10 Things probably think are valuable, that aren’t.

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Herb Alpert is not valuable


We all have things in our homes or office that we have convinced ourselves are worth a fortune, but some of us are simply fooling ourselves. I wrote previously about my 4 laws of auction and how reality works in auction pricing. This time I want to talk specifically about 10 things that are most likely not a valuable as you think they are.

  1. Cruise Ship Art:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love cruise ships, and cruising, but if you are looking for investment on a cruise ship, you might as well hit the casino as the art auction. Either way you are gambling. The problems with buying art at sea are well documented and real, and have been covered by news outlets like the New York Times. Art auctioned on board a cruise ships is seldom original in the true since of the word. Normally it is either a Giclée (a print made with a very expensive ink jet type printer, which looks like a painting) or a lithograph. Giclée prints can be produced in unlimited amounts and are by definition, not rare. Lithographs have similar problems, and often have a small mark on them to make them “original”. Most cruise ships now offer Internet access, but doing research on the high seas is beyond the ability of the average individual on a cruise ship, particularly since most art auctions on cruises come with free champagne and limited time to know what is going to be in the auction beforehand.

  2. Old Furniture:

    A couch or sofa will top this list, but it also includes almost all upholstered chairs and anything stuffed and not covered by leather. Most dining rooms and any number of furniture pieces that have were recently dubbed by the Wall Street Journal and news organizations as “brown furniture” are now very hard to sell. The market has plummeted for both antiques furniture, and is virtually non existent for non-antique non-modern furniture. You can thank IKEA for most of this. Younger buyers are not interested in your furniture, they are however , very interested in almost anything from IKEA. Back when people purchased their dining room furniture it was normally one of the biggest purchases they made, after their home, and their car, it was the thing they spent the most on. Now younger people typically do not even have a dining room, they have converted this space into a entertainment/game/LAN party room where they place a big screen TV, and play games with their friends. If they buy any part of the dining room set at all, they buy the buffet so they can set a TV on it.

  3. Pianos:

    Most pianos have almost no value, there are exceptions to this rule (high end grand pianos like Bösendorfer, and Steinway) but for the most part a piano (or an organ) will not sell for much, if at all, and if it is in the basement or up some stairs, forget about it.

  4. Old Newspapers:

    Just because it is old, doesn’t make it rare. I have seen so many copies of newspapers of JFK’s death that I think I have it memorized, everybody kept it. Same thing for the Moon landings, and Mark McGwire’s home run records. They sell by the big pile, if at all. I have actually sold the newspaper covering Lincoln’s assassination twice, and Washington’s farewell address once. 

  5. China, and Clear Glass:

    Much like the reason dining room furniture is no longer in demand, formal china and clear formal stemware are not worth much any more. When you don’t have a dining room, you don’t need formal china or stemware.

  6. Modern Comic Books and Reprints:

    The market for vintage comic books is red hot now but, the market for modern comic books (with a few rare exceptions, like the first appearance of Spider-man in a black suit) is not. Reprints of famous comics (like Action #1) have almost no value at all.

  7. Things designed to be collectible:

    Danbury Mint anything, QVC items, Precious Moments, Hummels, the list goes on and on, if it was produced as a collectible, and sold as a collectible, it isn’t collectible. It is just that simple.

  8. Records:

    I have a friend that sold Ringo’s personal copy of the Beatles White album for $600,000, but most records are worth almost nothing. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked through a home where the homeowner told me that he has the whipped cream cover Herb Alpert album, and it is very valuable. No, no it is not valuable, not even a little bit. Most albums sell by the stack, if they sell at all. If you have a master recording of a famous rock album, in great shape, you might be looking at a couple of hundred dollars. If you have some rare jazz albums from New Orleans that all the other copies were destroyed by Katrina you might, might be looking at a couple bucks, other than that, nine times out of ten, you are looking at a whole lot of nothing.

  9. Encyclopedias:

    No matter what you payed for them the Internet made them worthless.

  10. Dolls:

    Most dolls were designed to be collectible, and therefore aren’t. If you have a rare old doll from Europe, it may have some value, but the odds are that your dolls will sell by the stack. With Internet bidding you might get $500 for a doll someone paid $1,500 for, and that would be a fantastic result. If you sold that same doll at a local auction without Internet bidding, you might get $75 on a very good day.

