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We wrote concerning the number of auctioneers a few months ago. Here, we wish to discuss how many auctions there are, and where they are in the United States.

In order to come to an approximate number, we will be using primarily one source of data. AuctionZip houses an immense amount of auctioneer and auction information. Although AuctionZip doesn’t represent all auctions and auctioneers in the United States, their numbers can be used to extrapolate some approximate results.

Our own study, completed in February, noted that we felt there might be about 87,500 auctioneers in the United States. This number was based upon a starting point of AuctionZip having about 21% of the total number of auctioneers listed in their database. We then adjusted this number in attempts to reduce duplication.

In looking at AuctionZip, it appears that during the summer months, about 500 auctions, on average, per day are listed. If that number represents about 21% of the auctioneers in the United States, then this would suggest there are about 2,400 auctions, on average, per day, considering all auctioneers.

Looking in more detail at these 2,400 auctions, where are they located? Leaving out foreclosure auctions, repossession auctions, and other forced sales (except for some which are conducted by professional auctioneers), here’s what we found.

If we take three major cities, which essentially represent the western, middle and eastern regions of the United States, within 500 miles (Salt Lake City, Utah, Wichita, Kansas, and Charleston, West Virginia) we have on an average summer day:

  • Within 500 miles of Salt Lake City, Utah: About 40 auctions per day.

  • Within 500 miles of Wichita, Kansas: About 400 auctions per day.

  • Within 500 miles of Charleston, West Virginia: About 1,600 auctions per day.

This would leave about 350 auctions elsewhere, in areas outside these three 500-mile radius regions. Such regions would include the far southeast and far northeast parts of the United States.

As a percentage for these three aforementioned regions:

  • Within 500 miles of Salt Lake City, Utah, there are about 2% of all the auctions.
  • Within 500 miles of Wichita, Kansas, there are about 17% of all the auctions.
  • Within 500 miles of Charleston, West Virginia, there are about 67% of all the auctions.
  • The far southeast and far northeast parts of the U.S. generally account for the other 14% of all auctions.

By looking at top 20 metropolitan areas of the United States, in order by population, we find these above patterns become more clearly defined. We have bolded the city data where the percentage is at 3% or higher.

  • Within 100 miles of New York, New York: 3% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Los Angeles, California: 1% of all auctions.
  • Within 100 miles of Chicago, Illinois: 2% of all auctions.
  • Within 100 miles of Houston, Texas: 0.1% of all auctions.
  • Within 100 miles of Phoenix, Arizona: 1% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Philadelphia: Pennsylvania: 5% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of San Antonio, Texas: 0.4% of all auctions.
  • Within 100 miles of San Diego, California: 1% of all auctions.
  • Within 100 miles of Dallas, Texas: 1% of all auctions.
  • Within 100 miles of San Jose, California: 1% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Detroit, Michigan: 3% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of San Francisco, California: 1% of all auctions.
  • Within 100 miles of Jacksonville, Florida: 1% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Indianapolis, Indiana: 5% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Austin, Texas: 1% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Columbus, Ohio: 5% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Fort Worth, Texas: 1% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Charlotte, North Carolina: 6% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Memphis, Tennessee: 1% of all auctions.

  • Within 100 miles of Boston, Massachusetts: 3% of all auctions.

As can be seen here, the west-most city with population in the top twenty in the United States with a significant auction market is Indianapolis, Indiana. Further, no major metropolitan area west of Chicago has a significant auction market whatsoever.

Where are the auctions? Of the 2,400 or so per day in the summer months, it’s likely well over 90% of them are east of Kansas City, Missouri on any given day.

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.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.