Nothing sells like convenience and well thought out packages. Let us for just a moment crawl into the mind of the wealthy, the mid wealthy, and my class of people – the dust poor. We are not dirt poor – dirt is valuable. We are dust poor – the stuff that comes out of a vacuum that mushroom clouds all over the house and you can’t get rid of it. Since the dust poor don’t typically buy we will study the wealthy. I just wanted to give a shout out to my dust peeps because you’ll never be mentioned again.

Back to the wealthy – They come to your auction. What do they need? Nothing. Remember this. They’ve got the house, the cars and the kids are Abercrombie with a Gap twist. They have probably been on the trips. Why do they buy?  It’s because they believe!

They believe in what you’re doing, they believe in the cause, they believe in supporting and giving back because of how blessed they’ve been. I have a few friends that are rich.  The invite me over to their house to help wax their Rolls and caddy their clubs. I’m constantly over there mingling with the maids and butlers where do you think I got the tux? There’s a butler at one of my friends’ houses still asking me if I saw it.

They come because they believe in what you’re doing. They buy because they’re in a good mood. I have had rich friends and dust in the wind text me from an auction and write, “You can’t believe how much money we are losing with this auctioneer.” Just because they are there doesn’t mean they’ll buy unless you’ve created the right mood. So items, atmosphere, and the salesman have to create the right mood.

When you put a package together I’ll tell you what the wealthy look for – convenience. The easier it is to use the product or service the more likely they’ll buy it. They’ve got money, what they don’t have a lot of is time. Their presence is a gift and you should make them feel that way. There were probably ten other places begging them to attend and they chose you. What a gift!

They look for things that don’t require time but add joy. If you’re going to sell a gardening package with tulips and flowers throw in three burly guys and someone who looks like Ed Hume for four hours. Now Mr. Trump is thinking, “Hey I don’t have to do anything they come and take care of the whole thing.”

That makes it easier for me to sell. If you’re going to sell a trip to Hawaii give a travel agent and a phone number they can call where airline tickets are waiting. Sell paint and painters to come and do three rooms in their house. The less hassle the more likely they’ll buy it. Home improvement packages to fix stuff, baby sitting with the date night out, delivered flowers to any place in a specified area four times a year with just a phone call. Be creative but think it through so every detail is taken care of and they don’t have to do anything.

The wealthy like experience stuff. Dinners done in people’s homes with musicians playing are always a hit. Afternoon sail boat rides with dinner and drinks. I had one that I thought was the coolest package. You spend the day making your own glass art pieces. This guy shows you how to melt glass and blow it into figurines. So let me tell you about one of the craziest ones I’ve ever done.

I’d like to send love to Shorewood Booster Club who taught me the power of creative packaging.  I am at the auction committee meeting and we’re going through the procurement list and then we come to this one item. It says, “Pizza and poop.”

I am totally serious. This package was pizza for ten and then a full tour of the sewage treatment facility in Shoreline District because the director was a supporter of the club. During the meeting I say, “Ah guys can we go back to item 14. That is going to be a disaster. That will probably only get $100 bid and people will cringe.”

The committee looks at me and says, “We’re going to try it and you’re going to sell it.”  “Yes ma’am I replied.” They were all women.

The night of the auction comes and I’m at item 13 knowing what’s about to come.  They read the item and I start the bidding at $50 absolutely dying inside. I get the $50 dollar bid and it keeps going. When I get to $400 I stop. The floor goes quiet because all of a sudden they hear me chanting and then silent. I turn to both tables bidding and I say, “OK you guys don’t understand what you’re bidding on let me explain. This is pizza. I know you know what that is, but after you eat the pizza you then go on tour to ultimately see where the pizza ends up. I don’t want you buying this and not understanding where you’re going on tour. I told the auction committee this thing wouldn’t get $100 and YOU’RE MAKING ME LOOK BAD!”

The floor howls with laughter. I sold that item for $600! You ready for this…twice! I told the second bidder don’t be number 2 and he bought it! At the end of the night I had one more request so we sold that package three times for $600. So I have learned that when it comes to auction items I truly don’t know shit.

The point is people love experience stuff. Be creative, take them on tour somewhere. Put together a distillery tour where they can see what they’re drinking and how it’s made with free bottles for them to take home. Puget Sound Energy does a field trip to see their windmills that are green powered and how the United States is investing in alternate forms of energy, that’s a great seller!

Experiences sell. Experiences that are well packaged and thought out. Make it easy and complete and watch the wealthy go crazy over…you know.




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