The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques

Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!

Posted by  //  November 22, 2021  //  Local Business

By Shana L Karn, The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques, LLC

Who doesn’t love a good auction? It can provide the rush of adrenaline that serious shoppers and competitive spirits seek… and now, it can be done right from the comfort of your own home!

While some people would argue that online auctions kicked off years ago with eBay, eBay was more of an e-commerce platform than a true online “auction.” Online auctions aren’t truly a new phenomenon; they’ve been around for several years—however, in the last couple of years (thank you pandemic!), online auctions have grown by leaps and bounds.

For The Second Knob, breaking into the online auction scene was born of sheer necessity. My Dad, Andy— who was also my partner at the store for almost ten years, died unexpectedly last December. He left me behind, broken hearted and partnerless in a business he and I had built. He also left behind fifty years of antique/collectible and junk for his family to deal with. With the storage fees associated and physical labor required to deal with four barns  packed full of stuff, we needed a venue for selling. Months of research led me to Hi-Bid, an online auction platform supporting internet-only auctions and internet absentee bidding.

People continually ask, “Why not just sell everything through your shop?” 

Short answer: There is way too much stuff. With the crazy storage fees, we needed to find a way to quickly “move” stuff. and, after experiencing some online auctions, I knew it was our best option and would help us avoid some of the demanding physical labor associated with moving items to the shop or in and out of a live tent sale. Many local, live auctioneers shifted their sales to online during COVID, which allowed them to keep business going. It is similar to what we did with Facebook Live Sales— but in a bigger, broader sense.

As we’ve started the online auction journey, we’ve found a new niche for ourselves by offering to do online estate auctions. Not only is it a service that is desperately needed in our area, but it is so much faster, easier and safer than in-person estate sales. 

Even if you’ve never been to an auction before, you’re probably familiar with the basics of how they work. The general (simplified) gist is that an auctioneer describes an item and prospective buyers raise their bid cards to place bids on that item. Online auctions work much the same way—   but offer more benefits like better deals overall and the platform is such that we can offer a huge variety — our auctions have 100-300 items in a single catalogue. Participants in our auctions don’t need to physically attend a long, drawn out auction to bid on one or two items, but can do so in a matter of minutes, from their own home. 

People who are unfamiliar with online auctions will want to familiarize themselves with bidding terms and conditions for each auction they participate in. For instance, there are still “Buyer’s Premiums,” which is the percentage charged by the auction-house in addition to the “hammer price”  (For our auctions, we currently charge a Buyer’s premium of 10-15% but some auction houses are much higher!). 

Don’t overlook online auctions as the best way to shop for the holidays! Giving a “recycled” gift is not only environmentally friendly but offers much more unique gift options!

While we are fairly new to the online auction “game,” we are having fun and already building a loyal following! Starting in the New Year, we will offer a few free hands-on workshops to our customers who are interested in learning more about participating in online auctions. To check out our auctions, follow us on Facebook, where we post links to our auctions, or call our store: 607.844.5662. We are always happy to help you!

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