Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yes Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus. The original letter.

8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of The New York Sun & the response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. Veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church’s response has become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial. We thought we'd share it here with you. Have a Happy Holiday from your friends at Schur Success Auction & Appraisal.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in THE SUN it's so. Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Dear Virginia,

Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Unethical Auctioneers?

A recent article on artinfo.com talks of auctioneers selling Bernie Madoff's assets in Vail, and discusses the poor reputation the auctioneers have earned. Our advice is to be wary of any auctioneers that you've never done business with in the past. While not every auctioneer is going to make every customer happy, most ethical and professional auctioneers do a fine job and are proud of their track record.
At Schur Success Auction & Appraisal (as well as many other fine Colorado Auctioneers), we're members of both the National Auctioneer's Association and the Colorado Auctioneers Association. Both of these organizations require their members to follow a code of ethics, which we proudly subscribe to. In addition, we are proud members of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.

Whether you are buying or selling, its good to know who you are dealing with. Don't be afraid to check references and ask questions. In fact, here are some questions you should ask:

How long have you been doing business in this area?

What professional associations do you belong to?

What advance industry certifications have you earned?

Do you have a business license?

Do you have an Auctioneer license? (Note: Colorado does NOT require an Auctioneer's License, but many local governments do, including the City of Denver. (BTW... We have licenses where ever we are require to)

Who are your references?

Don't be afraid to ask... if your gut tells you there is something wrong, then move on to another auction or auctioneer.

PS... Here's our answers...

We have been in the Denver/Colorado Springs area for nearly 30 years.

We belong to both the National and Colorado Auctioneers Association. In fact we hold board or committee positions with both organizations. We belong to the NEBB Institute (National Equipment & Business Builders Institute). we belong to the Better Business Bureau. We belong to several other non-auction organizations as well as working with some non-profits.

We hold many certifications, including the highest certification available in the auction industry, the CAI Certified Auctioneers Institute.

We have a State of Colorado business license, a Denver license, and many sales/business licenses throughout the metro region. If a license of any type is required where we are selling, we obtain that license.

Our references? Ask ANY of the customers you see listed on our web site. Ask the City of Denver - we've been their auctioneers for more than 20 years.

We're proud of our service and commitment tyo Colorado and to this wonderful auction business. We are proud of the service we give you. We encourage you do refrain from doing auction business with anyone who doesn't meet YOUR standards.

Here's the link to the article....Click HERE.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Drop Side Cribs & Storage Buyers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has ruled today that drop-side cribs can no longer be manufactured or SOLD in the United States. This law will take effect in 6 months, but the initial review indicates the sales ban will include private party sales such as those on E-Bay, Craig's List, or through flea markets and second hand stores.

As you look at storage units, remember that cribs (much like mattresses) could represent a liability. If you have drop-side cribs in your inventory, you'll have a short period of time in which to get them sold before you are stuck with them. For further information, look at their website: http://www.cpsc.gov/.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Storage Auctions Part 2 - Kissing Frogs

Yes, you read that right. Kissing frogs. That's what it's like. You've all heard the fairy tale about the princess who had to kiss a frog before he turned into her Prince Charming.

Of course, in all likelihood she had to kiss more than one frog to find him. Probably several frogs. Ok, lets get real.... she had to kiss a zillion frogs to find her prince. Let's not forget her sister, who was looking for that same prince. She kissed a bunch of frogs too. But only one of them found her prince. The other one just found frogs.

I bring this up because I was watching Storage Wars last night. It's a fun show, and exciting too. But there were lots of Princes, and not many frogs. It was amazing to me that they didn't show any frogs. What I'm concerned with is the term "Reality TV".

I don't think it is really reality. In reality, there are frogs in the storage auction business. Lots of frogs. There are many, many units that have nothing but frogs - no princes. But you won't see that on TV - not very exciting, is it? The truth is that you're not very likely to buy a unit for $125, and find a million dollar comic book collection hidden by the $25,000 Harley that's sitting on top of that rare coin collection. 

