The Breadth of Assets Sold at Auction

The Breadth of Assets Sold at Auction

Most people know that auctions are a popular venue to acquire rare and collectible assets of all kinds. If I were to conduct a survey of the public and ask them what kinds of "things" are sold at auction, I would probably get a myriad of responses including:

Fine Art

Many of the worldwide leaders in the fine art auction world have been in existence for almost 300 years. Almost every major metropolitan city in the world has at least one fine art auction house. The auction house may specialize in a particular style and time period, or may be more general in nature. Many auctioneers and auction houses will coordinate and network with colleagues to find the best possible marketplace to sell an asset.

Classic Cars

The collection of "art on wheels" has gained popularity with the broadcast of classic car auctions on specialized auto racing and sports networks. No two classic car auctions are the same. Some auctions, such as RM Sotheby’s, are conducted with the quiet purposeful tone, sophistication, and pace of a fine art auction. Others, such as Barrett-Jackson, Mecum or Leake, maintain the appearance, speed and sound of a rock concert.

Storage Units

Popularized by a multitude of unscripted television shows starting in 2010, the general public became aware of the storage lien and auction process. Many individuals believed that purchasing storage units would generate vast amounts of wealth in a short period of time with minimal amounts of labor. Unfortunately, the television shows do not show the significant number of hours required to empty storage units, and the numerous trips to consignment galleries, flea markets, charitable donation centers, and landfills that are required.

There are a host of other types of assets that are sold to wholesale and retail audiences daily throughout the world that many people may not be as familiar with. They include: 

Wholesale Automobiles

According to the National Auto Auction Association, over 335 auto auction facilities in the US and throughout the world sell over 9.2 million vehicles each year, generating over 90 million dollars in wholesale revenue for manufacturers, finance companies, and retail dealers.

Real Estate

Many Americans associate selling real estate at auction with the mortgage foreclosure process. However, it is also gaining popularity as a method of accelerating traditional private treaty real estate sales. The auction method is also a common method to sell multiple tracts of land simultaneously. Using a combinatorics software algorithm, the auction firm can instantly solicit, compare, and maximize offers for individual tracts, combinations of tracts, or the entire real estate portfolio for a seller.

Construction and Agricultural Equipment

In the United States, many pieces of agricultural and construction machinery are sold in the spring and fall at the beginning or conclusion of their seasons. Selling at auction allows the machinery owners to maximize cash liquidity during off-season periods. In addition, by specifying days and times that equipment is bought or sold, owners can take advantage of the time requirements for like-kind exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.

For more information about any of these methods of asset sale, please call our office at 719-667-1000 or SchurSuccessGroup.com to speak to one of our experts.


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