Auctioneers are indeed asked all the time … “What do you charge?” The answer to that question is nearly always: “It depends.” What does it depend on? Imagine asking other people this same question.
Ask a surgeon what it costs to perform surgery. Ask a car repair technician what the charge will be to repair your car. Ask an insurance agent what insurance costs. What do attorneys charge? Here again, it depends.
What problem requires surgery? What’s wrong with your car? What are you insuring? What’s your legal situation? For any auctioneer to quote what he charges, he needs to know what your situation is … what do you wish to sell? How much preparation? How much marketing? Time frame? Approximate value?
We wrote about the various ways (methods) auctioneers are paid here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/how-are-auctioneers-paid/. In fact, auctioneers are paid a wide variety of ways.
Another consideration for consumers is: Which auctioneer do you wish to hire? Not all auctioneers are equally busy or in demand. As bid calling expertise and marketing prowess increases, demand usually follows which in turn allows certain auctioneers to charge more (more demand than supply.)
Is there a range of prices auctioneers charge? Well … in regard to a flat rate, some auctioneers will work for free and some might want $100,000 for the day. In terms of commission rates, they too vary from nearly 0% to maybe as much as 100% — depending upon what we’re selling.
Further in regard to some auctioneers charging more than others — the phrase, “you get what you pay for” probably applies. For example, Bob is an auctioneer and regularly receives $2,500 per day to bid call for 3-4 hours where Bill receives $1,500 for the same. The market value of Bob is more than the market value of Bill — and there’s probably a good reason Bob receives $1,000 more.
Next time you wonder what a certain auctioneer charges, expect to be asked about your circumstances and what you want him or her to do for you.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.