You're likely to spend $125 and find $300 worth of things to sell. And you'll have to sort out the good stuff from the frogs. And then you'll have to get rid of the frogs. And the EPA likely has a "frog disposal tax". In other words, have realistic expectations of what you will find.

You're there to make money. Buy things at a good price, and sell them at a better price. But you are not going to get "lucky" with every unit. Most buyers will never get that "hidden treasure" that they can retire from. You will likely buy some units that will bring you hundreds in profits, and occasionally thousands. You will sometimes break even, and some times, yes sometimes, you will lose money.

But if you stick with it, and learn a little from each unit you buy (or don't buy), you'll get better. Over time, and once you have spent lots of money on units, you'll get better at making money. If your profit expectations are realistic, you won't often be disappointed.  At Schur Success Auctions & Appraisal, we find that our most successful storage auction buyers here in Colorado have very realistic expectations.

If you are new to this business, keep your hands in your pockets until you learn the ropes. (Look at our previous blog discussing the rules). And, maybe, just maybe, you'll kiss a frog that turns into a prince. But if it were me, I'd rather not kiss a bunch of frogs. I'll pass, and if I choose to kiss a frog, I'll be prepared for it to stay a frog.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Fascination with Storage Auctions

There have been some new TV shows that feature storage auctions and auction buyers. As an auctioneer, I sure appreciate the attention. We get lots of new faces at our Colorado auctions these days, and hopefully for us and our clients, it means more revenue.

But new faces means new problems. Lots of folks who are curious come out to see what's happening, and that's a good thing. Some will even bid, and that's a good thing too. However, many don't quite understand how it all works, and that's a problem.

A large crowd is a nice, but only if everyone is dancing to the same music. So, here's some things to know before you go...

Bring cash. There's no credit cards, no IOU's, and no time to run to a bank or an ATM. You have to have the cash in your pocket.

You'll need deposit money. If you win the bid, expect to pay a refundable CASH deposit of at least $50 - $100 PER LOCATION!.... as long as you clean out completely and on time, you'll get your deposit back.

Move QUICKLY! All auctions run on tight schedules, and time is money. Look quickly. There are people behind you who need to see as well/ If you're not interested in bidding on the unit, then PLEASE, move past and out of the way so that we can take care of the folks who do wish to bid.

Bring a flashlight so you can see in the back. Remember, you CAN NOT enter the unit in any way.

Don't bring your kids. They will slow you down, slow us down, and we really don't want to see them get hurt. If you absolutely have to bring them, please keep a close eye on them.

Prepare to haul it ALL. There are no dumpsters for you to use. EVERYTHING must go with you.. the trash, the treasure, and everything in between. If you leave anything behind, you will lose your deposit and will no longer be allowed at our sales. We enforce this rule with absolute certainty.

Please don't bring 20 helpers.... at least not to bid. But, you sure will find them handy when it's time to load out.

Think BEFORE you bid. Once we say sold, it's yours. Period. Experienced bidders will tell that they bid on what they actually see, not what they THINK may be hiding. The treasure hunt comes when you get more than you expected, as opposed to expecting more than you see.

Check the locations and routes before you go, since we won't wait for you.

Did I mention CASH? Bring what you are willing to part with.

Know where you will sell what you find. If you don't already have an outlet for your purchases, you'll end up scrambling to figure out what to do with it.

This is Colorado.... dress in layers. Some locations have both inside and outside units.

ASK QUESTIONS, BUT.... do it before you bid. A bid is a legally binding offer to make a purchase, and we have every intention of holding you to your bid.

Say "hi" to the Auctioneer... over time, we'll get to know your name and your face, and we'll have even more fun.

Over the last 30 days, we have seen a 100% increase in web traffic, so we know there is curiosity about these auctions. Still have questions? call us. We'd rather talk to you and answer your questions before hand than try to take care of you while 75 other people are talking to us.

