Is there a small business owner that didn’t have to modify/pivot/adjust their business protocols in 2020? Sadly, some businesses have shuttered, as restrictions and lockdowns made the previous way of doing business untenable in 2020.
The auction business? Well, many of us in the auction industry were well-positioned to survive, and some even thrive, this year. For Wickliff Auctioneers, our nearly two decades of experience in using online auction technology provided us an avenue to continue to operate, even under the Indiana ‘stay-at-home’ order, which began in March of this year.
Over the last couple of years, we had discussed changing our business model. The model that was so successful and unique to Indiana (that began as Jackson-Wickliff Auctioneers in 1992) was no longer as profitable as it once was, due to a decline in prices for antique furniture, among other categories finding fewer buyers in today’s market.
Seeing the success of our online auctions in the second quarter of the year, combined with a landlord who was unwilling to extend our lease under acceptable terms, we decided to make the business model change that we had previously considered.
We are now focused on doing what we do best- fine art, fine jewelry and special collections. Our new location is a temporary spot while we refine the parameters of our ‘new’ business, and has worked well for us. We will be expanding into a slightly larger space (exact location TBD) in 2021, but will continue the format we now employ, which is a primarily online-only model.
However, as restrictions ease and the pandemic subsides, we look forward to hosting occasional in-person auctions at ballrooms or country club facilities, with online bidding still available.
Our Premium Online Estate Sale service, wherein the items remain in the home and are offered online for bidding, has been VERY successful and is a key part of our new model. We are not the estate sale company for every estate; we remain selective in our engagement for this service, maintaining the standard established for the company by Sue Wickliff nearly 30 years ago. We continue to be a source for higher-quality merchandise for our buyers, and provide honest, accurate representation of these items for our sellers.
In conclusion, none of these changes could have happened without YOU, our loyal customers, clients and friends. We look forward to the day in 2021 when we can give some hugs. Your support and continued patronage, and words of encouragement during our transition, were invaluable to Angie and I and our team, as we navigate these new waters. We are so thankful for all of you, and we recognize God’s hand and blessings throughout this past year.
We look forward to serving you, and thank you again.
Darin and Angie Lawson
(And for Barb, Chris, Marc, Katya, Amanda, Chad, Taylor, Nick, Ryan and Stacy- our top-notch team members before, during and after our transition)