Home Based Business Leads – Best Strategies to Generate Them For Free

Home based business leads are easy to come by, but 97% of home based business owners don’t know how to go about generating leads and getting quality prospects to talk to about their business. This is why so many of them struggle and fail or should I say quit there business before they can start making money. They run out of cash flow to support their business, they waste their money on buying leads, on printing flyers, not to mention the high phone bills with all the cold calling trying to convince people to buy their products or become a distributor. They waste it on classified ads and promoting in on the search engines which is a ton of money to have your ads on top of the first page.In order for you to generate home based business leads, you have to learn how to market your business. Marketing your home based business doesn’t mean promoting it up front, it just means implementing a few strategies, techniques and concepts in order to get people to come to you. Doesn’t that sound more fun, having people come to you to buy your product or join your business? Don’t answer that, I already know the answer.The thing you have to grasp and understand when it comes to generating home based business leads is that you have to learn Attraction Marketing. People are continuously searching for what you are selling, but the thing is they are not searching to buy, they are searching for a reason to buy. They are looking for valuable information about whatever product or service you offer. They want to know why they should spend there money on this product or service, how can it help them, what are the benefits of this product or service, who else have used it and what results have they gotten and the list goes on, valuable informationThis is what you want to market and not the product or business itself. Valuable information about your products or service.Say for example you sell cat food, you don’t promote the actual product itself, saying I have the best cat food buy now. You will get a few customers yes, but if you really want to flood your business you do a review of your product, do a few videos and write a few articles on how this cat food will benefit a person’s cat and somewhere at the end of this video or article you have a call to action telling them where to go to get the product. This is what you promote and this is how you want to be marketing to generate home based business leads, you become the expert and not a sales person.This is just the general idea, you are going to have to know what terms people are searching for on the search engines, so keyword research is critical when creating your content if you plan on getting it seen by 1000′s daily. This is also what you want to promote on the free social media platforms as well to generate home based business leads. All comes down to learning effective marketing and attraction marketing strategies. You become the expert, not the sales rep. People want to buy not to be sold so stop promoting the actual product or business and promote valuable information about it and give it away freely. This is how you attract a ton of people to you and generate home based business leads on a consistent basis to build and explode your business.

Generate Income Online Through Your Own Home Based Business

With all the potential scams and downright bogus products out there it can be hard to decipher the legitimate opportunities from the duds. To get around this problem budding entrepreneurs need access to a range of genuine home based business opportunities, where you can have a look to see which opportunity suits you best.Perhaps you’re looking for a home business that earns you a few hundred extra a month or even to replace your current job income. Whichever category you fall under there is information available which will point you in the right direction.So, what are the benefits of starting your very own home based internet business. Well more and more people everyday are looking to the Internet to solve their desire to work at home and not having to work for a boss. In these tough economic times, the internet has changed the complete outlook of people looking out for online opportunities.Such people are using online searching for the purpose of finding home based internet opportunities for whatever reason. Some to get out of debt some to avoid getting into debt and some are searching for ways to get out of the day-to-day rat race. The stress of the day-to-day job is often becoming too much to bear. The Internet is a great place to turn as the cost to work at home is minimal and the learning curve is relatively small.The thrill of growing your business, the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours, and the possibilities of ever-increasing financial rewards are all wonderful reasons to start your home based internet business and well worth the effort.The internet is one of the best mediums to attract potential customers. It is now just as easy to have customers from Australia or America as it is to have them in the next street. Home based businesses can be started, worked and operated from anywhere a person can find and operate a computer and have access to the Internet.There are many work at home opportunities that will help you meet whatever goals and objectives you may have. However you are going to have to do some work as nothing in life is free but it is not work in the sense of the daily 9 to 5 grind but nevertheless some is still required.Information is available which is designed to help develop your very own home based online business. This information will put in place the foundations for you to develop a legitimate and potentially profitable business which you control, and develop at your own pace and in the comfort of your home.This information is based on proven strategies used by mega successful online marketers but remember it will only work for you if you act on it.

