarily because farmers are doing well. There simply aren't as many farmers left in Renville County. And many of the farms that have survived have congealed into large corporate operations.

To understand why small-scale family farms like the Perises' are disappearing, one need only consider the simple, untenable economics of farming. Since the federal government loosened price controls in the mid-'90s, crop prices have remained virtually flat; indeed, the price of corn is not much higher today than it was when Peris's father was farming, more than 30 years ago. Meanwhile, as equipment and chemicals have grown more sophisticated, farm operating costs have risen dramatically. A state-of-the-art combine, for instance, can now easily run upward of $150,000. That means higher interest payments. The prices of land and fuel are also up. Add to that the annual cost of storing grain, and the only way to survive is to take advantage of economies of scale, farming more land and getting a higher yield per acre. Even then, farmers are lucky to break even.

The trend in Renville County, as in many other agricultural areas across the country, has been toward fewer, larger farms. In 1987, about 400 of the county's 1,500 or so farms were larger than 500 acres. By 1997, there were only around 1,100 farms in the county, and the average farm size had increased by nearly 10 percent.

According to the most recent census figures available--for 2002--farm size has increased another 6 percent since 1997. The biggest growth occurred among farms already greater than 2,000 acres.

The day of the auction, a Thursday, dawns mercilessly hot. By 10:00 a.m., when the sale is scheduled to begin, there are perhaps two dozen trucks parked in the Perises' long driveway. Many of the neighbors have dropped by for support or out of curiosity. But some of the license plates are also from as far away as North Dakota and Missouri. Most of the farmers in attendance are Peris's age or older.

LaDon Henslin is working the microphone, and his son Allen serves as ringman. As usual, they begin with the smaller items: welding torches, wrenches, battered old oil cans, and anything else that might catch a farmer's eye or an antiquer's fancy. Normally, Henslin explains, they save the machinery for last, since farmers who are interested in bidding on the larger items usually show up late. Henslin, sitting up in an enclosed booth on the bed of a pickup, rolls into his staccato chant: Ten dollar, ten dollar. Now five dollar. Who'll give five dollar? Two-and-a-half. Two-and-a-half. Who'll give a dollar? Dollar, dollar, dollar. Now two-and-half. Now five, now five, now five. Sold! five dollar. What's your number, buddy?

For most of the auction, Peris floats silently at the back of the crowd. He watches with a tight, inscrutable smile as the tools of his life's work are dispersed. Everything goes: Peris's hand-carved ice-fishing lures, a rickety old motorbike that hasn't run in years, even a battered suitcase that still has Northwest Orient tags attached. What doesn't sell the first time gets bundled together as lots.

Two of Peris's neighbors, Mark Olson and Bob Muench, are standing in the shade of a pine tree in the yard. They're both looking out over the soybean field that slopes gently up from behind the house. Like Peris, Olson and Muench run small corn and soybean operations. "I got 650," Olson explains. "That'd be considered small, I guess."

"We're about the same," Muench adds.

"Prices have been pretty good. Corn was good last summer. Market topped out over $10 for beans, and corn was over $3."

"Yeah, we've had real good corn crops the last couple years. Soybean's been down because of the aphids. I don't know. Our soybeans the last two years weren't so good." Muench shakes his head. "Prices are up, prices are down. Price of fuel went way up. Price of fertilizer and chemicals are way up. So you got more input."

Olson and Muench both have deep roots in Renville County. "Where I live, my grandparents settled it in 1892," Olson says. "Most of the people around here have long histories on the farm. The trend has been going away from that the last 10 years. Investors are buying it."

"Yeah, and the younger guys have a hard time getting going."

"It's expensive. If you're selling $2 corn, you can't make it."

"The farms are getting so huge. You know, they can farm so much. The guy that's got the land, he tries to get some more."

"It's sad to say, but our rural communities are close to being extinct. Because when people like us retire in 10, 15 years, with farm sizes the way they are, there's going to be nobody left."

By two o'clock, everything of consequence is gone. People begin to drift off, some empty-handed, others carting away bits of the Peris farm. Peris's obsolete combine ends up selling for $2,800--not, perhaps, as much as he'd have hoped, but perhaps as much as could be expected. Even the rusty old Ford truck belonging to his father sells. He still isn't feeling sentimental about it, though. "It's just stuff," Peris shrugs. And that stuff is someone else's trouble now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Finding Specific Items At Upcoming Sales Events

If you are a collector of specific items, or just like to attend auctions of certain items to be around like minded enthusiasts, it can be difficult to find them on the Internet.

