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Did you know... that we will have a reduced number of auctions in several of the sets of auctions between April 7th and 16th (due to extreme circumstances beyond our control)?

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Added: 04/01/2019

Back when we started our weekly sets of auctions (originally there were only Tuesday sets, but over the next years we added Thursday and Sunday sets as well), they did not always contain 999 auctions in each set. Sometimes there would be 850, or 700, or 500, or however many we were able to prepare that week. The only exceptions were our "bulk lot" auctions (because they contain so many items, usually 15,000 to 20,000 in all) and our "very oversized" auctions (because they contain so many very LARGE and BULKY items).

But now, for the first time in several years, we have to announce that we will have a reduced number of auctions in several of the sets of auctions between April 7th and 16th (due to extreme circumstances beyond our control). What are those extreme circumstances?

First, it did not help that we had planned our two most difficult auctions ("bulk lots" and"very oversized") to end the exact same week (which is the week upcoming, on March 31st and April 4th. Second, it did not help that this"very oversized" set of auctions is far and away our most ambitious EVER, as it is FILLED to overflowing with very unusual items, and rather than our usual two or three hundred very oversized items, we have an amazing 549!

The extra work of preparing these two sets of auctions at one time meant we had no extra time to spare in preparing the next couple of weeks of auctions, but we still would surely have been able to prepare them in spite of this added work.

And as I told you last week, I, Bruce, went away for an entire week the week of March 17th to the 24th. But we had accounted for that, and my being away did not really set us behind at all. So what was the biggest factors that set us far enough behind that we had to reduce the number of auctions in several of the sets of auctions between April 7th and 16th?

It was extreme circumstances beyond our control. This has been the very worst flu season in West Plains in at least 20 years, and it spread like wildfire through the schools, and of course many of the kids brought it home to their parents. And since a large number of our employees have young children, that meant that a LOT of our employees had to take off work, either because they themselves were sick, or because they had to stay home with their kids.

In addition, several of our employees tragically had deaths in the family, two employees left us entirely, and others had previously planned vacations, and all of this meant that almost every day of the past three weeks we have had a GREATLY reduced workforce. One of those weeks, instead of having four photographers, we only had one photographer for most of the days of the week.

So with all of the above put together, we have had to re-arrange and reduce the auctions between April 7th and 16th. Here is what I think we will be auctioning during that time (but I may have to make a further change or two as the auctions get closer):

  • On Sunday April 7th, we will likely add around 500 window cards
  • On Tuesday April 9th, we will likely add around 500 Title lobby cards
  • On Thursday April 11th, we will likely add around 999 folded non-U.S. posters, non-U.S. lobbies, and non-U.S. stills
  • On Sunday April 14th, we will likely add around 500 French one-panel posters
  • On Tuesday April 16th, we will likely add around 500 three-sheets, six-sheets, Argentinean and other oversized posters

I am sure all of you will be understanding of this "perfect storm" of events that led to this. My biggest concern, as always, is that my employees first deal with the special circumstances in their life and only then worry about getting auctions done here.

But I DO realize that we want to take whatever steps we can to prevent this from happening again, and I am taking two approaches:
1) I am hiring new employees! I have two who will start on a trial basis on Monday the first, and I have interviews set up with several other people who seem to fit what we need (hardworking people who make few mistakes, and are also friendly and kind!).

2) We are moving to further automate wherever we can in our invoicing, billing, and shipping areas. We have been working on a MAJOR project that would allow our system to provide shipping quotes even on "actual cost" items immediately after auctions end, which would be a giant plus for everyone concerned! We will have more on this in the coming weeks and months.

The number one comment I hear from our customers (bidders AND consignors) is "I don't know how in the world you guys do all you do"! We finally hit a time where we could not deliver 3,000 auctions every week (for the above many reasons), and I imagine that helps everyone realize just how amazing it is that we ARE able to deliver 3,000 auctions almost every week!

Tags (?): #AuctionRelated, #InnerWorkings


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Postal Mailing Address:
Bruce Hershenson, P.O. Box 874, West Plains, MO 65775. 
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phone: +1 417 256-9616     fax: +1 417 257-6948
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