I conducted a survey of 3,639 auction professionals about what they have sold that people think is valuable, but isn’t. If you would like a copy of the list they came up with contact me at:


Rob Weiman is a record setting auctioneer with over 600 World Record Prices for highest price achieved selling personal property. Learn more at http://www.moundcityauctions.com or http://www.coast2coastauctions.com.

Auctioneers Helping Auctioneers (AHA)

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Helping each other
is something that we teach
in the National Auctioneers
Association (NAA),


particularly in the Certified Auctioneers Institute (the NAA’s premier designation, and the highest educational designation offered for auctioneers by any organization in the world).  Two of our staff members hold their CAI designations (Robert S. Weiman “Rob Classic” and Robert M. Weiman “Rob Lite”), a third is going into her 3rd year of the 3 year program (Tina Weiman). During CAI anytime someone says “auctioneers helping auctioneers” the group (class, or whatever) all yell back as loud as they can “AHA!!!”

Auctioneers Helping Auctioneers

While I was in Mississippi I recorded an 11 part series to train other auctioneers how to lot with their cell phones without an Internet or even a phone signal.

As  I write this, it is the end of Auctioneers week, yesterday was auctioneer day 4-16, and next week 2 of the auctioneers from Mound City Auctions are going to go help another NAA auctioneer in Mississippi (William Head) conduct an huge personal property and real estate auction. I am currently working on a social media campaign for his auction using techniques I learned earning my Auction Marketing Manager (AMM) designation that is taught by the NAA). We previously went to Mississippi to help lot the auction and taught the staff there how to lot an auction using the latest technology (mobile lotting using our cell phones and a server back in St. Louis), so we are AHAing the heck out of this one.

After this auction we are headed to Destin, Florida to help yet another auctioneer conduct the 4th largest benefit wine auction in the USA. This auction is being conducted by Ursula Hermacinski (formally with Christie’s New York, and the woman who established Christie’s wine department).

So, we are on the road again doing a little AHA work…

The auction in Mississippi went great, we had a good crowd, sold the cars, the motorcycle, the motor home, all the personal property and the home. It was a first rate auction. William Head and his crew were fantastic. After the auction William invited Tina and I to spend a few days on the beach in Biloxi, Mississippi with him, his wife and another couple. I was a very good time.

From Biloxi we went on to Destin and helped with the wine auction. It raised over 2.6 million dollars. We spent a few extra days enjoying the beach before and after the auction, then drove home. All in all it was a great trip. The whole time we were gone we had online only auctions running on our website, so we were able to both be at an inperson auction and help all the while conducting several online auctions.

Auctioneer and the ring persons form the Destin Wine Auction

Here is the crew from the Destin Wine Auction.

A webform by Podio – click here to get yours

California Bound Thanks to the NAA

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

california auctionTina and I are headed to California to help conduct the largest abandoned personal property auction in the history of the USA, and it happened in largely due to the National Auctioneers Association.

By getting involved in the NAA, attending Conference and Show, taking classes, teaching classes, serving on re-write committees, and speaking all over the US, we have met auctioneers from all over the world. I got an email today from two auctioneers in Saudi Arabia asking if they could use me for a reference to attend the Certified Auctioneers Institute. We love getting to know auctioneers from all over, and it is great to be asked to help out. It also gave us a great reason to take a train back from California across the country. We get to go work with great auctioneers from all over the US, and check something off of our bucket list. You can’t beat that.

We can’t wait to go work with this super talented group of auctioneers. I’ll post updates here, stay tuned.

Compressed Friends

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Auction Association Badges

My family is getting ready to head to Texas to the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) Conference and show and to say I am stoked is a gross understatement. I’m getting ready to go partake of one of my favorite weeks of the year, and I’m going to see my compressed friends.

St. Louis Auctioneers Rob and Tina Weiman of Mound City Auctions visit the NAA

St. Louis Auctioneers Rob and Tina Weiman of Mound City Auctions visit the NAA

This is my second year and the Chairman of the NAA conference and show education committee. We have worked hard (and the staff has worked even harder) to bring a top shelf educational event. This event draws auctioneers from around the globe, last year they came from as far away as China to attend.


