10 November 2017,

Non-sales revenue: Are you leaving money in your skills bag?


There is value in your knowledge of resources, brokering of deals between parties and other areas. Here are a few places to look for that non-sale income.

By NAA Staff

Auctioneers can follow a few simple steps to maximize their non-sales revenue. In fact, doing so might be easier than they think.

Becoming an appraiser is one way for Auctioneers to bump their business revenue, and auction professionals can enhance their appraisal skillset through the Graduate Personal Property Appraiser designation. The program is designed to give Auctioneers more skill and acumen in appraising personal property.

And, it might even help quell a common fear among auction professionals who are afraid the effort to expand their offering won’t see a return.

“If you are apprehensive about becoming an appraiser because you will not find work, you are not alone,” said Sara Adams, AMM, GPPA, a Connecticut-based Auctioneer and appraiser. “I was afraid of some of the same things.”

Initially, appraising equipment or pieces within an auction professional’s given specialty will help build that part of their business. Eventually, a person can explore a move into other areas.

“Start with a focus on your specialty,” Adams said. “Diversity will come in time.”

Non-sales revenue: NAA networking and cross-channel self-promotion

Auctioneers should not be afraid to reach out to their colleagues in the National Auctioneers Association when they need assistance in appraisals. The NAA offers a valuable resource — thousands of people with a wealth of expertise.

Also, advertising your appraisal business on your bidding website is a great way to reach potential clients, as today’s buyers could be tomorrow’s sellers.

To find and connect with new appraisal clients, consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce to meet bankers and loan officers. Before they can offer loans, banks frequently need to appraise a client’s collateral. At that point, you’ll be ready to handle the request from top to bottom.

“Banks deal with businesses wanting to take out loans constantly. They are not afraid to pay my fees,” Adams said. “Because they understand the value of the work I do, they don’t question or complain about my prices. Their expectations are realistic for me in terms of time frame.”

To brainstorm additional revenue streams, Auctioneers can again turn to their NAA connections. Finding a peer who works in a similar specialty in a different market could be an excellent resource to exchange ideas.

Non-sales revenue: Put a price on it

Next, identify services you already provide but have not monetized. For example, Adams said she provides removal services from her warehouse for a fee, while also selling or renting equipment such as dollies and ratchet straps.

Consider working with a truck rental company or getting paid for referrals.

“It’s good to think of your first-time buyer,” Adams said. “You are their solution, their one-stop solution. If you can provide a service and you’re not sending them somewhere else, it’s making their experience a lot better.”

Auctioneers can even look to their own physical space for revenue. Unused warehouse space could be turned into rental storage space.

Offering cleaning and repair services for equipment also can generate revenue. Adams, who specializes in restaurant equipment, said refrigerator repair services have been a boon for her business, both in revenue and client satisfaction.

Each refrigerator comes guaranteed, which has instilled confidence in buyers.

“Remember that your work, your knowledge of resources and your brokering of deals for buyers and sellers is valuable for other people,” Adams said. “Please remember that everything you do is worth being paid for.”

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This content first appeared as part of the NAA iSeries webinar program. NAA members can check out the full iSeries archive, along with information on upcoming iSeries events, at auctioneers.org/iseries.