The online auction has been around for a long time, yet some farmers would still rather make a phone call to take part.
“These buyers need to know online bidding is available for auctions; some don’t know you can bid online,” says Joe Gizdic, director of Ranch & Farm Auctions, a division of Whitetail Properties Real Estate. “We still have guys who want to talk to the local office.”
If you’re uncomfortable with the use of a keyboard and mouse to make bids, you could be missing out. The rise of online auctioneering was moving pretty fast, but after 2020, it took off. Gizdic says farmers can maximize their participation in those events if they get online and use the tools.
The online auction experience has gotten pretty sophisticated, no matter which auction firm is handling the business. “Most of the platforms are simple today. You can watch in real-time with ours because we are a live broadcast,” he says. “You can see and hear the auction in real time, no matter where you are, sitting in the combine or mowing hay.”
And farmers who haven’t engaged in online auction buying or selling will find it’s getting easier. “We have a mobile app that allows a user to simply swipe right to make a bid,” Gizdic says. “Or they can take part on a desktop, where there’s a bid button.”
No longer local
Those days of farmers driving to an auction to bid on items is a thing of the past. “Auctions are convenient and open to the nation,” Gizdic points out. “It is no longer just a local event.”
Farmers reticent to take part in online auctions — either as buyer or seller — are missing out on an opportunity, Gizdic says. He says demand continues to grow, including bidding for those buying farm property for hunting, fishing or other recreational use.
“For the seller, you’re going to have more competitors, since anyone from across the country can take part and not take a day off to attend an auction in person,” he says.
For land sales, having more buyers on the line is increasing prices. “We’re seeing straight investors who want investments separate from the stock market,” he adds. “They want to roll into land investments. You might see a buyer from New York for land in Indiana, or they may be doing a 1031 Exchange.”
While some may say those investors are not good for ag, Gizdic counters that those investors want to see that land remain as productive farmland with a reliable rate of return. He notes they’re not developing that land, and while they may squeeze out a local buyer for ownership, “there’s still the opportunity to rent that land and farm it,” he adds.
Tips for success
The rise of online auctions is changing the landscape of both land and equipment marketing. To maximize your efforts, Gizdic offers this advice:
Register early. Most auction companies require advance registration, so register online as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the day of the sale.
Boost your browser. Upgrade your computer browser, if necessary, to avoid connectivity problems that might prevent you from joining a sale or losing the connection while it’s in process.
You can learn more by visiting ranchandfarmauctions.com.