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I was humored a while back when I told another auctioneer he could not pass out his auction fliers during my auction — at my property, and witnessed his confusion.

Too, I am regularly amused when I see that auctioneers don’t think Facebook and other such entities can make their own rules about posts, advertising, etc. You see, just as we make the rules at our property, Facebook makes the rules at their “property.”

That is so long as those rules are in compliance with federal, state and other applicable laws. In fact, sometimes those rules are because of federal, state and other applicable laws. For instance, not allowing auctioneers (or anyone) to illegally discriminate in the marketing of residential real estate.

“But the First Amendment guarantees …” is a frequent misguided response to Facebook making rules, and we discussed in more detail here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/first-amendment-lessons-for-auctioneers/. Don’t feel bad — even U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan doesn’t understand.

If you are not happy with a Facebook policy or restriction, then you have choices — either quit using Facebook for your advertising needs or comply. Just like that other auctioneer had choices — either quit passing out your fliers or don’t come to our auctions.

Rest assured, Facebook — like any other business — is sensitive to profits and if their policies negatively impact the bottom line, those policies will be revisited forthwith. However, remember that’s Facebook’s choice, not yours.

Lastly, it’s eerily similar to what most auctioneers tell me and I think I’ve heard it thousands of times — “These are our terms and conditions — and if you don’t like them (consent to them,) you don’t get to participate.”

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.