Two vintage card specialists are hoping they can build a successful auction business by keeping costs in check.
Long-time vintage card collectors and dealers Leon Luckey and Scott Brockelman have joined forces to create a new auction company.
Brockelman & Lucky Auctions will specialize in pre-War baseball cards and memorabilia but will accept some consignment material from the 1950s to 1970 as well. Both have extensive knowledge of vintage baseball cards, having contributed to price guides and hobby publications. With the help of two moderators, Luckey also runs the Network 54 Vintage Baseball Card Forum.
The Texas-based duo is hoping to find a niche in the crowded auction marketplace by keeping seller and bidder costs as low as possible. B&L Auctions will charge a 12% Buyer’s Premium with no seller’s commission on any lot which sells for over $500. A 5% commission will be charged on lots under $500. They also promise a bidder potection system and say they will not participate in the auctions as bidders.
Brockelman-Luckey will host its auction online with a downloadable catalog available to registered bidders (b-lauctions.com). No printed catalogs will be produced as of now. The company’s first auction opens May 19 and closes June 12.
They took time for a short Q&A about the new venture.
Sports Collectors Daily: Obviously there are a lot of auction portals out there already. Why the need for another?
LL: We have noticed that collectors are increasingly becoming frustrated with higher buyer’s premiums in online and live auctions, higher eBay/Paypal fees and a general distrust in the sports collectible auction area. We have incorporated the many different things we have observed while in the hobby and tweaked them here and there into an auction where every aspect has been taken into consideration.
These endeavors should realize the maximum return on someone’s investment or heirloom when they consign with Brockelman & Luckey Auctions. The features we have in place will also give bidders the confidence to bid more knowing that ALL other bids will be real bids from real bidders. Besides that we have been friends for many years and want to give this a try!!
Sports Collectors Daily: How long has this been in the works?
LL: We have talked about doing something like this at the many Nationals we have attended and set up at, and a few other times, but really only got serious lately. It’s merely been a short bit of time. We have brought it to fruition in less than 60 days, but again we know many folks in the hobby and were already somewhat knowledgeable ourselves at what we needed to get it done.
Sports Collectors Daily: There seems to be a trend toward collectors launching auction portals (Game Used Universe, etc). Why do you think that’s happening?
LL: Collectors are able to approach auctions from the other side of the table, as a bidder, and have a very good feel for how they would like to see the system work. We both felt we have strengths in adding to a company such as this, we both love actively participating in the hobby and that is how this started. It helps that we are both local to the Dallas area too as we have had impromptu meetings, face to face, when need be. Some people that have participated in auctions for many years are giving them a try. That’s not much different than many other industries. It will be interesting to see how things shake out in the hobby over the next 10 years.
Sports Collectors Daily: How will you get the word out about the new venture?
LL: We will use various media forms, primarily through internet sites that cater to the sports collectible hobbyists and their related interests. We have several advertising propositions on the table right now but as a young company some things take a little bit of time and this is one of them. We firmly believe we will get most of the active vintage card collectors to register in our auctions. We know we will have something for almost everyone. That in itself will help the word spread rather quickly.
Sports Collectors Daily: What are your plans for the first auction and what can we expect to see?
SB: You can expect to see many 19th Century baseball cards including one of the few known Just So cigarette cards existence, many tobacco cards, caramel cards, and different type cards. While initially we thought the first auction might be somewhat small at 100 or so lots, it now appears with the tremendous response we have received in only the first week alone that there will be 200 lots +/-. Included will be many lots in the $100 to $1,000 range as well as a few five figure items. We will be posting a few auction highlites on our website at http://www.b-lauctions.com in the coming weeks.
Sports Collectors Daily: What are your plans for future growth?
SB: We plan to have three to four auctions per year. Once collectors see our prices realized, the lower cost of doing business with us and our dedication to customer service we feel our venue will grow naturally. Ultimately the auctions will probably grow to 500-1000 lots with items for every collector’s budget.
Sports Collectors Daily: I suspect starting a business like this is more work than most think.
SB: The idea for our own auction is a very recent development. However with the large number of hobby connections we have we were able to implement the plan with rapid results, from getting involved with an experienced internet auction software company to getting immediate response in the form of consignments. In between there was a bit of paperwork and business plans to be gone through but everything has gone quite smoothly. As in most business start ups, it was of great importance to surround ourselves with quality people in all of the normal areas i.e. accounting, banking, advertising, etc. We are very optimistic for the future of Brockelman and Luckey Auctions and are proud to be able to be more of a part of the hobby we both love.