How You Can Use a Small Business List

Small businesses are usually sole proprietorships, partnerships or privately owned corporations. They employ a small number of employees and often do not have financial turnovers as large as those of large multinational companies. Small businesses are present in every industry. Ranging from interior designing to jewelry sales and even pet services, it is hard to avoid any of these businesses in our daily lives.However, with so many small businesses selling products and services in society, we often forget that they can potentially be a very lucrative pool of customers as well. Any company that provides products or services to small businesses can benefit greatly from having a small business list.Fortunately, the advancement of technology has enabled almost anyone to get access to a small business list with ease. There are online portals available for organizations and individuals to communicate with these small businesses, allowing them to get up-to-date information about company details and any other updates. One can also do a quick search online to look for such publicly available small company details. However, this is a potentially long and tedious process.A good alternative is to look for small business mailing lists offered by list brokers and compliers on the web. The small business lists provided by brokers enable immediate access to a large pool of up-to-date information about other small businesses. The best part is that these lists are continuously being updated, so you won’t have to worry too much about getting outdated information. A quick rental of such a list would save one the time of having to personally search and update records.Next, after having a small business list, individuals and other businesses can use it to their advantage. Entrepreneurs, start-up firms and home-based workers can use the list to conduct market analysis and research for example. This way, they easily identify market needs and are able to offer their products and services to these potential clients.Another way a small business list can be used is to send out promotional material to highly targeted business prospects. For example, if you own an air-conditioning repair service, you could send out promotional brochures advertising your services to small businesses that could very well be your clients in the future. After all, which business office doesn’t own an air-conditioner or two?The benefits of having access to a small business list is worth it’s weight in gold. But should one compile the list themselves, or rent one instead? If one wishes to manually compile the small business list himself, he will have to ensure that they are constantly being kept up-to-date.This is because companies often make changes in their management, causing contact persons to change, or even a change in company address. The time and monetary costs required to maintain an accurate list of small business contact information is not small.To avoid this, it would be best to rent a small business list and spend their time on making actual sales.Having immediate access to a complied updated business list helps individuals and organizations to save time and money. When they require small businesses for their marketing needs or require help in their businesses, they can tap on this large resource base easily and efficiently.

What’s Going on With the MLM Home Based Business?

Are you looking to own a network marketing home based business? If you are, it can be a very profitable for you to own a home based business. But you will have to do your homework first; to make sure you are getting into a home based business that is worth your time, invest and make sure it isn’t a scam.

You must look at the positives and the negatives of an network marketing home based business before just jumping in. That’s extremely important remember that.

Being aware you are getting yourself into a legit, honest home based business will save you a lot of money and heartache later on. Just jumping into the first home based business you see can be a killer for you, if the business turns out to be a scam.

You don’t want that right!

So with a network marketing business it involves you doing direct selling of services or products through recommendation or promotion by a independent representatives.

If you are the one who’s endorsing or recommending the product or service you will get a commission from any sale you made.

Remember a lot of these products are not sold in stores, commercials or any type of advertising that is mainstream.

So when you are trying to see which network marketing home based business is legit, it can get a little difficult because the pyramid schemes are closely similar to the legit, and honest network marketing home based business concepts. A ponzi or pyramid scheme is big time illegal and participating in one and not knowing it can end up being a nightmare for you.

So make sure you do that research on the company you are looking to join. Make sure if the company has been around for sometime. You want a company that has a proven track record. Let me mention, this usually the investment you make is proportioned to that product or service you are promoting. Means your home based business is legit.

There many positives when you own a network marketing home based business. But I will break down a few of them.

1) With your own network marketing home based business, you will be your own boss. You have the ability to work from the comfort of your own home. That’s what drives many people to join a home based business.

Also when comes down to the products you don’t have to worry about creating them. The products are already created, there’s no inventory you have to keep. Most of the time The company will have a written out marketing plan.

There’s many people who don’t have a clue on how to market products or if they do know how to market products they don’t know the most effective ways to do it. But with an network marketing home based business biz you don’t have to worry about it because its given to you an a step by step plan.

There disadvantages when having a network marketing home based biz that is it depends your character or personality. If you are a action taker, have good leadership qualities then having a network marketing home based biz will be less of a problem for you.

On the other hand, if recruiting others and selling gives you problems or if you are not a peoples person then maintaining and growing a network marketing home based biz may become a challenge for you. In the network marketing home biz this business consist of recruiting new people and building your downline.

If you can get over your fear. Just think what a network marketing home biz will mean to you and your love ones. You can (live your dreams, be your own boss, work when you want to, make more money etc…) With this business you don’t need any experience just hard work and being consistent.

Remember you must do your research before just jumping into a network marketing home based biz. You have to make sure the business is legal and worth your time, energy and investment. So when you find that right network marketing home based biz, you must put in the hard work and the consistency. You will enjoy the freedom and the money the network marketing home based biz can give you.

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Internet Advertising

We are all familiar with newspapers, magazines, coupons, and billboards. Let us examine how the trend of direct mail and print advertising is taking an ever-increasing back seat to online advertising.

In order to reach a specific customer, you would select a particular type of print mail advertising. For example, if you wanted to target someone driving home everyday, you would pay for an expensive billboard campaign. This is a costly type of advertising, but how many customers does it reach? Do you survey customers when they walk into your business and see if they got off the exit based on the billboard ad? If you did not ask the customer how they found you, then how do you know if you should continue to pay for that pricey billboard investment?

Everyone knows the coupon clipper. So where would you advertise to get their attention? Of course, the Sunday paper, and perhaps you might even consider the back of grocery store receipts. Coupon clippers are everywhere, and there are many direct print advertising companies who can provide you with various services. Have you ever purchased something from a Val Pak coupon, or a coupon from a post card you received in the mail? Most likely, yes.

