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I’m noting some say that “Auctioneers must offer online bidding … or be left behind.”

While some believe this, I find the quote interesting to study a bit more in depth.

An online auction allows bidders to bid via their computer or other electronic device in an absentee fashion. As such, Tim (a noted Winchester tool and knife collector) can bid on Winchester items from the comfort and convenience of his home in Lawton, Oklahoma.

What is interesting is that Tim’s father, Raymond, and Tim’s grandfather, John, and Tim’s great-grandfather Harry also collected Winchester items, and they bid in the 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s from the comfort of their homes located in Lawton, Oklahoma.

An auction bidder today who has grown up in the age of computers and the Internet might ask, “How did they do that …?”

  • In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Tim’s great-grandfather Harry checked newspaper auction ads and called auctioneers on the phone when certain Winchester items were advertised at auction.
  • In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Tim’s grandfather John checked newspaper auction ads and called auctioneers on the phone when certain Winchester items were advertised at auction.
  • In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Tim’s father Raymond checked newspaper auction ads and called auctioneers on the phone when certain Winchester items were advertised at auction.
  • Since 2005, Tim has checked newspaper auction ads and called auctioneers on the phone and/or emailed them when certain Winchester items were advertised at auction … as well as checked the Internet for auction advertisements noting Winchester hand tools or knives.

We asked Tim about his hunt for Winchester items and he said,

    “The Internet has helped greatly. I can now search Auctionzip and other websites for items I’m looking for. I occasionally bid online, but mostly when there’s an item I want in an auction without online bidding, I email or call the auctioneer and bid absentee.”

About 85 miles northest of Lawton, Oklahoma, let’s say Arthur Cox began his career as an auctioneer in 1943. Arthur focused on selling antiques and collectibles in the greater Oklahoma City area. In 1962, Arthur’s son Donald Cox joined his father’s business. In 1981 Donald’s son Brian Cox joined his father and grandfather as an auctioneer and in 2005 Brian’s son Matthew Cox joined Cox Auctioneers, Inc. as an auctioneer.

  • In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Arthur Cox accepted absentee bids from in and around Oklahoma City as well as a few absentee bids from outside the immediate area. Arthur would occasionally have Winchester items and either call Tim’s great-grandfather Harry, or receive a call from Harry when he saw the word, “Winchester” in Arthur’s auction advertisement.
  • In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Donald Cox accepted absentee bids from in and around Oklahoma City as well many absentee bids from outside the immediate area due to his advertising in the AntiqueWeek newspaper. Donald would occasionally have Winchester items and either call Tim’s grandfather John, or receive a call from John when he saw the word, “Winchester” in Donald’s auction advertisement.
  • In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Brian Cox accepted absentee bids from in and around Oklahoma City as well as many absentee bids from outside the immediate area due to widespread newspaper advertising. Brian would occasionally have Winchester items and either call Tim’s father Raymond, or receive a call from Raymond when he saw the word, “Winchester” in Brian’s auction advertisement.
  • Since 2005, Matthew Cox has accepted absentee bids from in and around Oklahoma City as well as 100’s of absentee bids from all over the United States and Canada each week due to his ads on AuctionZip. Matthew occasionally has Winchester items and either calls or emails Tim, or receives a call or email from Tim when he sees the word, “Winchester” in Brian’s AuctionZip listing.

We asked Matthew about his family’s business, and he said,

    “The Internet has helped greatly. We can now advertise on Auctionzip and other websites what we have coming up for auction, and it has cut-down on our newspaper advertising — and we reach a much wider audience. We occasionally offer online bidding, but mostly take absentee bids from all over the country by phone and email, and process them ourselves.”

    Matthew continued …“Do we feel we must offer online bidding all the time, or even most of the time? Not really … actually, we prefer to talk to those absentee bidders and handle their bids ourselves. It saves us time by detailing only the items people are interested in from afar, saves us online bidding service fees, and gives us more customer contact and greater insight into our buyer base.”

Auctioneers must offer online bidding? In other words, bidders must be able to bid absentee without being present at the auction? The Cox auction family has been providing that service in Oklahoma City for over 70 years, and 85 miles southwest in Lawton, Tim, his father Raymond, his father John and his father Harry have been bidding absentee for those same 70 years.

Doesn’t appear anyone is being left behind.

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 adjunct faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.