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J. Stephen Proffitt III, Esq. (commonly known as Steve Proffitt) said it. I found such in a state auctioneer magazine published in 2011.

His article pointed out that the auctioneer’s bid call (the chant) is the artistic side of the auction business, and there are far more important aspects of the auction business like contracts, terms, marketing, presentation, etc.

Of course, with many people — including auctioneers — conducting auctions entirely online, there is no bid calling nor chant, and rather a software program displaying the current bid and the next desired bid.

In 2013 I wrote that bid calling matters because many auctioneers are hired for basically nothing else than their bid calling ability. That article is here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/bid-calling-matters/.

From Steve in the article:

The problem turns on auctioneers not distinguishing between art and business. The chant is art — like singing a song. It takes talent and a lot of practice to be good. But conducting an auction is not art, it’s business — and the chant is not the business of an auction. If you don’t agree, here are two questions: First, have you ever heard of an auctioneer sued because he’s a poor chanter? You haven’t and you won’t. That’s no basis for a lawsuit. Second, have you ever heard of an auctioneer doing something wrong but getting off the hook because he’s a good chanter? Again, you haven’t and you won’t. The law doesn’t care a wit about the quality of the chant [Note: I said ‘quality.’ I didn’t say ‘accuracy’ or ‘honesty’ and the law cares plenty about those aspects of the bids called.]

Maybe most important for auctioneers who bid call to concentrate on … the law does indeed care about the accuracy and honesty of those aspects of bid calling. I have personal experience watching an auctioneer’s insurance company write a check north of $17 Million for that very reason …

We recently wrote about some of the most material cases in which we’ve served as an expert witness thus far, including two directly involving bid calling: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/lessons-after-over-30-cases-as-an-auction-expert-witness/.

I agree wholeheartedly with Steve that bid calling quality [probably] can’t get you in trouble nor out of trouble. However, bid calling accuracy and honesty are paramount for staying out of trouble.

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.