Then we have magazines. If you are looking to reach customers who might be interested in workout machines, the possibilities for your print and direct mail advertising is endless. Do you have a local, national, or global customer audience for which you would like to sell your products?

Your choices would be the local newspaper in the health and fitness section, or large ads in the proper placement in certain sections of the newspaper. You could also advertise in national magazines to reach customers in the United States, or even a global magazine, to reach customers all over the world. You could place classified, banner, or article ads in Muscle and Fitness, or even Maxim.

What does offline advertising have to do with online advertising? Everything.

The mentality for the majority of business owners is still stuck in the print mail era. More and more business owners are losing customers locally, nationally, and globally, because they believe their potential customers find them through direct mail, offline advertising methods. They spend more and more on these efforts, and eventually go out of business. They will forever be puzzled as to why all of their efforts did not prove to be financially fruitful.

In the year 2007, over 70% of the United States alone uses the Internet to find local, national, and global products or services. If you try explaining this to local business owners, they look at you like you are actually lying and only trying to make a buck from them!

This is no joke. I have a local web site and spent $75,000 building and marketing it just for our community. Business owners are losing customers, so I walked door-to-door in over 105 degree heat to let them know their customers are actually looking for them online and almost every business owner completely blew me off!

I offered the most inexpensive web site advertising with an amazing, highly targeted customer audience, and practically no one wanted to advertise online. Honestly, I was disgusted with these business owners, because my efforts and financial investment were enormous. I cannot get that time back, but my education was invaluable. I am very happy this venture took place.

One thing I have learned over the years in working with clients and potential business clients is that as soon as I hear they are waffling about paying for Internet web sites, SEO, AdWords, and hundreds of hours of my valuable time and expert marketing efforts, I let them go–quite easily.

There is no hard selling anything. After I explain the facts to business owners, they either get it, or they do not. And you move on to an owner who gets it, and is willing to pay you for your expensive education, time, hard work, and honest, ethical marketing skill sets put into their online advertising.

So what are your online advertising options? I am glad you asked.

Let us look at some of the many ways you can advertise online, and then let us look at whether or not these ways are actually paying off for business owners.

Without looking at the YES, NO, or POSSIBLY categories toward the bottom, see how well you would fair in using online advertising to get more customers.

Which would you choose?

- Web Site (basic, no SEO)

- web site (flash with moving images, pictures, and AdSense, no SEO)

- web site (with proper title; header tags; related meta name description; limited, relevant key words; includes proper on page SEO build, but no online, content related and keyword rich articles with the proper density)

- web site (with proper title; header tags; related meta name description; limited, relevant key words; includes proper on page SEO build, includes content related and keyword rich articles with the proper density)

- web site (with proper title; header tags; related meta name description; limited, relevant key words; includes proper on page SEO build, includes content related and keyword rich articles with the proper density, and AdSense advertising)

- video advertising throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- banner advertising throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- image advertising throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- text ads throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- link exchange directories

- FFA (free for all) directory submissions

- article writing content submitted to relevant categories on reputable directories

- search engine submission of your web site to thousands of directories

- coupon web sites

- putting your web site link on a friends’ site, or anyone else you ask who will put a link to your web site on theirs

As you can see, the list above is not all-inclusive, but it gives you the major online advertising venues in which you may or may not be able to get traffic for your business.

I will break this list down with a summary of which you should use, should not use, or might use (if you use them correctly)

Yes – Definitely!

- web site (with proper title; header tags; related meta name description; limited, relevant key words; includes proper on page SEO build, includes content related and keyword rich articles with the proper density)

- web site (with proper title; header tags; related meta name description; limited, relevant key words; includes proper on page SEO build, includes content related and keyword rich articles with the proper density, and AdSense advertising)

- article writing content submitted to relevant categories on reputable directories (but be very careful here!)

No – Absolutely Not!

- Web Site (basic, no SEO whatsoever)

- web site (flash with moving images, pictures, and AdSense, no SEO whatsoever)

- FFA (free for all) directory submissions

- putting your web site link on a friends’ site, or anyone else you ask who will put a link to your web site on theirs (no, no, no!)

- search engine submission of your web site to thousands of directories (new technology and algorithm changes, know what you are doing before you submit anywhere!) This is in the NO and POSSIBLY category because you can hurt your efforts if you do this wrong.

Possibly – Using these correctly could be rewarding, but using them incorrectly could cost you every penny you have and still not get you any customers

- web site (with proper title; header tages; related meta name description; limited, relevant key words; includes proper on page SEO build, but no online, content related and keyword rich articles with the proper density)

- video advertising throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- banner advertising throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- image advertising throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- text ads throughout the Internet on the major search engines (pay per click services, or membership site)

- search engine submission of your web site to thousands of directories (new technology and algorithm changes, know what you are doing before you submit anywhere!) This is in the NO and POSSIBLY category because you can hurt your efforts if you do this wrong.

