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Joe Ellis/The Clarion·Ledger
Ruthie Taylor .with Taylor Auction and Realty prepares items at .the former the store's contents. The auction, set for today, includes tobacco products
Habana Smoke Shoppe in Jackson on Friday morning for a complete auction of and accessories, a fl,at-screen television, furniture and American'lndian art.
Recession lifts·auction business
Benny Taylor notes the'
irony in how boons in his
industry often happen
because of others' misfor­
An auctioneer, Taylor's
sales of ite!1)s from business
bankruptcies and horne fore­
closures are a realization of
the recession.
Taylor said his company
recorded a record $25 million
in auction sales last year,
driven by a combination of
the economy's effects and the
auctioning of several million­
dollars in tracts ofland.
Last year, his company
held 60 live auctions, well
above the usual 35 or so, and
he said he's on pace to match
2009's total this year.
But Taylor, who operates
Taylor Auction and Realty of
Grenada with his wife,
Rtithie, said companies like
his playa role in helping peo­
ple move forward.
"I've been able to help peo­
ple make a much smoother
transition to the life they
need to live," Taylor said.
The couple spent last
week preparing for today's
auction of items from the for­
mer Habana Smoke Shoppe
on the I-55 frontage ·road in
The company will auction
off the Central Delta Acade­
my building in Inverness
next month.
The cigar shop's auction
includes tobacco products
and accessories, but also a
flat-screen television, furni­
ture and American Indian
Auctions remain a billion­
dollar business in America.
The National Auctioneers
Association reports live-auc­
tions sales in 2008, the latest
figures available, were
$268.4 billion. That is off less
than 1 percent of 2007 fig­
ures, at the beginning of the
In 2008, the fastest 'grow­
ing sectors for live auctions
were agriculture equipment
(1.9 percent) and residential
Joe Ellis/ The Clarion-ledger
A sign outside the former Habana Smoke Shoppe in Jackson
advertises today's auction of the store's contents.
real estate (1.1 percent). has often affected the value of
Butthe economy did affect what's being auctioned, too,
the sale of luxury goods, such said Justin Edens.
as artwork and collectibles He operates Edens Auc­
(down 9.3 percent) and auto- tionsInc. in Brandon with his
mobiles (down 5.4 percent). father, Frank, and brother
The economic downturn Beau.
Five s.ectors of the
live-auction industry
that saw the largest
sales growth in the U. S.
from 2003-08 :
1. Residential real
estate, 47.7 percent
2. Land/ agricultural
real estate, 36.8 per­
3. Commercial!
industrial real estate,
31 .3 percent
4. Charity, 21.8 per­
5. Commerciall
industrial machinery
and equipment: 19.7
percent ·
Source: National Auctioneers
Rare t)l1>es of Chinese vas­
es and figurines that were
worth up to $60,000 per item
a decade ago now fetch closer
to $10,000, he said.
The popularity of televi­
Auctions: Construction, farm equipment give good return
sion programs like Antiques
Roadshow have drawn more
people and collectibles into
the market, which also helps
lower values on items, Justin
Edens said.
Edens Auctions also has
seen an increase in personal­
property and business-liqui­
dation auctions.
"Some people are just in
need of cash," Justin Edens
But while some types of
items are losing value, others
garner good money, particu­
larly construction and farm­
ing equipment in good condi­
tion, said James May, who
heads the Mississippi Auc­
tioneers Association.
The push for more "green"
homes and businesses seems
to be drawing more people to
auctions, too, Tayior said.
"They're buying furlliture
out of the (up-for-auction)
house and bringing it back to
their homes."
Determining whether
someone is best served by
selling their home, personal
effects or real estate through
auction or other means
depends on whether the per­
son is more in need of money
or time, said Bill Moak, presi­
dent of the Better
Auct ioneers in Mis­
sissippi must be
licensed to do business.
To qualify for a license,
the person must be at
least 18 years old, have
a high school or gener­
al-equivalence diploma,
attend auctioneering
classes and have at
least two years in the
auctioneering business.
Exceptions are' made
for bankruptcy sales ,
government auctions,
nonprofit or charity auc­
tions, foreclosure
sales, individual proper­
ty sales, sealed-bid
sales, stockyard sales
and sales of livestock
by nonprofits.
Source: Mi ssissippi Auction­
eers Commission
Auctioning a home can
take as little as 45 to 60 days,
whereas that home may sit 12
to 18 months if it's sold
through a real estate agent,
he said.
But auctioning a home
gives the seller less control
over the sales price and buyer.
"You are trusting a large
part of your financial future to
(the auctioneer)." Moak
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,,0/ BUYER'S '
Joe Ellis /The Clarion-ledger
A sign inside the f ormer Habana Smoke about a pricing policy for today'sauction of the
Shoppe on I-55 in Jackson informs customers store's contents.
said. For businesses looking to ing auctions to prepare as
Frank Edens said auctions sell assets, he said auctions they would for any other
are usually the best way to sell don't always bring in more shopping trip-set a budget
higher-end homes, since who- money than selling them off and stick to it.
ever will show up to bid on a individually over a period of He said, if someone bids
multimillion-dollar home time. $500 on an item, each
likely has researched the ButMaycontendsit'soften 'attendee should ask himself,
property and is not making an better to auction off business "How badly would I be will-
impulse purchase, items piece by piece instead ing to pay $550 or $600?"
He noted a lodge in Col- of depending on one or two •
orado that sold for $7 million buyers to purchase large To comment on this story,
at auction that initially had chunksofinventory. call Jeff Ayres at (601) 961·
been valued at $3.2 million. Moak urges those attend- 7050.