Many of the auctioneers I see at this event I also see at other classes and events sponsored by the NAA. I saw them at the 3 Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate classes I attended to earn my AARE.  We spent all day in class, ate meals together then hung out at night. I met many of them again at the Certified Estate Specialist (CES) class I attended or at the Graduate Personal Property Appraiser (GPPA) class or the Expert Witnesses class, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) class, the Auction Technology (ATS) or perhaps at the Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI).


I have spent lots of time with these folks, compressed time. We spend the whole day together then we stay out way to late at night (you will never meet a funner group of people, Shriners wish they could have as much fun as a group of auctioneers). We go race go carts, we sing Karaoke, we dance, we tell great stories. In fact in a normal group if I tell the story where we found a grenade or a cannonball in someones home and it was live, I win. No contest, game over. In a group of auctioneers if I only found one grenade, I get to listen to the other compressed friend (yes, Kurt Aumann I am talking about you) tell how he found two live grenades and when they did with them next (he will have to tell you himself). Some of my compressed auctioneer friends used to be cops. If you think a cop has a lot of stories, sit down with an auctioneer who used to be a cop (Rich Schur, Burdette Wilbur) grab your beer and hang on, you are going for a ride.

I sat down and did the math once. I calculated that I saw my very best friends once or twice a month for 2 to 5 hours, but when I added up the time I spent with auctioneers from Hawaii, and Wyoming, and Colorado, I noticed that I actually spent more time with some of them, compressed time, compress friends. I met them at classes, or conferences (both NAA and later State conferences where I was now teaching classes as an NAA speaker) or at the NAA Designation Academy ( where Tina was asked to help re-write the CES class ) or meetings of the NAA Educational Institute Trustees, or the NAA Strategic Planning Meeting, the Conference and Show Eduction Committee, the Auction Marketing Management (AMM) Committee or the Missouri Professional Auctioneers (MPAA) where I am currently serving as the President.

So, it’s off to Addison. Compressed friends, here we come!

Auction Association Badges


Diplomatic Communication, a Lesson From History

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Zimmermann Telegraph

For those of you asking “what is the big deal about the Secretary of State using private email?” Please humor me on this one for a few moments and allow me to make a few points.

Mound City Auctions  Rob WeimanI have not always been an auctioneer. I spent a good part of my younger years working in an area known as communication security (or COMSEC to you military types). A big part of work in the field of COMSEC is to prevent Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) data from being collected. If you have never heard of either COMSEC or SIGINT it would be because most of this type work is done under a Top Secret clearance. I myself held a TS CRYTO COSMIC clearance
(a Top Secret Clearance with access to TS material from all NATO countries at a very wide code word level.

Why do I bring this up? SIGINT agents and officers spend millions of dollars and risk countless lives to gain access to government communications at the level of the Secretary of State. Want proof?

Let’s start with the Zimmermann Telegram.
Here is a quote from the US National Archives I link to below:
“Between 1914 and the spring of 1917, the European nations engaged in a conflict that became known as World War I. While armies moved across the face of Europe, the United States remained neutral. In 1916 Woodrow Wilson was elected President for a second term, largely because of the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Events in early 1917 would change that hope. In frustration over the effective British naval blockade, in February Germany broke its pledge to limit submarine warfare. In response to the breaking of the Sussex pledge, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Germany.

In January of 1917, British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Minister to Mexico, von Eckhardt, offering United States territory to Mexico in return for joining the German cause. This message helped draw the United States into the war and thus changed the course of history.”

Please note that this communication happened between two Foreign Ministers, people who would be at the exact level of Hillary Clinton.

KW-7_ORESTES_Teletype_Security_Device,_1960s_to_1980s_-_National_Cryptologic_Museum_-_DSC08017Perhaps you have heard of the Walker Spy ring? This was a ring that committed what the US Naval Archives calls ” the biggest espionage leak in U.S. Navy history”. I was involved personally in this matter as the soldier who was called upon by the US Army to fix the problem and allow us to communicate TS FLASH message traffic after the problem was uncovered. Why does this matter? Walker and his spy ring allowed our enemies to read our TS messages, messages that were sent using the KW-7 (Orestes) a machine I was very familiar with as a US Army E5 CRYPTO tech.