- coupon web sites

How did you do? Which type of online advertising would you have chosen?

As you can see, the choices are mind boggling, and all of your options have not been listed. These are your meat and potato, primary online advertising choices.

Building a web site takes knowledge, education, and experience. SEO (search engine optimization) is critical to your business, just as print advertising once was 10 years ago.

The Finer Points of Internet Auctions

WHAT IS A PENNY AUCTION?

Penny auctions have exploded in popularity with the massive growth of the internet. However, few people know the true origins of penny auctions.Beginnings actually stretch back to the Great Depression. Those were hard times for everyone, but even harder for farmers. Farmers struggled to bring in steady income because of droughts and crops not selling as well as they had previously. As a result, the banks would foreclose on the farmers who couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments.

The banks weren’t satisfied with just repossessing the house, they wanted to raise as much capital as possible, so they resorted to selling off the possessions of the owners of the repossessed houses. There was not much the farmers could do about it so they began bidding ridiculously low prices, pennies, on the items while threatening others who dared to bid higher than a few pennies.

The auctions of today hardly resemble their tremulous beginnings. Being part of a penny auction today is exhilarating, fun, and addictive. It combines the selling format of auctioning with a little bit of chance factored in.Auctions are a game of strategy but also a game of luck.

The premise behind penny auctions is giving people the chance to win an item at a drastically reduced price.Auctions make that possible by spreading out the cost of the product among multiple bidders. In order for a person to take part in an auction, they must pay a set price for each bid. For example, if a person wanted to bid on a fifty dollar Amazon gift card then he would spend a dollar for each time a bid placed. If he ended up winning the gift card, then he would only have spent a few dollars for a fifty dollar gift card. Usually penny auctions sell bids in packages.

HOW PENNY AUCTIONS WORK!

The main foundation of penny auctions is the pay-per-bid format. It is the key that allows bidders to win items at the fraction of their retail value and allows the auction owners to keep their site profitable. Most y auction sites run on the same premise: people pay a set amount for each bid, whenever a person places a bid within the closing seconds of the auction time will be added, the last person left with a unique bid after the clocks runs out will win the item. There are a large variety of items that can be won, but they tend to be popular electronics or gift cards to popular stores.

There are two types of auctions: lowest unique bid auction and highest unique bid auction. Lowest unique auction sounds confusing but it is actually quite simple. A unique bid is when only one person has a bid at a certain price. Bids usually start at one penny, a bidder can then place a bid at two pennies. Until another bidder places a higher bid, the most recent bidder will be the lowest unique bid because that was the only bid at two cents and nobody bid higher. However, penny auctions generally don’t stop at one penny. It is not uncommon to find auctions that end up at a couple hundred dollars based on the popularity of the item being auctioned. However, the same principles apply for those auctions. Highest unique bid auctions follow the more traditional auction format such as eBay. The person with the highest bid at the end of the auction wins the item.

Auction site owners turn a profit by selling bids. Say twenty people are bidding on a ten dollar gift card at one dollar per bid, at the end of the auction if there were twenty bids placed in total then the site owner would have made twenty dollars with a ten dollar profit.Auctions do seem like a win-win situation:The site owner makes money while the bidder gets an item for dirt cheap. However, not everyone wins in penny auctions. The people who paid one dollar each bid but left with nothing to show for their investments will not be so happy.

HOW TO WIN!

Penny auction has a lot of chance mixed into it, but one can incorporate strategy that will help raise the chances of winning. Playing smart can make all the difference between gambling and auctioning.

The first crucial tip to winning penny auctions is to know how to manage your bids. Your goal should be to win as much as possible without spending a ton of money buying bids. Managing your bids means that you should already know how much you are willing to risk in order to win an item. The amount of capital you are willing to risk will determine how many bids you can use. Once you know how many bids you have to spend on an item, then you will be better able to manage how and when you place a bid. That will keep you from blowing away all of your bids in the first few seconds of the auction.

The next tip is to practice time management. When fighting in the trenches of penny auctions, you have two enemies: other bidders and time. Knowing when to bid is a must if you want to have success. Placing a bid when there is a lot of time left on the clock is never a good idea. You have to remember that the key to winning a penny auction is being the last one standing when the clock runs out and that each bid increases the amount of time left. It would be a good practice to wait until the last few minutes of the auction before you begin to bid.

The final tip for successful auctioning is to keep your emotions under control.Auctions have a lot of similarities to gambling, and just like gambling, your spending can get out of control. If you keep your emotions level, it will keep you from making rash decisions and blowing loads of cash. Keep your mind clear so that you can gage the behavior of the other bidders and outsmart them.

HOW TO AVOID SCAM SITES!

