I’m An Optimist…So Sue Me

I’m An Optimist…So Sue Me

I have just fielded a couple of calls from clients accusing me of being too blase about the decline in the returns from the Naples Wine Auction.  I agree that it reflects a significant decrease.  $16.4 million in 2007, $14 Million in 2008 and a reported $5 million in 2009.

I believe that we need more time to pass judgment.  So many factors can affect the totals, if indeed the $5 million amount is accurate.  These are some we have encountered over the years:

  • Missing bidders.  At one of the early Sonoma Valley Wine Auctions we sold a package for 4 or 8 to attend the US Tennis Open.  The trouble is that it takes place on the same weekend as the Sonoma Auction.  We lost our two top bidders the following year.
  • Unforeseen circumstances.  The beloved chair of an event had a heart attack the night before the auction.
  • Force of Nature.  At Livermore one year, the entire West Coast power grid collapsed. Fires, Floods and earthquakes have also had their effects.
  • Personal Relationships.   A couple divorced during their year as chair.  “He” inherited the auction, “Her” friends became determined that it would fail.

In other word it is too early to extrapolate from the brief news I have had from Naples concerning the trands for auctions as a whole.

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