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This is my fourth “aberrant auction law” find, and numbered as such. When I find more, I’ll attempt to number sequentially, although I hope my searching is generally unsuccessful.

Aberrant auction law refers to auctioneer licensing law (or other auction related law) that is abnormal, odd, bizarre, or otherwise unusual. The basis for determining if an auction law is aberrant is all the other auction law that is out there, which collectively is widely considered normal.

I don’t mean to be looking at Pennsylvania more-so than any other state, but another of their laws seems odd to me. It concerns the number of hours (50-minute hours) prospective auctioneers must complete in order to become licensed and avoid a lengthy apprenticeship period.

The reason this seems odd is every other state in the United States that requires auctioneer training at an auction school has requirements of about 80 hours (about 10 days) of schooling. Pennsylvania’s requirement for schooling totals 300 hours, or about 37 days of schooling.

Almost none of the most prominent auction schools in the United States are qualified to provide auctioneer training for Pennsylvania, although they provide this same training for all other states. Are the laws, procedures or customary practices in Pennsylvania so complex that this additional training is necessary? It does not appear so.

The trade off is that an apprenticeship can be avoided by taking over 37 days of classes. The choice is 2 years of apprenticeship, or 37 days of class — which are both much longer than is customary around the United States. Most states that require an apprenticeship period require only 1 year at most; most schools are 80 hours in length.

We find The Pennsylvania Auctioneer and Auction License Act, Section 3, in regard to schooling and apprenticeship, aberrant.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.face book.com/mbauctioneer. He is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.