With thousands of individual auction company websites available on the 'Net, it is impossible for any one person to keep track of them all. Most sites are so poorly designed, poorly marketed , and poorly updated that even Google doesn't waste time with them.

This is where aggregate auction websites come into play. Being able to search for specific items from one search box from hundreds of auction companies is what the Internet excels at.

Looking for Moorcroft China? A John Deere 4020 tractor? A C&C Milling Machine ? Antique Quilts? Real Estate Foreclosures? Police Auctions?

All of these and thousands of other opprtunities are available at auction everyday.

With many auctions now having live webcasting and online bidding, finding these deals is as easy as sipping on a coffee in your office or living room. Then posting them on Ebay to resell.

But these are topics for another day.

Keep on Bidding

Monday, August 22, 2005

HITS, Helps Idiots Track Success

Every wonder what the word "HITS " really means when someone says their website had a million hits ?

Some people use "hits" and "visitors" as if they meant the same thing. This of course couldn't be further from the truth. While this sounds very impressive to anyone with little or no knowledge of the Internet, it does not help the credibility and ethics of anyone presenting these numbers amongst knowledgeable people experienced in Internet marketing.

For comparisons sake, we only take a few days to count a million hits, but we would never use this in our advertising as it is too easy to manipulate these numbers. One example that I recall was a website that had a black background with tiny stars mixed in the graphic. A very appealing looking site but since each of these stars was an image file with a distinct file name, one page view actually triggered over 600 hits. You can see how it is so easy to manipulate this traffic measurement. If someone is speaking to you about hits, they're indicating that they have very little knowledge of site traffic measurement - either that, or they believe you have very little.

Hit - Any file called for from the hosting server. Calling for a page with 20 images will show 21 Hits. (Original html file + 20 image files = 21 as one example)

Page Views - the number of pages served to visitors.

Visitor Sessions - As users start wandering through your Web site, they are paying a visit, or creating a visitor session as they browse. A break of some time interval (can be set by the reporting software) decides when a session ends and a new one starts. The same person returning five times is five sessions.

Unique Visitors - Supposed to be the measure of unique users. That same visitor who came back and made five sessions is only one unique user. There are issues with large ISPs such as AOL where the same IP address (used to identify the visitor) is used by many people. Each time they dial into their ISP, they may get a different IP address, but with thousands of users dialing into one phone bank over the day, you will see the same IP address for many different people. This can affect the reported numbers of uniques.

Once you understand what Internet traffic numbers mean, you can understand why some people say HITS stands for Helps Idiots Track Success.

That's my rant for today

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Earn $$ Attending Live Auctions

Global Auction Guide Media Group is proud to announce our new referral feature on our website. If you like to attend live auctions, we want your help.

By simply printing out an information sheet from our website, you could earn 50$ for taking this information to your local auctioneer. If the auctioneer registers on any of our websites using the promotion code that you generate, and chooses to continue after their free trial, we will send you a 50$ gift card from a major retailer of your choice.

It's That Simple !

More complete details and information on how to sign up for this offer, please got to Global Auction Guide and you could earn 50$ just for going to your next auction.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Auction Zip Blog

Looking for more interesting news articles about auction sales? Check out the Auction Zip Blog. This site is operated by some friends who have an extensive background in the antique industry who wanted to find antique auctions easier.

Check Them Out !

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Brownfield Network Interview

If you ever wanted to hear what I sound like , check out the audio interview here that we did back in March. Anyone that knows me will agree that I have a face for radio.

The Brownfield Network is the largest agricultural radio network in the United States and we are very happy to work with them.

Wait to see what we are cooking up in the future .

Monday, August 15, 2005

1918 Model T at auction

You sure don't get to see one of these at auction everyday . A 1918 Model T in restored condition. You can also find an extensive supply of parts available for Model T's at this sale in Gladstone, Manitoba, Canada on Sept 17th

We'll try to update you with selling prices and who the buyer is after the sale

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mapping Websites

Ever tried to find directions to a location, only to be dissapointed in the accuracy? Maybe they couldn't even find the town that is little more than a dot on the map?

Mapquest has probably been around the longest and it does an excellent job of giving directions in the United States. It is not that great for Canada, but then again many people in the world can't find Canada on a map of the world.

MapPoint from Microsoft is probably the best for Canada and the US combined. It also has great software for your laptop that allows you to plug in a GPS receiver with the mapping software and shows you in real time that you missed your corner. If you don't have your usual backseat driver with you, you can enable the voice commands to give you notice that you will soon have to make a turn.