How does this relate to Hillary? The KW7 was used not only to encrypt Military TOP SECRET communications but was also used by the State Department to communicate between Washington and our Embassies.
We use CRYPTO gear for this type of communication for reason.

I have been out of this game since 1986, but we used 128 bit encryption for this type of communication back then. People died because of Walkers breach, and Walker went to Federal prison for life. He died in prison on August 28, 2014. I had to sign a non-disclosure form regarding this matter in 1986 that covered 20 years. I have known what happened in great detail for a very long time.

I could go on and on and on about this subject, we could talk about the Enigma machine, the biggest secret of WWII still classified until the 1970’s
and how breaking it and other codes produced intelligence classified at the MAGIC/ULTRA level. Intel that won the war. MAGIC intel included diplomatic communication decrypts made possible by breaking the Japaneese Purple code. Once again, showing diplomatic communication was THE HIGHEST level of security.

Yes, Hillary has assured us that she did not pass classified information by email, that remains to be seen. Here is what I do know, this is serious, this is very serious, if you don’t think so you are ignoring history. We were at war in two different places while or Secretary of State was using un-encrypted email. As a former US Army CRYTO  tech. SGT E5 this alarms me, it should alarm you too.



Auction Technology Specialist Re-write

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Rob Weiman, BS, CAI, GPPA, AARE, CES, ATS, BAS has been asked by the National Auctioneers Association to be the chairman of the NAA Auction Technology Specialist Re-write committee.

Rob holds a BS in Computer Science from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. and has worked as a Software Engineer for Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, Paylinx and Cybersource and is well versed in technology.

Currently the NAA defines an Auction Technology Specialist as:
“A professional designation awarded by the NAA and its Education Institute to help professional auctioneers understand today’s technology and how to use it to improve their business. ATS auctioneers gain experience in conducting live and online static auctions.”

With technology playing a greater and greater role in the auction industry it is a high honor to be selected out of all the auctioneers in the United States by the NAA to lead the committee that is re-writing this important class.

Rob is an Educational Institute Trustee for the NAA and is a speaker for the group and teaches classes on SEO, Auction Marketing, Social Media Marketin and Google Research.

Rob is an auctioneer and appraiser for Mound City Auctions a St. Louis, MO. auction and appraisal company which has set over 600 World record prices selling items at auction.



Certified Estate Specialist Re-Write

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Tina Weiman, CES (one of the owners of Mound City Auctions, a St. Louis, MO. auction and appraisal company) recently returned from Las Vegas where she was asked to help re-write the Certified Estate Specialist (CES) course for the National Auctioneers Association.

The CES course is designed to help auctioneers become experts in dealing with the estates. The CES course covers all aspects of settling estates, from handling personal property (inventorying, appraising, selling, donating, deposing) to real estate issues (appraising, selling) that those handling estates face. The CES program also focuses on how auctioneers can market their estate services to other industry professionals. It is an honor to be selected from the many fine auctioneers in the United States to represent the NAA in re-writing a class


Mound City Auctions has set over 600 world record prices selling items at auction, in is located in St. Louis, MO.

Time Machine Ferguson

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
Time Machine Ferguson

I have spent a lot of time in Ferguson, but I live in Hazelwood. Hazelwood and Ferguson are part of what locals call NoCo or North County. North County is where lots of people moved from to get away from people who did not look like them, it is a diverse area in St. Louis.

I like it here, at least I used to.

I don’t like it as much as I used to because part of the area is not safe to go to now, and I am not happy about that. I don’t want to re-hash the Mike Brown shooting, or even the looting. I’ve had enough of looters and shooters to last a lifetime. I’m going to leave that to others, I just want to show you a side of Ferguson the media has missed. I am an auctioneer and I have many auctioneer friends from all over the world, many of them have encouraged me to move. They only know the Ferguson they see on TV, they don’t understand my Ferguson or my North St. Louis County. The Ferguson they see is a war zone, a hell hole full of fury.

I’d like to tell you about Ferguson. My Ferguson may not be what your Ferguson is like. If you search Google for the word Ferguson what you see now are pictures of riots, and burning things, and people with their hands up, and teargas, lots of teargas. It wasn’t always the case.

