Monday, December 25, 2006

Going online boosts auctioneer's business

Going online boosts auctioneer's business
By JENNIFER BARTEN, Staff Reporter
Bob Hergenreder, owner of Bid it Bob, evaluates a coin to see if it is in good enough condition to auction.
To stay up with the times, Bob Hergenreder, owner of Bid it Bob, started live auctions online more than two years ago.
"I knew that's where the future of auctioneering was," Hergenreder said. "It only made sense to go on-line."
According to Hergenreder, Build it Bob was the first auctioneering company to sell coins, antiques and estate live online in the state of Nebraska.
Hergenreder said bidders can go to the Web at least a week in advance to see a catalog with all the items that are going to be sold. Each item has at least one picture and description for bidders.
Potential buyers can start bidding on items at that time, and when the live auction starts the bidding will start at the highest online bid.
Hergenreder has his business at and gets about 25,000 viewings on the catalog, before each auction.
When an auction is going on, Hergenreder also has people on site to bid on the items.
"It's a number game," Hergenreder said. "It always has been. You'll get a higher bid with more bidders, and that's why (the Internet) is such a great thing."
Hergenreder said he runs about 80 items through in an hour during an online auction. Hergenreder does at least four auctions a month - two for jewelry and two for antiques.
Hergenreder has done nine auctions online in one month, which he said is a lot, and said he is willing to auction anything that people bring in. People from all over the country and world buy the items. He mails out about 130 packages per auction. Buyers have to pay for the shipping.
Hergenreder said there are also risks to having auctions online.
"There are crocks on the Internet who will stiff you, just like anywhere else," he said.
Hergenreder said there is no way to prevent people from cheating businesses on the Internet, but he says he's picking up on more of the signs the longer he's in the business.
In the future, Hergenreder said, he'd like to have a farm auction and a car auction. He is still waiting on the license to auction cars but can do a farm auction as soon as someone hires him to sale their farm equipment.
Hergenreder hopes to have his license to sale cars by February.