Swarfcast Ep. 6 – The Mind of an Auctioneer with Robert Levy

By Lloyd Graff

Scroll down to listen to the podcast interview with Robert Levy.

In today’s podcast we interviewed Robert Levy, longtime industrial auctioneer and owner of Robert Levy Associates, a firm that consults with companies looking to monetize their industrial assets.

Robert joined his family auction business, Norman Levy Associates, in 1980 but only had the opportunity to work with his father for three years. He and his brother continued to grow the company until finally selling it to DoveBid (now GoIndustry DoveBid) in 2000 for $30 million. He stayed on the board of directors at DoveBid but then parted ways four years later, dissatisfied with the direction of the company, which many unhappy former Norman Levy Associates employees had already quit.

At the end of the interview Robert said, “I’ve been in the business 40 years and I’ve been in three companies, and I would still like to be in the one I was at originally.” It was an interesting comment, but my bet is that Robert doesn’t regret his life’s journey from stand to stand.

Robert Levy of Robert Levy Associates, Inc.

Sometimes you have to burn down the old to grow and thrive, and if nothing else just survive. Sometimes the clear choice is to sell out to a competitor or private equity firm. Or, you hire someone like Robert to help liquidate your assets that are not giving you what you need anymore. Then go build something new and great.

You still get to keep your fond memories of the past.

Question: Does bidding in an auction excite you or make you crazy?

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4 thoughts on “Swarfcast Ep. 6 – The Mind of an Auctioneer with Robert Levy

  1. Steve Adams

    I start to get pretty anxious if I ever bid past the hi limit I subconsciously set on an item, although I have never failed to get a great deal in my purchase. My subconscious limit I feel is at the low end of the scale so I am comfortable missing an item rather than pay to much. There will always be more deals!

  2. Robert Ducanis

    Retired now, but always found auctions interesting. When attending an auction I always had a set price in my mind and stuck to it no matter what the activity was in the bidding. It was always nice to pick up a gem at a great price, but those were few and far between. The item was most likely an outlier to the rest of the items and the rest of the bidders had no interest or no idea what the item was. Got burned on a few things too. I think that happens to everybody once in a while. Some novices at auctions get burned not being familiar with the commission structure and also the rigging & shipping from a distant locale that would turn a ‘good’ deal into ‘bad’ deal.

  3. Dave Bradley

    Yes it makes my adrenalin run pretty good when I’m bidding at a live auction. I started losing interest when they came up with the buyers’s premium. At 10% I threw in the towel. And not these thieves are at 18%. I used to love to go to Charleston machinery Auctions At IH and GE, but I won’t even drive across town with my $30K to an auction with 10% or higher buyers premium.

  4. Rudy

    Great pod cast. I am assuming that that fact you mention eBay it is probably the place to buy and sell.



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