Penny auctions are a great addition to the web whether you want to win an item that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to afford or if you simply enjoy the thrill that comes with bidding in auctions. Unfortunately, scam sites have tarnished the reputation of the legitimate penny auction sites. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from scamers and enjoy your auctioning without having to worry about losing your money due to dishonesty.

Checking the reputation of the auction site before you start spending your hard earned money is always a good idea. Chances are other people have tried the site before you and some of them have left reviews. The reviews are your way to gage whether a auction site is trustworthy or not. If a site is getting overwhelmingly negative reviews, then that is a clear indication that you should steer your business elsewhere.

Another tool you can use to protect yourself is checking the Alexia ranks of the auction sites. Alexia rank will give a solid view of how much traffic the auction is getting. If you see a huge difference in the amount of traffic Alexia is projecting and the amount of active bidders on the site, then warning signals should be ringing in your head. Some auction sites have been known to set up robots that automatically bid on projects in order to keep the auction going and inflate the price. That is known as shill bidding. You can sniff out those sites by comparing the traffic the site should be getting to the amount of users using this site.

CONCLUSION!

New legislation may come out later down the road that will officially make penny auctions gambling, but until then, it is a fun, exciting auction that allows one to win the item they’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford.Auctions are also quite lucrative for the site owners because of the pay-per-bid strategy they’ve incorporated. Penny auctions had humble beginnings with farmers who just wanted to get back at the banks who kicked them out of their house. More recently, auctions have enjoyed an explosion in popularity with the rise of the internet.

There are two main formats fora auctions, lowest and highest unique auction, however they both run on the same premise where the last unique bid wins the item. Winning a penny auction will require a certain amount of mental tactic and a bit of luck. However, you can increase your odds of winning by practicing certain techniques such as managing your bids wisely, learning how to work with the time, and keeping a level head and your emotions under control. When you combine those three strategies to your bidding plan, you will find that you win a lot more often.

It is important that you do your due diligence to protect yourself when participating in auctions. Not every auction is run by honest and trustworthy people. There are people out there who just want to take your money. You can protect yourself by ensuring that you only bid on sites that already have a very positive reputation from real users.

How to Find Great Live Auctions for Resale Items

Hi, my name is Walt. I’m an auctioneer with 25 years of experience in the auction business and licensed in the state of MA. I own Quick Auction Service, a company that specializes in building and running custom auctions, I’m also the webmaster of my own site and have been on eBay for 8 years. Besides eBay, the types of auctions I run most frequently are antiques and on-site estate auctions, although I’ve run everything from business overstock auctions to charity & special event auctions.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and stories of the auction business. My goal for article is to help folks get the absolute most out of their auction experience.

Whether your fresh out of the package or a seasoned dealer I think I can offer something in this article to help you with your auciton adventures.

There may be as many reasons to attend auctions as there are types of auctions to attend. Maybe you want to attend an auction to buy items for re-sale on eBay, or some other market. Maybe you want to furnish your home with wonderful antiques, or you want to furnish your home as inexpensively without sacrificing quality.Some folks are just looking for a fun night out. With a little perseverance all these things are possible.

There are antiques and estate auctions, auto auctions, overstock auctions, absolute and no reserve auctions, real estate auctions, specialty auctions where only one genre of items are sold, tailgate auctions, live auctions, online auctions, sealed bid auctions, silent auctions, charity and fund raising auctions and many more.

Can you really buy for pennies on the dollar at an auction? You bet! Many times I’ve seen folks buy and re-sell at the same auction on the same night for a good profit, although be advised, this should only be done after the auction is over.

There are a lot of ways to find an auction, but here are some tips on how to find and attend the best ones.

Visit the genre of shops in the area that apply to the type of auction you want to attend. IE: If your looking for a good antique auction to attend, stop in the local antiques shops and ask for what there are for good auctions in the area. Sounds obvious right? But listen to what they don’t say as well as what they do say. Oftentimes when a dealer speaks poorly about an auction he or she attends, it may be likely that they are trying to keep a good thing secret. Think for a moment, why would a dealer keep attending a lousy auction?

Newspaper ads: I personally like to find ads in the classified ad section rather than flashy display ads. Flashy ads are usually indicative of an auction that will be high priced, may have reserves, (a set price on an item), and usually an enormous crowd. While any auction can be profitable to attend, it is usually best to steer clear of the glitzy ones, at least for the beginner.

Here’s the minimum you want to find out before you go. If there is a phone number in the ad, call and ask for the terms of the sale. What forms of payment do they accept? Is it an absolute auction? An absolute auction is one that has no minimum or reserve bids on items. These are the best auctions to attend! Is there a buyers premium? A buyers premium is like a tax that everyone who makes purchases at that auction must pay above the winning bid price. Most auctions these days do charge a buyers premium, 10% is not unreasonable but I feel much more than that is greedy, and the auctioneer that charges over 10% is counting on most bidders not doing the extra math as the bids quicken in pace.