There  was a time when if you searched for Ferguson, this was what you saw.

Ferguson Corner Coffee House

Ferguson Corner Coffee House

This is the Corner Coffee House, I have spent many a hour here. They have great coffee, yummy banana bread and some of the best BLT’s I have every had the pleasure of eating. This used to be a repair shop. It is a good looking place, and has a meeting room that they let community members use. They have a board on the wall where they display photos of people wearing Corner Coffee House T-Shirts in pictures they have taken of themselves all over the world. One day I was looking at the board when I say a picture of a soldier in Afghanistan with a machine gun in his hands and a Corner Coffee House T-Shirt on his back. I looked closer and noticed that this was picture of someone I knew, years ago I was his Sunday School Teacher.

Ferguson, MO. Cork Wine Bar

Cork Wine Bar

If you go down South Florissant road from the Corner Coffee House you will run into the Cork Wine Bar.
It is right on the road, easy to get to and it used to show up in a Google Search of Ferguson.

You can get a great glass of wine and some food there.






Ferguson Brewhouse

Ferguson Brewhouse


Perhaps my favorite place in Ferguson is the Ferguson Brewhouse. I had a heart attack about a year ago and now I really appreciate a good dish of Salmon. The Ferguson Brewhouse has the best Salmon in St. Louis, hands down, nothing is even close. I eat more Salmon than a Grizzly Bear now, I know. The Ferguson Brewhouse also has great micro-brews, you will have to trust me on that one too. It is a beautiful place with great food and drinks. I used to go there all the time.








I have spent time at these place with my neighbors, neighbors who looked like me, and neighbors who are darker than me, I never felt threatened. I have been back since the shooting of Mike Brown, and eaten inside the Brewhouse and outside on their patio. Ferguson has had it’s share of trouble lately but it has had trouble before.

For some reason Ferguson seems to be a tornado magnet. Over the years several tornadoes have hit Ferguson. In April of 2011 the worst tornado to hit the St. Louis, MO. area in 43 years hit Ferguson. When any of this tornadoes strike the area the people of Ferguson work together to clear the streets and fix the damage. The police control access to the area, the fireman and police help search for injured people, and the utility crews clear downed limbs and restore the power.

Ferguson Tornado Paths

Ferguson is under the crossed paths.




Ferguson TornadoFerguson, MO tornado

Our first home was in Burke City a tiny little city right in between  Ferguson and the city I live in now, Hazelwood, MO.  For years we used to take our kids to Ferguson to go Trick or Treating. We spent many a night walking the streets of Ferguson. During the Summer our kids would walk to Paul’s Market to buy some candy or other treats.

Some of my best memories of when my son was small are of Scouting For Food. Scouting For Food started as an Eagle Scout Project in St. Louis. It is the largest one day food drive in America. Our troop was located in North County Christian School (which at the time was located in Ferguson). For several years we collected food door to door for local food pantries in Ferguson and St. Louis. We picked up the food and then helped sort the food and pack it on to a truck at the Ferguson fire station. Back then the fire station was located in the same building as city hall. Over the years we filled up many a semi-tractor trailer at that fire station.

This video shows a time lapse of Scouting For Food at the St. Louis Food Bank, this is where the tractor trailers we filled up in Ferguson went after we filled them up.

The Ferguson I know, the North County I know, is a place full of people who care for each other. It is a place where people of all shades of skin color walk for mile after mile collecting food for complete strangers. A place where they go back to the firehouse and  sort that food. A place where, when a malevolent storm strikes the neighbors roll up their sleeves and help each other put their lives back together. They care about each other and don’t think twice about helping each other.

If you are watching TV from somewhere else and think you know Ferguson, get ready to be surprised. Missouri is the Show Me state, give us a bit of time and we will show you what Ferguson and St. Louis are like. This is a good place to live, it is a good place to be from. Watch and see.








90 Cities, Ferguson, and Tickets, Lots of Tickets

Friday, November 28th, 2014
Tiny Town Near Ferguson

90 cities,

there are 90 cities in St. Louis,

and one of them is #Ferguson.

Every one in North St. Louis county knows you don’t drive one mile an hour over the speed limit in Calverton Park. What? You have never heard of Calverton Park? How can that be!

