Appraising And Auctioning
John Genovese and John John Genovese
Tell us about your work and what you do. Our business is twofold. First and foremost, my father (John) and I are auctioneers. And second, we complete full appraisals on personal property when necessary. Appraisals completed are some of the only federally recognized appraisals in the state. As an auction company, we help organizations raise money for their cause, and with an auction house, we are a service that allows us to be flexible to help people sell items they might not otherwise be able to for a list of reasons. We sell everything from glassware and trinkets to vehicles and real estate.
How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going? Malama Auctions and Appraisals’ first auction on Kaua’i was Nov. 2, 2012. My father previously ran an auction house with his brother, but never anything auction-related here on Kaua’i until last year. We always knew that auctions would be a fantastic service for the island of Kaua’i. With the universal household ideology that television shows like Storage Wars and Auction Kings has brought, we thought now is a great time to implement one of the world’s oldest professions as a staple here on Kaua’i.
Where are you from originally and what role does that play in your business, if any? We are from the Los Angeles area. Most specifically, the South Pasadena area. People might not normally associate a place like Los Angeles with being full of auction culture, but with our family’s previous business involvement in the auto-repossession industry, restaurant business and auto dealing, it was common to attend an auction. My wife, who was born and raised on Kaua’i and had never been to an auction before our own, always is excited to find another auctioneer’s auction whenever we leave Kaua’i, even if it’s just to watch.
What is your specialty? For the seller, we assist in transforming items to cash quickly, and likely for more money than they would be able to make themselves in such a short time. For the buyers, we are able to broker deals that allow them to find items in a single location or from a single company that reaches a wide variety of products. In May we sold antiques, fine art and rare Kaua’i collectables to raise money for the Kaua’i Historical Society.
What is your educational background? When we decided to become auctioneers, we knew we did not want to try to cheat our way into the industry. We took seriously our education and the strength that it would lend. After extensive research, my father found some great information and the decision was made to attend World Wide College of Auctioneering. My father has been certified as a GPPA (Graduate, Personal Property Appraiser). My education also includes my BAS training, which stands for benefit auction specialist, with training in event planning, entertainment and floor-plan flow.
What sets your work apart? The easy answer is there is no one doing what we can do. When you or anyone you might know wants to sell something here on Kaua’i, the options are limited: Put a sign on it, have a garage sale or use Craigslist. With Craigslist, you can get a parade of people you don’t know entering your home or learning where you live. It can be time-consuming and exhausting, to say the least. We take the work out of it. Before Malama Auctions and Appraisals, if you had to move or liquidate by a certain day or time without much notice, your only options were to haul it, trash it or give it away. Now, one call and we either take it all then or we sell it all from where it sits. It’s a service that is really inspired by something I wish existed before. I know I would have benefited from the service previously here on Kaua’i.
What is your business philosophy/motto? We gauge a lot of our success not just from a business standpoint, but from the fact that when the auction is over, we get big hugs and bright smiles from both the buyers and the sellers. Our way of doing business is to make sure all parties involved are happy. For us, we know being an auctioneer is more than just talking fast. It’s an attitude and a reputation. We want people to walk away or drive home thinking, “Wow, auctioneers are good people.”
What is your business plan for the future? Starting in September, we will be holding quarterly education seminars at our auction house. We will be helping people to sell and buy smart. Also, we would really like to get even more involved in the community by being able to assist more nonprofit organizations to raise money for their important causes. We also would like to continue to help educate the people of Kaua’i about auctions and the industry, and how the whole community benefits, regardless of the type of auctions or the items sold.
What motivates you to go to work each day? As I said before, it’s the smiles. It’s the hugs. It’s the stories when people tell me about their lives, they feel helpless, and we are able to come in, take away the stresses they feel and help make the most difficult decisions with them. My heart goes out to every tear shed when someone can’t decide what to do because they feel trapped by the situation caused by the death of a loved one, a divorce or an aged parent. At the same time, we are so proud when we help an organization realize the most money they can get is by utilizing our professional services. We have not had a disappointed seller yet.
Where can people learn more? We always encourage everyone to stop by our auction house at 3-3215 Kuhio Hwy. in Lihue, at the old Two Frogs Hugging building between Pizza Hut and KFC. Also, we always point people to our website, MalamaAuctions.com, and Facebook page.