Mostly, have fun. You know we're sure having a blast!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Power of "Please". A fundraising necessity

Organizations across the globe have a common dilemma.... "How do we reach the right people to encourage them to be donors and supporters?"

There is no easy answer, but there is one, time consuming technique that has proven very successful. It's called "Please".

It's a simple sales technique. Ask. People are reluctant to say "no" when you ask for help. As a non-profit, it's even harder. But on the other hand, how easy is it to delete an email or throw away a letter or card.

It's a no-brainer. Asking people to help, to support, to donate, is an effective way to raise both awareness and money. You just have to make it personal.

Get in front of your most ardent supporters. Not by email, not by letter, and not by phone. In person. Face to face. Thank them for their tremendous support. Show them the success you have had because of their support. Praise them for making a difference.

Then say "please".

Please help us grow our family of supporters to include more wonderful people just like you. Would you please call (2,5,10...) friends and share with them how important our mission is. Would you introduce me to them so I can share with them how wonderful you have been in helping us meet our mission?

Please help me get in front of them so they can be wonderful supporters like you.
Please help me invite them to our next fundraising event.
Please help us continue to meet our mission by bringing awareness to other great people like you.

If you follow the 80-20 rule, 80% of your support comes from 20% of your patrons, then spend 80% of your time farming that 20%. They are the ones who are influential enough to bring you more people who not only share their passion and their philanthropy, but likely their income bracket as well.

Please. This is your mission. Get in front of them. Ask them to help. Who do you think you will start with?

(Next time we will talk about open vs. closed questions...)

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We've made some changes...

First, we have changed our name. We are now officially "Schur Success Auction & Appraisal, Inc.". We changed our name to reflect the appraisal side of our business.

We have appraisers on staff who have earned their GPPA designation, or Graduate Personal Property Appraiser, and have one of the very few CMEA's - (Certified Machinery & Equipment Appraiser) in the state.

Appraisals are useful, if not required, in many instances such as divorce, partnership dissolution, business loans, insurance policies and claims, and so much more.

We have the experienced and certified staff to help meet you needs.

Another change you'll see is our Facebook page. We'll continue to post blogs and send emails about specific topics and upcoming events, but we felt that the Facebook page would give you more current and fun information, in an instant format. You can follow us on Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/ColoradoAuctionsAppraisals.

And, we're looking to make some updates and changes to our website as well. Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated, and hopefully you will find it easy to communicate with us by having a Blog, a Facebook page, and of course, our email addresses.

Thanks so much for being part of our auction family.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Our 1st Preferred Vendor: Cole Promo!

As many of you know,
Schur Success Auction Services
has won many awards, among them are awards for our uniforms and signage.

We are pleased to list
Cole Promo
as our 1st Preferred vendor, not only because of the awards they have helped us win, but because of the way they treat us as customers.

Cole Promo is a family-owned and run business... Mom (Cindy), Dad (Tom), sons C.J. and Jason, and daughter-in-law Charis. (BTW, Charis and Jason welcomed baby daughter Zoe into the world this past Friday).

Being a family owned business we get incredible attention to detail and service, and their prices are competitive.

If you need screen printing, give-aways, embroidery, banners, hats, water bottles, keychains, pens, etc, call Cole Promo. You won't be disappointed. Tell them that Rich sent you and you'll get extra-special treatment. You can call C.J. or Cindy at (719) 260-1774. Located on N. Academy in Colorado Springs, they deliver personal service with world-class results. Click here
to go straight to their website.

As always, check our website before attending auctions to see if there are any last-minute changes.

Thanks again for your support.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Poll Shows Schur Success Auction Services to be Best in Industry

 Colorado Springs, CO
April 5, 2010

That's right, in a recent poll, Schur Success Auction Services was named the Best Auction Company in the Industry!  OK, the poll wasn't the most scientific, and probably fails every statistical test imaginable. The poll was conducted asking the entire office staff of our company. And they all agreed!  We like survey results like this!

