October 22, 2000 will go down in history as one of the largest gatherings of Arabian horse enthusiasts to have ever taken place. Where did all of these people gather? What was happening? Why did almost 150,000 Arabian horse people attend? Because Eileen Verdieck, president of International Equine Management, and creator of ArabianAuction.com, asked them to come!
Throughout her career, Eileen Verdieck has been a pioneer in the Arabian horse Industry. As an International trainer, judge, and consultant, Eileen has numerous prestigious international awards and credits as testimony to her dedication to the Arabian horse industry. Having sold millions of dollars worth of horses all around the world, Eileen has become an authority on marketing Arabian horses. Now she is using her talents and vast contacts to revolutionize how we market Arabian horses.
After selling several hundred horses in live auctions, Eileen decided to expand her base of operations to the Internet. Thus began the development of ArabianAuction.com. The timing could not have been better. The Internet and the Arabian horse industry are growing rapidly. With the success of numerous online auction houses such as E-bay, people are becoming more comfortable with making their purchases from the "...comfort of their own computer."
IF YOU MAKE IT THEY WILL COME
The first step to any auction is finding quality consignments. Over 200 purebred and half Arabian horses were consigned to the auction. There was a vast assortment of Polish, Egyptian, Russian, American, and Spanish bred horses. From show horses to pleasure horses, there was something for everybody.
The biggest concern for Consignors is the price for which their horses will sell. To abate this concern, Consignors place reserves on their horses. In future auctions the reserve range will be published to allow the buyers to determine if the horse(s) in which they are interested, are within their price range.
Throughout most of September 2000, the consigned horses were listed on the ArabianAuction.com website. Thus allowing ample time for potential buyers to make inquiries, including veterinary examinations, on horses of interest to them. All of the horses listed on the website were available by private treaty sale prior to the auction, a relief for buyers who do not want to take the chance of being out bid on the horse of their dreams.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
On October 8th, the auction opened for bidding. Many people were off to the U.S. National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky where they were able to visit Eileen and the staff of ArabianAuction.com at their booth. The staff assisted numerous non-computer users in how to get to the website, browse the listing, and bid by proxy (for those who do not have Internet access) .
Upon entering the website, users are given the option of viewing the listings by fillies, colts, mares, stallions, geldings, and Half-Arabians. Each listing includes a pedigree, photograph, description of the horse, and in some cases Real Time video of the individual horse. The listing also shows the current bid on the horse, if the reserve has been met, and the option to review the bidding history.
Once the user finds the horse they desire to purchase, the user is lead, step by step, through the registration process with VirtualSuriety.com. VirtualSuriety.com is an escrow company. They process the closing of all the sales (auction and private treaty). Most important, they provide peace of mind for the Buyer and Seller.
As the auction progressed, one thing became crystal clear, ArabianAuction.com was going to need a bigger server. There were almost 1.4 MILLION hits in the two week period of the auction. An average of over 93,000 hits per day. Just imagine 93,000 people looking at your horse in ONE DAY!
On October 22, 2000, the last day of the auction, approximately 147,000 people visited ArabianAuction.com. There were over 5000 people on the site bidding in the last ten minutes of the auction. The highest selling horse sold for $75,000.00. A total of $478,000 was paid for the horses sold (for an average of over $6,200.00 per horse.) Several private treaty sales are pending.
There were some complaints about the technical difficulties but for the maiden auction to have reached so many, one would have to call ArabianAuction.com's first venture a huge success.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE
The next auction will run February 28 - March 11, 2001. Potential consignors are encouraged to list their horses as early as possible to allow more exposure. Potential buyers are encouraged to regularly view the website as consignments for the next auction are already listed. The website is being upgraded and the server enhanced to support heavier usage.
Eileen Verdieck says "The lessons of our first auction has spawned some innovative ideas for the next auction. With increased promotion and an exhibit at Scottsdale, we hope to make March 11th, 2001, the date of the largest gathering of Arabian horse enthusiasts. We invite everyone to log on and check out the fun at ArabianAuction.com."
International Equine Management, Inc. Eileen
Verdieck - President