Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A very well run auction company

I had the distinct pleasure today to visit with Clark Sather, auctioneer and live webcasting specialist with Steffes Auctioneers. These pictures were taken at a sale in Calvin, North Dakota on April 18th

Here is Bob Steffes showing everyone how he built such a successful auction company over the past 40 years.

Have you ever seen a clerking trailer like this ? With built in generators, computer systems and wireless networking connecting the auction clerk with the mobile office. Add in live webcasting technology from any sale location and you have an auction company that is well prepared for the 21st century.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Another Auction Blog

For those interested in reading more articles about the auction industry, be sure to check out this auction blog . They have a directory and a discussion forum as well.

Add Appraisals to Your Roster of Services

Appraisal work can be an excellent additional source of income for auctioneers, but it's not without its trials. A fellow auctioneer and friend had told me a story while we were in the Auction Marketing Institute's (AMI) sponsored GPPA (Graduate Personal Property Appraiser) class in Orlando, FL in 2002. He recounted an embarrassing situation where he was providing expert witness testimony before a judge for an appraisal case. He was one of three appraisers in the courtroom. Fortunately for him, only he and one other appraiser were within a couple thousand dollars of each other on this high dollar case. The third appraiser was almost one hundred thousand dollars away from any realistic value, and as such, he was summarily dismissed by the judge. Although my friend had 25 years of experience in appraising, he was ultimately dismissed by the judge because the other appraiser was certified, and further he used the USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) guidelines to write his report. My friend, although an expert in the disputed area, was not certified as an appraiser at that time. He told me that after that embarrassing experience that he was going to acquire the training to become a certified appraiser as soon as possible. The moral of this story is unless you are a certified appraiser your experience, although important and possibly relevant, does not mean much to the legal authorities.

As a certified appraiser, I receive calls all of the time from potential customers who think I am the Antique's Road show. Further, they believe that I am going to appraise their items at no charge. Guess again? The appraisals on the Antique's Road show don't mean anything significant, as they are more akin to a Desktop Opinion (A preliminary step to a full appraisal.). Have you ever seen an appraiser on the Antique's Road show provide their appraisal in writing? I tell my customers that I charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee, and those who would charge you a percentage of value are violating USPAP and federal law. This is the best way to spot someone who is uncertified!

Sometimes I even receive calls from people asking me to appraise their homes. I politely explain that Personal Property is different from Real Property (Buildings & Land). Real Property appraisal requires a license in most states. The only building exempted is my state is a Mobile Home. Check with your state for laws pertaining to appraisers.

Occasionally, the challenging customer will object to hourly rates or flat fees, stating "that such and such a business will write an appraisal for me for much less." I inform the would-be customer that there is a lot of time, research, and writing of a report. I query the potential customer, and ask them (1) what certification does this other appraiser possess, and (2) what is their "basis of valuation" or (3) "approach and definitions to value"? Lastly, I politely inform the complainant that if they want invest their hard earned money on such a questionable appraisal, I would gladly provide them with a more comfortable roll of Charmin, that might be more valuable to them instead.

The bottom line is this, as an appraiser you are only as good as your training, experience, and certification. Without a certification you only have an invalidated and basically worthless opinion. Your uncertified opinion is meaningless in court, especially when you are providing expert witness testimony on appraisals in areas such as marriage dissolution, bankruptcy, probate & will, or insurance matters.

There are many organizations that offer appraisal certification programs. Caveat Emptor (Buyer beware.)! American Society of Appraisers (ASA) is one of the largest certifying boards. I am partial to AMI's GPPA certification. For those of you NAA members with a previous GPPA designation, you just recently received notice that you need to take the full USPAP course before 2009. For more information on becoming an appraiser contact the NAA and AMI's - Sharon Dessert at 888-541-8084.

Tom DiNardo is co-owner of DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers of Anacortes, WA. Tom is an Auctioneer, Appraiser, and Writer.

To contact Tom, visit

(c) 2004 Tom DiNardo - All rights reserved.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Got Grain?

You don't often see a grain trailer this size on the road. It sold for 25,000 Cdn

This was one of the feature items for Skylane Farms in Elgin Manitoba Canada On April 5. Prices held strong , and it was a great turnout as there was a substantial number of bidders.

Fraser Auction Service of Brandon Manitoba, did a fine job of selling, and the mud wasn't quite as deep as it was the day before.

Scott Campbell is shown taking bids on this grain trailer.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Must be Spring

It must be spring in Manitoba, the auction sale season is in full stride, and the snow is turning into mud.

Occasionally auctions and mud combine to make things interesting.

This sale in Belmont Manitoba Canada on April 4th was a messy affair after substantial rain and snow the week before turned a normally neat and tidy yard into a sloppy mess. But it didn't deter bidders from finding the equipment they needed . Bidding was strong and the CaseIH STX 500 was sold to a buyer in Nova Scotia. Isn't the Internet an amazing way to sell equipment ?

Thanks to Barrie Jung, Grant Hodgins, and Abbie Martin of Hodgins Auctioneers for making it an enjoyable afternoon.

Thanks to Jason Hyslop of Kubes Trucks for the photos.