Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another Real Estate Blog to check out

Check out, another interesting Real Estate Blog and Directory

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Many say Liberty Names of America are Scammers

From Dwayne: Watch for the Canadian version of the scam from "Domain Registry of Canada"

From Jim Boykin's Blog

A few months ago I got a letter in the snail mail from Liberty Names of America that looked like an invoice for a domain that was set to expire shortly. I had to give it a second look, since I knew that I had never registered a domain through a company called Liberty Names of America. My first thought was "you scammers!, Nice try….damn, how people pay these because they have no idea?" I tossed this letter in my computer bag, and meant to blog about it…but time went by and I never did…..until today.

Today I received an email from one of the hosting companies that we do business with stating:

Recently some of our customers became victims of a domain renewal fraud by the company called \"Liberty Names of America\". They send out domain transfer agreements, which look like invoices for domain renewals ($25 per year).

Be informed, that has nothing to do with this company and for all domain and hosting renewals you will be contacted directly by You are free to disregard any e-mail or written communication from \"Liberty Names of America\". They have no power over your domain name unless you choose to sign up for their service.

Which reminded me of that "invoice" I was going to blog about.

I’m sure many of you have seen these letters….I found this copy of one of these letters for LIberty Names of America online (pdf) (scroll down past the first page).

How can they legally get away with sending what appear to be "invoices" when what they’re really trying to do is get your domain moved into their register account….what many are saying that amounts to Domain name hijacking.

I mean just run a search in Google for Liberty Names of America and see results like:

Monday, January 08, 2007

Last word on a fast-talking smooth talker: Sold!

Last word on a fast-talking smooth talker: Sold!
Jackie Of All Trades

(By John Terhune/Journal & Courier)
Journal & Courier reporter Jackie Cummings learns the fine art of the auctioneer courtesy of Jim VanSchepen, at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds.

I talk fast. This is due in part, I believe, to being from the East Coast, where everyone does everything in double time because, as my dad always said, time is money.

If ever there was a profession where talking fast was the primary job function, it's auctioneering. Although I had never attended a live auction, I had seen many on TV and was always awestruck by the ability to complete the sale of an item in mere seconds.

I started to research auctions in the Lafayette area and came upon Jim VanSchepen's Web site. A quick call to the fast-talking Hoosier and I had myself a real live auctioneer who was willing to take enough time out of his busy day to share the art of selling speedily.

VanSchepen, a second-generation auctioneer, has been in the business for 26 years. Wanting to follow in his father's footsteps, VanSchepen would often assist on auction day.

"He always wanted one of us to be an auctioneer, but I thought I could never do it," he said.

"I guess it worked out, though."

VanSchepen would practice calling bids, or auctioneer talk, for many hours each week, sometimes while cultivating corn on the farm.

"I did a lot of talking to myself," he said.

Recalling the first time he got his father's approval, VanSchepen grinned from ear to ear.


"He set me up with an easy auction that contained items he knew would sell. At the end of the day, he told me he knew he had a helper, and that was a great feeling."

Auctioneering school, he said, is now a requirement to become licesned in Indiana. Many people become licensed, but some never quite get the bid calling down.

"It's something that not everyone can do, even after lots of practice. You just have to be patient with yourself," VanSchepen said.

What many people don't realize is that auctioneers do quite a bit more than auctioning. They are responsible for the removal and appraisal of all merchandise, which can make it both a physical and time-consuming career.

"There's no breaks on auction day. It's just go-go-go," VanSchepen said.

"It's a total concentration job. You can't miss a beat."

He puts in about 30 hours for each auction, and about 10 hours of additional help is needed for loading, unloading and marking merchandise. He said it's good to have people he can trust to help him.

"I'm lucky because I have my wife and brother. They do a great job, and we all have a lot of fun with it."

EBay, he said, has made a big difference in his business, as it has drawn more people to auctions with the hopes of making a buck.

"People use it to detemine how much they can sell an item for, and more and more people now are attending auctions to turn a profit."

As he started calling bids, I was flabbergasted. My chatter exceeds an average person's WPH (words per hour) output, but I was no match for this guy. As he rambled on with numbers and words I couldn't even dissect, let alone try to replicate, I wondered about the people who attend the auctions and how long it takes them to become good bidders.