Always an up and coming contender, Google has a new service that gives you mapping . In many ways it is the clear winner, but it comes up short in some ways. The abilty to view the satellite images as an overlay to the map will give you hours of entertainment looking at your house, and the mess in your neighbors backyard.

Google, always the innovator also lets you see mapping for the moon to see where Nasa's space landings were. Be sure to zoom in close to see exactly what the moon is made up of.

MultiMap is my favorite for UK and England directions, seems to be the most accurate for finding locations there, and if you have ever travelled there you know that a good map is indispensable. It makes London and Manchester look as easy as Lewistown, Montana to navigate.

One that I am not that familiar with is Yahoo maps. According to some reports it is the most used of all mapping services.

Hope these links help, and let me know of any others and your experience with them


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Travel Plans using Auction Calendar

Ever wonder what auction sales may be in your travel plans this summer ? Looking to find a farm auction to annoy your wife, or an antique auction to bore your husband to death? Why not try the Calendar feature on Global Auction Guide. Com

If you know you are travelling across Kansas near Enterprise on August 16th or near Cookeville TN on August 27th there are some interesting sales. Make a day trip or plan a week of holidays around auction sales in your home state. Pennsylvania , Texas, and Ohio are always full of auction sales.

Spouse insisting on driving 500 miles to visit your inlaws ? Why not find something along the way for you to enjoy.

Maybe you can find a deal along the way.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Eaton auctioneer has done it by building trust, even in hard times.

Life of selling America's stuff

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Wait and see' factor can hurt summer sales

Greg Peterson Publisher, The F.A.C.T's Report

News Article originally printed at @gOnline

Judge for yourself.

I've heard lots of talk recently regarding the drought regions and how later-model used equipment -- especially big-ticket items like tractors and combines -- will sell on farm auctions there. Will there be buys? If so, how much cheaper will stuff sell?

Well, on Monday of this week a nice farm auction was held in northern Illinois. It featured a dandy 1996 model JD 7800 mechanical front-wheel-drive tractor with 2,335 hours on it. It sold for $48,500. See how that stacks up against other similar JD 7800 tractors in the data table on the following page.

Sometimes I think that at late-summer auctions held in the Midwest, you can have a bit of the "wait and see" factor hurting auction sale prices. As in, "Hmm, maybe I'll hold off going after that piece of equipment right now until we see how yields come in."

Then, consider the fact that this sale was held in an area hard hit by drought, and you can multiply this "wait and see" factor by two or three times. Understandably, the result is usually lower sale prices.

Which is tough luck if you are the seller, but presents tremendous opportunity if you are a buyer looking in the used market. The key is knowing where these "soft" spots are. A few years back it was western Nebraska and western Kansas. If you know where stuff is selling for less, then the only hurdle left becomes finding out about available equipment in these areas.

I see in our "auction locator" database in our Web site, a 2001 model Case-IH MX240 MFWD tractor with 520 hours is coming up for sale in Salem, Illinois, at an August 6 farm auction. Wonder what it will sell for?

We'll be there to find out.

Greg Peterson Publisher, The F.A.C.T's Report

Monday, August 08, 2005

How we got started.

The original Farm Auction Guide website was born from one farmer's struggle to find farm auction listings on the Internet. Since few auctioneers had websites, and even fewer provided searchable databases, it was extremely difficult for farmers to find any particular item. Using other leading-edge agricultural sites (, to develop a model, we built what we believe to be the Internet's most powerful and user-friendly auction site. Whether you are an auctioneer looking for the best exposure for your auction, or a farmer looking for that one special tractor, is the ultimate auction resource on the Internet.

Within the first year of operation, the success of our business model, combined with auctioneer and user feedback, prompted our expansion into other industries. To facilitate this growth, was re-launched to join forces with 7 other industry-specific websites, forming the Global Auction Guide Media Group. Many unique features have set Global Auction Guide apart from other auction websites, and through syndication, our aggressive marketing of auctioneer sale bills has made Global Auction Guide the market leader in on-line auction advertising.

To see what we have been up to lately, please click HERE to see our Press Release page.

The Global Auction Guide Media Group includes many different brands and syndication partners.

For a list of over 50 other Media Syndication Partners, Click Here

If you are an auctioneer and would like more information on having your companies auctions listed here with the Global Auction Guide Media Group, please Click on the Auctioneer Registration link at Global Auction Guide.

Friday, August 05, 2005

How do you find equipment auctions ?

