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At the 2010 National Auctioneers Association (NAA) International Auctioneer Championship (IAC) recently held Friday, July 16 in Greensboro, North Carolina, three questions were asked of the contestants. Here, we note those three questions and our answers to them:

  • What is an auction?
  • Do you incorporate online bidding in your auctions? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages of online bidding?
  • What was one thing you found beneficial to you at the Conference and Show?

What is an auction?

    Auctions have been used to sell real and personal property since 500 B.C. It has been said that with the advent of the Internet, there probably isn’t any five-year-old on the planet who hasn’t heard the word “auction.” An auction is an event, held live, silent bid, and/or online where real or personal property is sold in a competitive fashion to the highest bidder, thus establishing the fair market value of that property. Typically, the person engaged to manage and conduct an auction for a seller is an auctioneer.

Do you incorporate online bidding in your auctions? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages of online bidding?

    Auctioneers started offering online bidding opportunities for bidders in a widespread fashion in 2005. Some early systems attempted to utilize www.eBay.com as a buyer base, tying their systems to preexisting www.ebay.com bidders. Today, auctioneers are able to sell online exclusively, or conduct live and online events simultaneously via a variety of software providers, independent of www.ebay.com. Yes, we have used online bidding for some of our auctions and the advantages are as follows: online auctions allow bidders to participate from remote locations and therefore increase competition, and prices; the disadvantages are as follows: remote or off-site bidders are more likely to not pay, or attempt to claim an item is not “as described” and desire a refund. Too, the additional time and cost of taking additional pictures and more detailed descriptions, plus the cost of the online bidding provider, must be absorbed by either higher buyer premiums or seller commissions.

What was one thing you found beneficial to you at the Conference and Show?

    It would be difficult to isolate one thing that was the most beneficial to me at the Conference and Show. The Conference and Show offers unique education opportunities, a trade show with the latest in auction software, technology and supplies, and a world-class auctioneer bid calling contest. Yet, possibly more beneficial are the relationships with other auctioneers that the Conference and Show allows to develop and maintain. It would be difficult for any auctioneer to attend the NAA Conference and Show and not come away better educated, better informed and with many valued friendships.

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.