Tiny Town Near Ferguson

Calverton Park



Here is a map for you. Look close, see that tiny dashed line? It goes around the tiny town of Calverton Park. I used to live next to Calverton Park in an even littler town called Burke City (which doesn’t even show up on Google Maps by the way). What does Calverton Park have to do with the problems in Ferugson? A lot, a whole lot. Let us dig deeper. If you live in Ferguson and you want to go somewhere, there is a real good chance you will have to drive through Calverton Park, and that is a problem. Calverton Park is a city with 600 residents and 14 cops, and a nice long hill. If you are driving from Ferguson to most of the rest of North County you will go to highway 270 and the road you will most likely use is North Florissant rd.

If you watched the riots in Ferguson you will be familiar with South Florissant rd. It is where the police station is and where much of the riot activity was in Nov. of 2014. North Florissant rd is what South Florissant rd turns into, ( I have to apologize to those of you who don’t live here and get confused by all the roads having almost the same name, and don’t even get me started about how West Florissant rd. is East of North/South Florissant road, but I digress). If you live in Ferguson you will drive down this road almost every week if not every day. When you hit Calverton Park you are going down a two mile hill, when the speed limit drops and you go straight into a speed trap. Everybody knows it is there, heck we have almost all gotten a ticket there. That is why Calverton Park needs so many police, they are famous nation wide for speeding, and other tickets. Don’t believe me ask NBC News, or Fox News. I could go on but what’s the point.

If you don’t live here you have got to be scratching your head over Ferguson. How did things get so screwed up there? For the record I don’t live in Burke City any more, or Florissant, or Black Jack, or Pasadena Hills, I live in Hazelwood. However, I have lived in all of these cities at one point in time over the last 55 years or so, but moved no further than 5 miles from any one of these places, and got a new city every time I moved. These tiny cities are a big part of the problem.

Like Ferguson these little tiny cites are all over the place here. When I meet someone from somewhere else I say I’m from St. Louis, not Burke City or Florissant or Hazelwood. Nobody has ever heard of them, even local people don’t know all the cities. Come on lets get real, did you know there was a Burke City? Even people who lived here all their lives have no idea.

What does this have to do with Ferguson I can almost here you saying. Live in Ferguson or almost anywhere in North County and you will spend a lot of time going through tons of these tiny towns that make their money by issuing tickets. Here is another famous one Charlack, MO.

Charlck MO.

Take a close look, see that tiny sliver of Charlack that runs down Lackland road? Notice how it goes across Hwy 170? That tiny spot is just the size of a police car, and they park one on the highway there often. Other times they sit on the overpass with a radar gun to get you when you drive through the 2o feet of Charlack. Where the line hits 170 again is another great spot to get a ticket. Guess where Charlack is? Right under Ferguson. That’s right, they get you coming and going when you live in Ferguson. To the East you have Dellwood, and Moline Acres. My wife got a ticket in Moline Acres once for parking in a no parking zone (designated by a green sign behind a bush). The judge threw the ticket out when he noted that the ticket was issued to our company, and companies don’t drive cars.






Berkeley, MO

To the West of Ferguson lies Berkeley, MO. and it has a famous speed trap too. When you go down James S. McDonnell Blvd and you are right by the airport they will give you a ticket if you blink. Over the past 40 years both my wife and I have gotten a ticket there in the same spot. In my wife’s case they listed her as a male, and trust me she is all woman. When we went to go pay the ticket they wouldn’t take cash (which the last time I checked says on it “Legal Tender for All Depts, Public and Private”).

When you hear the statistics about how often a black person in Ferguson is arrested when they are pulled,  perhaps this will help. They are surrounded by speed traps and tiny towns that make owe their existence to citations issued by disproportionately large police departments. The middle class and lower class residents of Ferguson (who mostly happen to be black) wind up not being able to afford the ticket, don’t go to court and wind up getting pulled over again at another speed trap and this time the have a warrant out for their arrest.

The Washington Post recently reported that some of these small cities rake in as much as 40% of their revenue from court costs and associated  fines and fees.
If we can change the law in Missouri to make this illegal we will solve several problems. Our local government will have to find other ways to pay the bills, there will be far less tickets, and some of our cities will have to give up police duties to the county of St. Louis. This will result in less warrants, less arrests of black members of North County  who will in turn start the healing process of not thinking that every cop is out to get them.