Seriously, we truly want to be the best in the business, and we need your help to reach that goal. Please let us know your thoughts on our service. If you like how we conduct business, let us know. If you don't, let us know that too. We're never above some constructive criticism. We can only improve and get better when we know what people think of us.

Feel free to call me at (719) 667-1000 if you have any comments or criticisms. Or, you can email me at rich@success-auctions.com. Either way, we'd love to hear from you.


Rich Schur

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Inn at the Palmer Divide, and the Mozaic support St. Jude’s

As most of you know, the National Auctioneers Association selected St. Jude's Children's Hospital as its designated charity. Most auctioneers do what they can to support the cause.

In March of 2010, I attended the final session of my CAI (Certified Auctioneers Institute) designation at the U of I in Bloomington, Indiana. As is the custom of the Institute, we had a fund-raising auction to support St. Jude's. The event raised thousands of dollars, and the bidders were all auctioneers.

Our good friends at The Inn at Palmer Divide, and the Moziac restaurant not only donated a gift certificate for an overnight stay at their beautiful resort, but a delicious dinner for 2. If you ever want a little get away without having to travel far, I highly recommend our friends at the Inn. Over the top service, delicious foods, and all tucked away in nearby Palmer Lake, south of Denver and north of Colorado Springs, on the gorgeous Palmer Divide.

I really appreciate their support, and encourage you to check out the wonderful things St. Jude's does for our community. Click here to learn how you can help too.

Thanks again. Rich

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Process is Personal. It’s not a tagline.

Colorado Springs, CO

March, 2010

That's right, it's not a tag line. It's a way of doing business. It means that we get to know you before we ever sign a contract with you.

As a seller, you come to an auctioneer to help you solve a problem. If you're calling us, it's because you think we can help solve that problem.

There's a good chance we can. There's a possibility that we can't.

Either way, we'll get to know you, get to understand your problem, and we'll determine if we can help you.

If we can solve your problem, we'll lay out our plan and show you how. 
If you like what you see, you'll hire us.

If we can't solve your problem, we'll tell you. We'll point you in the right direction. That means we won't likely get your business. And that's ok.

We'd rather you said "no thanks" than to do a job that fails to meet your expectations. We'd rather say it ourselves than take a job that will end poorly.

On the other hand, once we sit down and decide collectively that we are the right fit, then we know we'll do a good job for you. And you'll know it too.

So, before you sign a contract with us, or any other auctioneer, ask yourself this question: "Will this auctioneer help me SOLVE MY PROBLEM?". If the answer is yes, then sign. If not, then call someone else.

We're hoping that there's a good fit between your needs and our skills. If so, we're thrilled. If not, then thanks for talking to us. We sure do appreciate your time.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Clearly, Sex Sells… Now it sells at Auction!

Lender putting www.sex.com domain on auction block

This article is from Reuters and was forwarded to us by a friend.



Mon Mar 8, 2010 7:20pm EST

(Reuters) - Sex.com, often touted as one of the most valuable Internet domain names, is due to head to the auction block next week.


DOM Partners LLC, a New Jersey lender that backed a 2006 purchase of the domain name for a reported $14 million, is foreclosing on the Internet property, and is due to auction it on March 18 at New York law firm Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP, according to legal notices.

Bidding for the Internet property, the tumultuous past of which includes several lawsuits and two books, is due to start at $1 million.

The auctions of simple domain names are seen as rare opportunities for Internet entrepreneurs.

An auction for the www.pizza.com domain name in 2008 attracted bids above $2.5 million.

But if it is true that sex sells, sex.com may be the most valuable domain name in the world. At one point, the website was making at least $15,000 per day, according to a 2008 book, The Sex.com Chronicles, by attorney Charles Carreon who has represented a former owner of the site.

In January 2006, Escom LLC acquired the domain name from Gary Kremen, founder of dating website Match.com and chief executive of Grant Media. Kremen registered the sex.com domain name in 1994.