A fair auction will have ample time to inspect the merchandise, usually at least 2 or 3 hours. Find out when inspection starts and make sure to attend! Never attend an auction if you can’t make the inspection, not unless your prepared to gamble. Most auctioneers sell at a rate of about 100 items per hour, which is why they sell “as is”. They simply don’t have the time to give a detailed description of all the items. Since almost all items at auction are sold AS IS, there are sure to be some damaged, refinished, fake and incomplete items at any given auction. Beware of any auctions that offer very little or no inspection time.

Good auctions will usually have 150 to 400 lots. A lot may be one item or a group of items. The exception to this are specialty auctions, auto auctions, real estate auctions etc.

When you attend your first sale, take note of the 1/2 dozen or so dealers that buy the most often. See if you can find out about other area auctions they attend.

When you do find an excellent auction, attend it as often as possible. By frequenting good sales, you help increase the bottom line of that business. It’s difficult for many auctioneers to keep the quality of merchandise consistent, so good attendance certainly helps. And when an auctioneer gets to know you as a buyer, he/she will go out of the way to accommodate you, to keep you coming back.

Hiring An Auction Company

Estimating your assets value:

Typically, one of the first questions a business owner will ask me is, “how much will the assets bring at an auction”. After taking the time to review the assets, the auctioneer should give the client a conservative estimate of the sale based upon his experience and the current market trends. It is important that the company give realistic expectations so the seller can make informed decisions based on their best interest.

Compensation and Expenses:

Is the company you are considering working for you or against you? The agreement you decide may determine this.

A business owner should carefully consider how the auction company is compensated. The most common commission structures include: straight commission, outright purchase of assets, guaranteed base with a split above to both auctioneer and seller, guaranteed base with anything above going to auctioneer or a flat fee structure.

In a straight commission structure, the company is paid an agreed upon percentage of the total sale.

In an outright purchase agreement, the auctioneer simply becomes your end buyer. The company purchases your assets and relocates them. While this can be an option in some unique situations, keep in mind that they will want to purchase your assets at a very reduced price to make a profit at a later date.

In a minimum base guarantee, the auction company guarantees the seller that the auction will generate a minimum amount of sales. Anything above that amount either goes to the auction company or split with the seller. While a seller might feel more comfortable doing an auction knowing that he is guaranteed a minimum amount for his sale, keep in mind that it is the best interest of the auction company to secure a minimum base price as low as possible in order reduce their financial liability to the seller and secure higher compensation for the sale.

In a flat fee structure, the auctioneer agrees to show up for the sale and call the auction. There is no incentive for the auctioneer to get the best prices for your assets. The auction company is compensated regardless of the outcome of your sale.

What is the best option for business owners? In my experience, an agreed upon straight commission structure. This puts the responsibility on the auction company to offer the best outcome for everyone involved. There is an incentive for the auction company to work hard for both parties, set up and run a professional sale, get the highest bid and sell every item on the inventory. Successful auctions translate to a higher bottom line for both the seller and the auction company.

Auction Expenses:

In most auction agreements the expenses to conduct an auction are passed to the seller. If the auction company pays for the expenses, it is simply absorbed in higher commission rates.

All expenses should be agreed upon in advance in a written contract. Typical expenses will include the costs of advertising, labor, legal fees, travel, equipment rentals, security, postage and printing. A reputable auction company will be able to estimate all expenses based upon their experience in previous auctions. An agreement should be actual costs charged as expenses, not an estimated amount.

Advertising is typically the highest cost in conducting an auction. The auction company needs to set up an advertising campaign that will promote the sale to its best advantage and not overspend to simply advertise the auction company.

Once the auction is complete, the auction company should provide a complete breakdown of all expenses to the seller, including copies of receipts within the auction summary report.

Buyer’s Premium:

What is a buyer’s premium? If you attend auctions regularly, you are very familiar with this term. The auction company charges a fee to the buyer when they buy an item at auction.

The buyer’s premium has been around since the 1980′s and is standard auction practice. It was first used by auction houses to help offset costs of running brick and mortar permanent auction facilities. Since then, it has spread to all aspects of the auction industry. It is prominent in online auctions and allows auction companies to cover added expenses incurred from online sales.

It is the responsibility of the auction company to provide clear disclosure of the buyer’s premium to both the buyers and the sellers. Those not familiar with auctions are often taken back by the buyer’s premium. They looked upon it as an under handed way for the auction company to make more money. Reputable auction companies will provide full disclosure within the auction contract, advertisement and bidder registration.

Typically, an auction company will charge online buyers a higher buyer’s premium percentage than those attending an auction in person. Extra fees are incurred with online bidding and are charged accordingly to online buyers. This provides the seller a level playing field for both online buyers and those attending the auction in person. Without the buyer’s premium, there is no way to do this.

Pre-Sales:

We’ve all been there. We’re looking forward to attending an auction only to find that some items were sold prior to the auction date.