I live in North County, these are my neighbors, they are not bad people. If you watch TV you might think they are, but please don’t confuse most of the hard working folks who live in my neck of the woods with those who burn down buildings and loot. My neighbors are just frustrated by our justice system (as am I) here is a good place to start making a difference.

Conveniently such a bill was recently considered in Missouri. Back in 1995 a State legislator in Missouri got a ticket in another tiny Missouri town called Mack‘s Creek, a town it turned out that was funded over 85% by tickets. This legislator introduced a bill that wound up changing State law regarding how much revenue a town could receive from tickets. A revision to this law (called the Mack’s Creek law) was considered in 2013. I am not a reporter, I am an auctioneer, I don’t know what happened with this law but I hope it can be brought up again if it didn’t pass. I will let you know what I find out. Stay tuned…..


The 4 Things You Need In Asset Liquidation Auctions

Friday, October 31st, 2014
Asset Liquidation Auctions
Asset Liquidation Auctions

Asset Liquidation Auctions require special knowledge.

By Rob Weiman


Asset managers are regularly faced with the liquidation of hard to sell assets, and  can find themselves in a quandary.

They often find themselves looking a some odd  thing, scratching their head wondering, “what the heck is it?” Their next thought is, “If I don’t know even know what it is or what it does, how in the world am I going to sell it, for that matter how am I going to find someone who whats to buy this thing?”

When liquidating assets, think asset liquidation auctions.

Whether you have a business that needs to voluntarily wind up its affairs and dissolve, or a business that is under court order to do so the result is often the same. You get called into liquidate the company, and there you are. You know they borrowed money from your institution, but that does not mean you know anything about that business or the odd things they used to make money. You don’t have time to stand there and learn a new business, you have other accounts in your portfolio to tend to, so what do you do? You call a specialist who knows about business liquidations, appraising, and assets of all types, you call an auctioneer.

Auctioneers are skilled at many things, some are great at benefit auctions, some are out of this world at selling cattle and other livestock, some are great at estates, but when you are winding-up a company they might not be your best choice.

In a liquidation or dissolution auction you need to look for these 4 things

  1. Do they have experience in your vertical (that is in the vertical of the business you are winding up) and if not, do they have the connections to partner with someone who does. If you need to dissolve a factory with DNC equipment it might help if your auctioneer knows the difference between an Allen Bradley SLC500 and a PLC-5, a MMI and CNC. You can know all there is to know about marketing cattle and be completely in the dark in this case.
  2. Do they offer appraisal services, and if so are their appraisals USPAP compliant? The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is a must have. If your appraiser is ever questioned in court, and their appraisal isn’t compliant with USPAP the judge will likely throw it out.
  3. Do they offer online bidding? It may a online only option or a blend of online and in-person, but you should be talking with an auction that at least offers you an online option. Not all liquidation auctions lend themselves to online but many times it is the best option and sometimes it is the only what to go. If the auctioneer you are looking at does not offer online auctions in one form or the other, move on.
  4. How safe is your auctioneer? While safety is always an issue in auctions, it is crucial to hire an auction company that understands industrial safety. It won’t help your bank if the auctioneer gets you 10% but has someone get hurt because they are unsafe. Do they have proper safety gear for employees? Do they understand things like confined space and the training it takes for employees? Do they have access to and understand the importance of trained riggers? Nothing will spoil a good auction like someone getting hurt.

Follow these 4 tips and you are on your way to a successful dissolution.

Rob Weiman, CAI, GPPA, AARE, ATS, CES is a Graduate of the National Auctioneers Association’s (NAA) Certified Auctioneer Institute, A Graduate Personal Property Appraiser, and Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate and a Certified Estate Specialist. He is a member of the NAA’s Educational Trustee Institute, and the President Elect of the Missouri Professional Auctioneers Association. He has a BS in Computer Science and has previously held a license as a Master Electrician. He has worked for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Paylinx and Cybersource as well as the US Army and has held security clearances up to TOP SECRET CRYPTO COSMIC, SBI-SI-TK.