Like most farmers we attend a number of auctions every year, sometimes because it is a neighbor who is leaving farming through retirement or sadly in today's present farm economy, auctions are also being held for bankruptcies and other reasons. Or for particular pieces of equipment that we require in our operation. Farmers generally attend local auctions for a social event as much as they do for business reasons. But when they are seriously looking for a piece of equipment, they will travel hundreds of miles looking for that elusive "deal".

In the past, we have purchased the farm papers, and read the auction listings, but this is limiting because of time spent reading and which papers are available in your area. How do you find papers from the next state or province.

The Internet has become the great equalizer when it comes to finding information. For many people it is now a problem of information overload. It can take more time to manage and sift through websites than it takes to digest the things you were looking for in the first place. It is becoming more difficult to identify what is useful and what is not, without spending days sorting through it. There are hundreds of auctioneers who have websites to look at. Most of these are online brochures, listing the sales bills just as they are in print. It can take a long time to find what you want, especially if you have a slow connection and the auctioneers has made the mistake of using PDF files or large images as their sale bills. Time wasted can be very frustrating.

During the past couple of years a trend has developed to bring all of these auction sites together into one large fully searchable website. Where you can find what you are looking for in a matter of minutes instead of hours. Where you can enter an item in a search box and get an instant list of where it is available and when. Many auctions also have photos of items.

The best sites do this and much more. You can search by item, by state, by date, or for a specific auctioneer. When the sale that you want is found, the sale bill can be printed out. If you have a problem remembering dates, registering for an email reminder one week in advance is available. The website also will send you notification of newly listed auctions by area or auctioneer upon request, letting you know what is coming up as soon as it is listed. Our objective was to make searching for farm equipment easy for the farmer and effective for the auctioneers to bring their sale bills to you.

To contact Dwayne, visit

(c) 2005 Global Auction Guide Media Group- All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Farm equipment, nostalgia on the block at auction

To see full details on this article goto North County Times in San Diego CA.

By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer

VISTA ---- Stephen Cook spent $950 on Sunday to purchase a piece of history. The contractor from Escondido was one of hundreds of bidders snatching up tractors, farm equipment and all kinds of other antiques at the Antique Gas & Steam Museum's yearly auction.

Cook's prize, a 1946 John Deere "D" tractor, is heading right to his workshop to receive a deep-cleaning and complete restoration.

The fenders and hood are rusted but free of dents. The rear tires are cracked and torn and tall as a bean-pole, but they can be replaced. The workhorse of a tractor, with two cylinders the size of coffee cans, should clean up very nicely, he said.

"I grew up on these things," Cook said. "This is something I'll hand down."

Rusted tractors ---- and the discs, plows and mowers they pull ---- filled a dusty lot at the 55-acre museum grounds.

A Cletrac dozer that rides on steel tracks sold for $1,600.

Alongside the dozer sat an International cub tractor for cultivating, discing and mowing.

A Massey-Ferguson tractor changed hands on Sunday. So did a Ford Jubilee tractor from the late 1940s.

Kicking tires and looking under hoods were farmers and collectors from across southern California and beyond.

Some of the pieces will become "yard art" in gardens; other machines will receive love and paint in workshops, like Cook's, and still others might return to service on a farm.

Nostalgia drives many of the purchases, museum president Tom Garrison said.

That's because the tractor, and the hard work it symbolizes, draws a direct connection to farm life, to waking up early to finish chores before school, to family members working together, to families helping one another, to community.

Jerry Kozitka, of Indio, began driving a John Deere "D" when he was eight and lived on his family's dairy farm in Minnesota. Many farmers favored the Deere tractor; a hand-operated clutch meant that a child could operate the machine, he said.

Every year Kozitka returns to the auction.

"It just brings old stories together," he said.

Innumerable stories are contained in the Civil War papers, historical memorabilia and household items that were also auctioned off.

Maytag "ringer" washers from the 1950s were on the block. So were sheriff's badges, rifles, wagon wheels with wooden spokes and a dentist's chair upholstered in red velvet.

In past years, auctioneers have worked as late as midnight to auction off the lots, which numbered nearly 1,000 on Sunday, Garrison said.

Another visitor to the auction was Jake Krotje, 21, of San Marcos. Krotje displayed a dashboard to a Model A he had fabricated in the foundry class at Palomar College.

Krotje said he has come to the auctions since he was a boy, but Sunday's visit did not include any purchases.