As an auctioneer with over thirty-six years of experience, I can honestly state that pre-sales will hurt an auction. When a company decides to liquidate their assets, it is easy to sell off high-end pieces of equipment through online sources, equipment vendors or to other businesses. The seller receives instant cash and avoids paying a commission to an auction company.

Auctioneer’s find themselves appearing to acting in a self-serving capacity when potential clients say they are planning to sell off parts of their inventory prior to an auction. It’s hard not to consider the auctioneer’s commission when they warn you not to pre-sell anything. Yes, the auctioneer wants to earn a commission on those sales but it is more important that the auctioneer protect the sale from potential negative backlash that comes from pre-selling. The buying public knows when an auction has been “cherry picked” prior to the sale and it reflects in their bidding. It becomes a sale of “leftovers” and that impacts prices.

A buyer who purchases prior to the auction usually does not attend the sale. They already bought equipment at a good price with no competition. If they do attend the auction, they tend to let others know of their great pre-sale purchases which again, impacts prices and the overall excitement of the sale.

It is important to understand that auctions work best with a complete inventory. You want competition on your higher end equipment. The easy to sell items make it possible to gain respectable prices for hard to sell items.

When a business owner decides to liquidate their equipment assets, there is only one opportunity to do it right. Hiring a reputable auction company will assist you with a professional, orderly and timely liquidation.

Five Tips for Selling at Live Auctions

Ah, the old-fashioned country auction! The idea of a country auction conjures up certain images for people. The image of a fast-talking auctioneer offering up an antique table or chair is a popular example.

People who are buying household goods or collectibles are looking to get their items at the lowest price possible. However, the people who are selling their items at auction are hoping for the highest price!

Unless a person is in the business of buying and selling antiques or other items, not a lot of thought goes into how goods are prepared for sale via the auction process. However, if you are one of the growing number of people using auction venues to sell your collectibles or other inventory, there are a few things to learn first about how to sell at auction before you bring a truckload of stuff over to the next event.

Tip 1: Make sure the things you want to sell are a good “fit” for the auction house you’ll be using.

Never bring a load to an auction house without actually having been to one of the previous auctions. It’s important to get a feel for the type of goods that the house sells. For example, at one very rural country auction it was common for the owners to sell live chickens, pots and pans, car parts, and farm equipment.

After close investigation, this would not be the right venue for selling your daughter’s “Hello Kitty” collection. On the other hand, the spare John Deere parts that you bought at last week’s yard sale might be just the right thing for the buying crowd at this auction.

Tip 2: Be sure you clearly understand the terms and policies of the auction house.

Visit with the auctioneer ahead of time. Call to find out what the best days and times are to visit. One of the worst possible times to drop in for an informational visit with an auctioneer is the day of the auction. Call ahead and ask. While you’re at it, find out what are the best days and times to drop your stuff off.

Once you have a little time with the auctioneer, you’ll be able to find out what type of commission he or she takes from consigners (which is you), and what type of paperwork might be needed. Some auction houses send out Form 1099 tax forms at the end of the year. An auctioneer may need to see your identification and have you fill out a W-9. Be prepared.

Find out what happens to your items if they don’t sell. For example, some auctioneers may have a minimum starting bid. If, for some reason, one of your items does not sell, it may be grouped with another one of your pieces. Know the auctioneer’s strategy beforehand so that you aren’t surprised on pay day.

Tip 3: Make sure the auctioneer knows what you’re selling.

It might be perfectly obvious to you that the signed print you are consigning is a rare and valuable piece of art. However, the auctioneer may not know this particular artist. Make a note of anything particularly special about your items, and leave the note with the piece. Be sure to tell the auctioneer about it as well. He or she might determine that this is something to highlight on the company website or in the newspaper listing.

Tip 4: Present your items neatly.

No one likes to have to dig through a box full of grimy and greasy car parts to see what treasures might be in there. Separate the parts and lay them out on a flat, or use more than one box to de-clutter the lot.

There is no need to buy fancy display boxes. It’s easy enough to go to the local convenience store or supermarket and ask if you can have the emptied boxes or flats that they are discarding.

While it’s good to present clean items, take care not to ruin the value of anything by over cleaning. For example, if you find some old cast iron cookware, clean the obvious dirt and grime, but don’t scrub it to its original finish. For many people, this ruins the value of the item. So, clean and tidy and organized is the key here.

Tip 5: Don’t complain to the auctioneer if your stuff doesn’t sell for as much as you’d like.

The phrase to remember here is, “You win some; you lose some.” That’s just the way it is. There are some days where an auction house is loaded with people who all seem to want what you’re selling. There will be other days where the crowd is sparse, and the bidding is simply not competitive.

Remember that it’s in the auctioneer’s best interest to sell your things for the highest possible hammer price. But sometimes, it’s just not going to be a stellar sale. The auctioneer is only human, and is also disappointed if a sale doesn’t go as well as planned.

