March 25, 2020
Steffes Group’s online bidding platform gets great results without exposure risk.
When the most visible part of your business involves large gatherings, a pandemic that results in restrictions on crowd sizes calls for fast action. Fortunately, Steffes Group was ready, since we’ve used online-only auctions to sell machinery, land and other assets for several years.
“We’re very fortunate to have established our base of sellers and buyers who understand and have confidence in our online platform, which we’ve been using for 11 years. It allows us to sell land, machinery and other assets without putting our sellers, bidders or employees at the risk of exposure to Covid-19,” said Scott Steffes, president of the company.
As a result, we have converted all upcoming auctions to an online format, with the consent of our sellers. This will continue until the COVID-19 pandemic abates and restrictions are lifted.
“Our sellers have been just unbelievable in understanding and accepting the reality. It helps that they've seen our success over the years,” said Max Steffes. “I can’t overstate that, because we’ve had some live retirement auctions scheduled for sellers who had always envisioned selling their assets in a live auction, but they’ve been very pleased with the results we’ve achieved,” said Max.
Representative Tim Meyer said recent online auctions have been some of the best ever.
“We have a superb platform and a great deal of experience with online auctions, and it’s reached a point where the choice between live and online has largely been a customer preference. It will be again at some point, but for now, we can be confident that we’re able to attract bidders and get a fair market price for assets we offer,” he said.
"Just last week, a first-time bidder called to say how impressed he was with our online AgIron Event in Mt. Pleasant, IA. Although skeptical, he proved himself wrong in regard to the ease of bidding, paying, and picking up his items from the auction. Instead of dropping off a check at the office he was pleasantly surprised to pay for his items over the phone and receive a paid receipt in his email immediately after he hung up the phone, which was then used at the auction site where they guided him to his equipment and loaded it up in his pickup. An impressive and easy process from start to finish, which was accomplished through exercising social distancing! A true highlight to his week!," said Meyer
Scott said the key is to keep doing what’s working, even as we innovate.
“We try to focus on the present without looking behind or ahead of us too much. The demand for food isn’t likely to diminish, so our farmers will continue to need land and machinery to meet the demand. As a result, the marketplace looks good, regardless of the sales format. I remain confident that we’ll be able to resume live auctions at some point, but whether it does or not, we’ll adapt, as we have for 60 years,” said Scott.