Going Once, Twice … Sold!
By Alicia Brandt
President of Oahu Auctions
It takes a village to “produce” a large auction. A crew is rounded up at a moment’s notice. Sometimes there’s barely two weeks to prepare. Pressure? Always. In our last auction, a laptop crashed and we nearly lost a week of work. We adapt quickly to stay ahead of the game.
As inventory is shuffled around and strategically staged, television news teams drop in throughout the week. We take an avalanche of photographs for ads and promotions.
During auction week, our website becomes the go-to source. Thousands of page views occur daily as people preview the inventory. Concurrently, a flurry of marketing initiatives is deployed around ad placements, banner and flier production, email campaigns and media publicity.
The catalog creator, who is tasked with crafting a concise one-line description of each item for auction, must have a well-rounded knowledge of commodities — from commercial assets to contents of entire estates. Sometimes more than 1,000 items make it into a single catalog (which was the case when we handled the contents of a Japanese billionaire’s multiple Kahala estates).
We’ve liquidated assets across industries in the last 15 years, from restaurants, warehouses and dental labs to kitchen and bath showrooms. Memorable ones include a prominent Waikiki nightclub and a laser eye center (which required a crash course in marketing radial keratotomy instruments).
At a Bishop Street fertility clinic, we researched and sold a $100,000 microscope and other specialized equipment. We’ve handled boats, luxury cars, a helicopter and other aircraft. What’s next? Whatever it is, it will likely be a learning opportunity.
On auction day “the village”— cashiers, security, a bid caller, bid recorders and various support staff — convenes at the auction site, representing a synthesis of various skills. Communication is vital and everyone works with synergy.
It’s a stimulating experience for bidders. Attendees walk away excited with the deals they got. Going once, twice … SOLD! And at the tap of a gavel, it ends as quickly as it began.