Morphy Auctions to take over marketing for international gun show

Ioannis Pashakis//June 3, 2019

Morphy Auctions to take over marketing for international gun show

Ioannis Pashakis//June 3, 2019

The Las Vegas Antique Arms Show is one of the biggest events of the year for East Cocalico Township-based Morphy Auctions. The company has acquired a stake in the show’s production company to help sell it to younger collectors. (Photo-Submitted)

A Lancaster County antique auction house has acquired a stake in a popular Las Vegas firearms show with plans for marketing the show to a younger audience.

East Cocalico Township-based Morphy Auctions has sold antique guns at the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show for years.

As part of the deal, Morphy Auctions is buying a stake in California-based Beinfeld Productions and, in turn, will help the company with its marketing. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Morphy sells antique jewelry, toys, automobiles and more. But its focus in recent years has been on the antique gun market.

In 2017 the company acquired James D. Julia Inc., a Maine-based auction house specialized in antique firearm sales. After that, Morphy Auctions decide to put more of its time into gun sales and has since upped its presence in over 80 gun shows annually, according to Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions.

One of them is the Las Vegas show, where Morphy Auctions has more than 20 of its employees making sales on the show floor. The Las Vegas Antique Arms Show attracts buyers and sellers from around the world.

“It’s the one venue where everyone makes a point to be at,” Morphy said.

The Las Vegas show has the added benefit of being a public event, which gives the auction house more exposure; other events are open only to sellers.

Beinfeld Productions did not disclose annual attendance at the three-day show, held in January, but noted that the event draws “thousands and thousands of people.” However, Morphy said, the industry at large is struggling to get younger collectors involved and interested.

“Think about technology, social media, new marketing and advertising strategies,” Morphy said. “If you don’t change with the times, you’ll be left in the dust.”

Morphy Auctions is in the process of creating a marketing plan for the show with a three-person team working on the project. According to Morphy, an in-house marketing team will yield better results than hiring an outside firm.

“I’ve hired three different marketing firms to help my company and none of them helped because they don’t understand the dealer’s mentality,” he said. “We are coming in already understanding the industry and the mentality of the collector and the dealer.”

Sarah Stoltzfus, director of marketing for Morphy Auctions, said marketing plan is expected to reach younger people.

“With the partnership with Morphy Auctions and the expanded reach we will have with the new marketing strategy, I think we will be able to attract new interest in the show and, hopefully, throughout the industry,” Stoltzfus said.

The show is expected to be held next year on February 28, 29 and March 1 due to a scheduling conflict but is planned to return to its usual mid to late January schedule in 2021.