The recent visit to Phoenix by the Chinese Association of Auctioneers presages business opportunity for local businesses. Selling through auction “allows manufacturers to introduce their product to a market without the huge expense of marketing,” says Deb Weidenhamer, whose iPai is the first wholly foreign-owned auction house in China and whose Auctioneers & Appraisers Academy the Chinese contingent came to attend. This method also offers an entry to the Chinese market without having to deal with the complexities of foreign licensing and regulations.
“As the economy needs to grow and service businesses are necessary for the growth of our economy, we expect to see more auction companies expand the auctions they conduct,” says Yanhua Zhang, president of China Association of Auctioneers. Public auction is a new industry in China, where auction itself is only about 20 years old. “In the past, Chinese auction companies relied on the China’s government to obtain product. Now, the market-oriented economic reform in China is changing the country’s auction industry and, as a result, Chinese auction companies need to find some new business models,” Zhang says. How to add the exciting “chant” and speed used in American auctions are among the tips the Chinese auctioneers are interested in learning.
Weidenhamer, who added the auctioneering academy in 2011 to her Auction Systems company, notes that preparing for an auction helps a company shore up its product’s key points as it trims its message to a concise 20-30 seconds. Auction also enables a company to actually determine fair market value and get market feedback faster than a market research company could provide it, while actually selling product.