If you notice that every time you bring a bunch of goods to sell that you’re not realizing as much as you think you honestly should, try another auction venue and compare apples to apples. That is, bring the same types of items to the new auctioneer and compare the results.

Unless the auctioneer is particularly disagreeable or inconsiderate to you or buyers, there is no reason to confront him or her about a sale. If you find you just don’t care for an auctioneer’s style or methods, find another one. Believe me, there are plenty of them out there!

The primary thing to remember as you learn how to sell at auction is that the business is unpredictable at best. You will have good days, some not-so-good days, some great days. The more you sell, the more experience you will gain, and the more enjoyable the business will be.

Real Estate Auctions – The New Land Rush

On a sunny afternoon in Florida, an energetic crowd gathers on the lawn of a high end luxury estate. A loud and eager banter between an auctioneer, a group of bidders and bidder assistants fills the air. For several minutes the auctioneer asks for the next highest bid and the bidders respond. Suddenly the bidders grow silent. The high bidder holds his breath in anticipation of winning the auction. The auctioneer calls for one more bid. In a loud clear voice which rolls over the audience he says, “Fair warning, last chance” the auctioneer pauses, “SOLD!” And in less than 10 minutes another multimillion dollar estate has changed owners.

Successful real estate auctions like the one above are happening all over North America and the Caribbean. Recently real estate auctions have been on the rise, the increase in popularity is partly driven by growing inventories and fading buyer confidence. Properties that were selling in weeks using traditional methods are now languishing on the market unable to attract buyers even as seller’s lower prices. Many say the real estate boom is over but savvy buyers and sellers are profiting from real estate auctions.

Real Estate Auctions Work in Up or Down Markets.

Regardless of trends or market cycles, real estate auctions provide an open and transparent process for buyers and sellers. Properly conducted real estate auctions attract ready and willing buyers and motivate them to act now.

The auction method removes the “wait and see” attitude which serves to further depress real estate values. Buyers are always concerned about overpaying. Buyers gain confidence with their purchases at real estate auctions because they can see what others are willing to pay.

When market demand is high and inventories low, real estate auctions can deliver selling prices well above what a willing seller would have accepted in a negotiated private treaty sale. In good selling climates many property owners using traditional real estate methods; negotiating with one buyer at a time, leave thousands of dollars of equity on the table. During up markets real estate auctions are the best way to establish top market price.

Evaluating Your Real Estate for Auction

Not every property or seller for that matter makes a good candidate for auction. First of all sellers must be ready to sell now and for the current market value. Also a real estate auction will not fix problems caused by a downturn in market value of your property, if you owe more than a willing buyer will pay, be prepared to come to closing with your check book.

Properties that do well in real estate auctions have a high uniqueness factor. Ask your self, “What makes my property different from most others?” Maybe you own a resort property or high end luxury home, commercial properties and land do very well at auction. Real estate auctions thrive on uniqueness. If your property is like everyone else’s, the best thing you can do is offer the most competitive price.

Most importantly sellers must be reasonable about setting a minimum bid. A seller must look at the lowest, most current comps and price below that to generate the interest and urgency necessary for a successful real estate auction. Once the auction begins and qualified bidders start competing against one another you can watch the selling price increase.

Locate a Qualified Real Estate Auctioneer

Start by checking with the National Auctioneers Association, the best real estate auctioneers belong to this organization. These real estate auctioneers are well trained and adhere to a standard of practice and a code of ethics. Many attend the annual International Auctioneers Conference where the latest techniques and innovations in the real estate auction industry are presented.

Find out if the company you are interviewing is a full time real estate auction firm. Many real estate agents are getting auction licenses yet have no experience with the auction method of marketing. Conducting a successful real estate auction is nothing like (private treaty) traditional real estate sales. Go with a real estate auction pro.

You’re probably better of with an auction house that specializes in real estate auctions. There are many qualified auctioneers who have generations of experience selling personal property; furniture, dishes, lawn equipment and the occasional rare painting. Selling real estate at auction is a complex matter that should only be attempted by full time experienced real estate auction professionals.

Commissions and fees may vary, sellers must pay all marketing expenses up front and buyers typically pay 10% of the sales price to the auctioneer of which a share goes to participating real estate agents.

Types of Real Estate Auctions

Auctions are effective because they create a seller’s market. Professionally conducted real estate auctions create urgency, a reason to buy today and competition for the property. Terms and conditions of sale are established ahead of the auction. Real estate auctions will follow one of these three approaches:

Absolute Auction

The property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price- using this process often returns the highest sale price.

Minimum Bid Auction

Seller agrees to sell at or above a published minimum bid price – this method is useful for internet auctions.

Seller Confirmation or Reserve Auction

With a reserve auction, the seller “reserves” the right to accept or decline any bids usually within 48 hours of the auction. Reserve auctions are used when there is a lien on the property from a lender or a court ordered sale with a minimum selling price.