A press statement announcing the 2006 sale said it was "believed to be among the most significant domain sale transactions in history." Terms of that deal were not disclosed, but it has since been reported that the deal was worth about $14 million.

DOM Partners' loan to Escom for the deal has been in default for over a year.

"The loan was in default and DOM partners is foreclosing pursuant to its right under the security agreement," DOM's attorney Scott Matthews said.

Attempts to reach Escom and sex.com for comment were not immediately successful.

But Richard Maltz, an auctioneer at Maltz Auctions who is running the sale, said on Monday there was considerable interest in it.

"We don't know who's serious and who's not, but prospective bidders need a $1 million certified check. It should be interesting."

Maltz said his firm was arranging for potential buyers to also be able to bid online.

(Reporting by Emily Chasan)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Schur Named 2010 Colorado State Champion Auctioneer

January 10, 2010

Denver, CO

During the annual Colorado Auctioneers Association (CAA) Conference held in Denver, Colorado on Friday, January 8, 2010, Schur Success Auction Services Chief Operating Officer, Rich Schur, was named the 2010 Colorado State Champion Auctioneer.

In a competition that started with 12 experienced auctioneers, the five judges whittled their selection to the top five contestants. Each of the five then participated in a public interview process, and then each sold three similar items to the crowd.

The judges scored the auctioneers on their chant, their sales ability, their ability to interact with and engage the audience, and a variety of other essential skills. After the scores were tabulated, Schur was named the new 2010 State Champion. The CAA does not allow Champions to compete again once they have earned the title.

Schur, a resident of Monument, Colorado, started in the auction industry in 2005 while dating his now wife Shannon, a second generation auctioneer. Rich graduated the Worldwide College of Auctioneering in the fall of 2005, and earned the Colorado Rookie title in January of 2006. Since that time he has earned the designation as a Benefit Auctioneer Specialist (BAS) and will be obtaining his advanced Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI) designation in the spring.

On Sunday morning, Schur was elected to serve as the organization's 2nd VP, starting his third term on the Board of Directors.

The 2010 CAA Conference was held in memory of long-time Colorado Hall of Fame Auctioneer Chuck Cumberland, a past champion, who passed in 2009. Rich is the first auctioneer to be awarded the Cumberland Championship Award, a travelling trophy dedicated to the honor and memory of Chuck, who's trademark comment was "Go Your Best".

Schur will represent the CAA in public appearances, and will also represent the association in the national championship competition to be held in North Carolina this Spring.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Colorado Auctioneers Compete for the Title of “State Champion”

A Fun-Filled Weekend with the Best Auctioneers in Colorado

This weekend, starting Friday January 8, 2010, the Colorado Auctioneers Association (CAA) will hold its annual conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, at I-70 and Chambers in Denver. The conference includes two auctions that are open to the public, including the Friday night sale featuring the State Auctioneer Championship Co

As many as 30 auctioneers from across the state will compete for the State Champion title, which not only provides bragging rights, but allows the winning auctioneer to represent the CAA in the National Auctioneer Association championship. Each auctioneer will sell a few items in an auction that is open to the public. Several auctioneers from Schur Success Auction Services are scheduled to compete. The top five finalists will participate in an interview process as well as having additional items to sell. A panel of auction professionals will rank the contestants, and ultimately crown the Champion.

This is a fun time, and there's no fee to participate. It's free and open to the public. Proceeds from the sale are used to offset convention costs, support a scholarship fund, and usually a charity designated by the Board of Directors.

On Saturday night, there is a "fun" auction, in which almost all the auctioneers will participate to sell and item or two. New auctioneers will compete for the title of 1st Time Bid Calling Champion (which by the way, Rich won in 2006). The fun auction is just that, a fun-filled night with great auctioneers. Again, the public is welcome.

This is truly an opportunity to see the best in the business and have a great time in the process. Need more information? Go to www.coauctioneers.org

See you there!