"We see a lot of the same people over and over, and I think they have gotten used to me, my tones and my rhythm," he said.

"It does take time, though."

While VanSchepen showed me items ranging from antique engines to firearms and furniture, I was fascinated by how much he knew about the merchandise -- and the people he was selling for. I could see that auctioneering was something he enjoyed doing not just for the money but for the relationships he was able to build and maintain.

And as someone who can definitely appreciate the importance of time, I think VanSchepen uses his wisely.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Move over eBay; live auctions still have huge following

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lest you believe eBay and other on-line auctions are cutting into the live-auction business, think again.

While folks are indeed selling individual items across the Internet, interest in the live-bid system of selling used items still has an enormous - and growing - following, according to Tricia Wiltjer, executive director of the Michigan State Auctioneer Association.

Besides, said Wiltjer, there is an excitement about selling an entire home's contents and perhaps even the home itself in a single afternoon that no Online auction service will ever duplicate.

''There's two ways of looking at it really,'' Wiltjer said. ''Everybody can put an item up for sale on the Internet, so it is affecting availability of some items.''

''But it is also bringing auctions into the light and making people aware of the whole bidding process.''

Greg Tuttle, co-owner of Let's Talk Auction at Auction Acres in Fairview, concurs.

''Take an estate sale,'' Tuttle suggests. ''It's a one-day event. And we're full-service. An auctioneer comes in, sets everything up, does the promotion and at the end of the day your stuff is gone.''

High-end items often go for top dollar and even the items that hold priceless sentimental values fetch a decent price.

''It's that old saying, 'One man's junk is another man's treasure,'' Tuttle said. ''At least with us we have 200 or 300 'experts' waiting to buy. At least they think they are in their mind's eye.''

So what can be sold at auction? You name it, Tuttle says.

Specialty auctions offering such things as toys, coins, old tools, glassware or even vehicles may draw a nationwide audience. One recent Oscoda County auction brought the owner of a fully restored 1931 Ford Model-A pickup truck $15,200. A Model-A sedan in less than perfect shape brought $6,800.

Fish decoys, firefighting paraphernalia and petroliana (items having to do with the petroleum industry) have all drawn crowds to Oscoda County, Tuttle said.

A few weeks ago, a pair of Tiffany-style lamps drew a purchaser from western Pennsylvania, Tuttle said.

That can make it easy for auctioneers like Donna Tuttle, Greg's wife.

''He drove all that way, he was leaving with those lamps,'' Greg Tuttle said.

But a good auctioneer can make it easy on buyers as well, Donna Tuttle said.

When Tuttle puts an item up for bids, she starts right out at what she feels is a fair price. Then, in her own 'speed-sells style' of auctioneering she doesn't dawdle along - if the item attracts no immediate bidder she drops the price, sometimes substantially.

''Once I get a couple of bidders, I know the price is going right back up there anyhow,'' Tuttle says.

Another suggestion the Tuttles' offer - watch the dealers.

''People know a dealer is going to sell any item they buy for twice what they paid for it. If people beat the dealer, they figure they made a good deal,'' Greg Tuttle said.
Of course it doesn't always work. If the dealer desired the item for their own collection they'd probably bid higher than something they intended for resale. They also may have a buyer in mind who they know will pay top dollar.

Want to experience the fun of an auction and try your hand at bidding?

Attend a charity auction, Donna Tuttle suggests.

''If you start a $100 item at $1 everybody gets to bid on it,'' Donna Tuttle said. ''It gets them involved and everybody has fun.''

And the building enthusiasm pays off for the charity as well. In the heat of the excitement, inexperienced bidders often spend a little more than they planned, Tuttle said.

She should know.

Aside from the live auctions she holds as her line of business, Tuttle volunteers her services for local schools and other organizations. She also calls bids at the annual Northern Michigan Relief Sale, a Mennonite fundraiser held each August at the Oscoda County Fairgrounds.

''But really, you can't go wrong at a charity auction,'' Tuttle says. ''As long as you stay in business you can't spend too much because the money is all going to charity.

''It's a way to make money for the charity and for every one who attends to have a whole lot of fun.