At the 2012 National Auctioneers Association (NAA) International Auctioneer Championship (IAC) recently held Friday, July 20 in Spokane, Washington, three questions were asked of the contestants. Here, we note those three questions and our answers to them:
- The National Auctioneers Association’s Board of Directors did not advance a name change for our association. What are your thoughts?
- If you had a son or daughter getting into the auction business, what would you tell them should be their main focus?
- Recently, J.C. Penney ran a nationwide TV commercial depicting an auctioneer. What was your opinion of this ad?
The National Auctioneers Association’s Board of Directors did not advance a name change for our association. What are your thoughts?
- Plexus Consulting is a company which specializes in name change projects. Plexus President, Steve Worth, says of name change initiatives, “It’s not a decision to be taken lightly; it’s a major undertaking. If you do it, you have to do it for good reasons …” It would seem the National Auctioneers Association took this consideration very seriously, and chose to delay any name change for good reasons. For the most part, it appears the current membership of the National Auctioneers Association wishes the name to remain the same. As well, it has been established that the content of the association can indeed change even with the current name in place. Will the National Auctioneers Association always be known by their current name? Maybe not — but currently a change doesn’t seem to be supported, nor required to reinforce the near-term goals of the association.
If you had a son or daughter getting into the auction business, what would you tell them should be their main focus?
Those getting into the auction business today have far more options than I had entering the auction business in 1979. The changes in the auction business over the past 30 years (online bidding, franchises, television shows and worldwide markets) surely suggests that opportunities will abound in the next 30 years for which we have no knowledge of today. First, I would tell a son or daughter to focus on the one segment of the auction industry he or she feels is the area they love the most. Then, secondly, I would tell him or her to keep an open mind — as that next phone call could open another door into a completely different auction-related world. This is certainly an exciting time to be getting into the auction industry and I would tell a son or daughter to seek out that excitement no matter their direction.
Recently, J.C. Penney ran a nationwide TV commercial depicting an auctioneer. What was your opinion of this ad?
- It seems the reaction to this J.C. Penney advertisement itself — by the auction industry — was generally negative. Yet, the reaction otherwise was largely indifferent. However, based upon the disappointing results of this advertising effort, this “auctioneer” commercial could have actually taught J.C. Penney something — that the public actually prefers discounts, sales and price shrouding — and the auctioneer could have told J.C. Penney that, as auctioneers have been familiar with these sales techniques for centuries. It was ironic that the auctioneer in the commercial likely knew the “fair and square” campaign would be unsuccessful, while portraying it as something consumers would want. Lastly, most would agree that anytime an auctioneer is on television, such exposure results in more positive publicity than negative, regardless of the actual content.
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 serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.