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I have argued for decades that auction advertising should be “just enough” to get people (potential bidders/buyers) to respond … check the website, call our office and/or attend the auction.

Auctioneers for 100’s of years have placed “… and many more items too numerous to mention” at the bottom of each advertisement — suggesting you have to attend to discover what else we have: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/and-many-more-items-too-numerous-to-mention/.

Take a look at this above auction advertisement from 1858. How much lumber, specifically? How much firewood? How many lots? Is all the wood cured? Fresh cut? Dimensions? Can I buy just a few pieces, or are only large lots being sold?

Fast-forwarding to today, could an auctioneer put up a sign or place an advertisement without all the lots described? How about without the date? What about without the time?

As I’ve told 1,000’s of people around the country, auction advertising is meant as a “tease” to get the bidder interested — and nothing more. By leaving some information out of the advertising — beyond what is necessary to induce interest — the advertisement has served its purpose.

Additionally, by requiring interested people to call or check the website, the auctioneer leverages other upcoming events and services, and in a phone conversation (or Internet chat) can ask follow-up questions to potentially be more valuable to this potential bidder/client.

Online auctions (and simulcast) auctions can take advantage of this same type of inducement by limiting the information directing bidders to such — although each lot in the online/simulcast auction should be completely described when the bidder arrives.

Auction advertising should have enough information, but not too much information. In other words, we continue to suggest auction advertising contain “just enough” information.

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.