"My back yard's full," Krotje said.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

How to bid at an Auction Sale

For some people attending an auction sale for the first time can be a very intimidating experience. People milling around evaluating potential purchases or just looking to see what their neighbor had accumulated. When the bid calling chant begins, are you the type of bidder that has your strategy completely planned out or are you the person that others refer to as someone who gets carried away with the moment when bidding begins.

To be the successful highest bidder is easy. To get a bargain you need to have a plan in place well before the day of the sale.

Talking to bidders from across North America the most consistent advice we have been given is to research the value of any item before you leave home, this can be done by calling your local dealer, reading ads in the paper, or doing a search on an internet site such as Ag Also visit services like FACTS Report to access recent auction selling prices. This should give you a range for the piece of equipment you are planning on purchasing. Most of us have been to an auction where we've seen a buyer pay more for a 2 - 3 year old item than it would cost new. The best way to prevent this is by setting a value before you leave home and then adjusting it when you have inspected it for condition at the sale.

Once you have a target price for that item, how do you achieve your goal? A lot of people have told us that before they start bidding, they watch the auctioneers in action to see his technique and how he works, they all have different styles of selling. Watch to see how he starts the bidding, is it initially high and dropped until he gets a bid, or low to get the sale started and to gain momentum. Many auctioneers have a policy that if no one will open the bidding they will place the first bid to speed things up.

Everyone has a different bidding style. Do you start the bidding and continue fast and aggressively to show determination and to deter competition or wait until near the end and then jump in to dishearten any remaining bidders. I've seen buyers wait until the very end and win with their only bid, and others open the bidding and purchase the item. Do you bid slowly to give your opponent time to think about how much he is paying or enter the ring quickly and decisively at the end with a couple of fast bids. Auctioneers certainly appreciate the bidders who step forward and quickly get things moving.

Next where do you stand? Many people stand in front of the equipment in good view of the auctioneers and other bidders to show enthusiasm and to discourage neighbors form bidding against them. Or do you stay in the crowd out of view and bid through a ring person to stay anonymous until the end, so no one knows who is buying. Who do you watch whilst bidding, the auctioneers to make sure he doesn't miss your bid or your opponent to psyche him out ?

Most people seem to use a combination of these strategies depending on what suits them and how much they want a particular item but everybody agrees on one strategy, if the price is too high don't bid at all! The other thing that we learned talking to people about auctions was that part of their attraction is that they enjoy the challenge of competing for that elusive bargain and the entertainment of watching the day's action.

To contact Dwayne, visit

(c) 2005 Global Auction Guide Media Group- All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Wine Auction Contractor, DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers, Sets Wine Auctions World Record!

Wine auction contractor, DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers, sets wine auctions world record! On May 21, 2005 wine auctioneer Tom DiNardo of DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers assisted ERI of Chicago in their second largest wine auction held to date. Gross sales of $700,000 were earned in this record setting wine auction with 97% of all wine being sold on the auction block.

Five world records were attained for price achieved at wine auction. Wine auctioneer Tom DiNardo states, “Six bottles of 1980 Romanee Conti sold for $19,550. Eight bottles of 1981 Romanee Conti sold for $19,550. Six bottles of 1975 Romanee Conti sold for $10,925. Nine bottles of 1980 DRC La Tache sold for $9,200. A double magnum (3 liters) of 1971 Grand Echezeaux sold for $7,425. Achieving a strong return, just short of a world record, was a bottle of 1950 Chateau Petrus which sold for $11,615. DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers were privileged to be part of this history making event.”

DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers specializes in fundraising wine auctions. Since 1993, Tom DiNardo has presided over more than one thousand auctions for various non-profits, charities, and community organizations across the United States. In addition to running DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers, Tom DiNardo is also a contract auctioneer and freelance writer for the Wine Enthusiast magazine and also Mr. DiNardo is also a regularly featured writer for and For more information about Tom DiNardo and his fundraising auction company, please visit his web site at DiNardo and Lord

Monday, August 01, 2005

18th Annual Consignment Auction

Visited the huge consignment sale held by Bill Klassen Auctions in Winkler / Morden Manitoba. Not sure of the final numbers today, but in in 2003 and 2004 this auction ran 3 Rings all day and over 1400 bidding numbers handed out. Hundreds of items including combine harvesters, tractors, tillage equipment, lawn and garden, grain bins, cars, trucks, semi trailers, quad 4 wheelers, livestock equipment, and even a large coin collection was sold. Considering it was 35C / 95F, the strangest thing to buy on a day like this was a snowblower. I think I got a good deal on it !