There’s nothing quite like bid calling in front of a nice crowd. Nothing quite matches watching people respond to my personality moving just fast enough (engine speed, ground speed) to be entertaining and efficient, but slow enough to be understood and get every dollar.
Many auctioneers report this type of experience. We as auctioneers get the opportunity to sell the property of our client to the highest bidder, thus relieving them of stress, holding costs, and worry — to making buyers happy by selling their desired property to them for just one more bid than someone else was willing to offer.
We’re the center of attention with all eyes on us as we read facial expressions, hand motions, body language … learning certain bidder’s habits and preferences in order to know when to ask for that one more bid, or say, “Sold!” It’s a life few understand until they get on the other side of that microphone and experience.
Sellers benefit from auctions with financial gain, reducing or eliminating the costs of storage, maintenance, insurance, taxes, liability … buyers find the property they desire with some possibly searching for years to find, allowing them to keep, enjoy, pass down to children, and/or even resell later for a profit.
My first auction experience on the “other side of that microphone” was in 1979 in Indiana. Soon thereafter, I moved to Columbus, Ohio, attended The Ohio State University and thereafter auction school, working for Jack B. Smith, Auctioneer for just over nine years. Then, I started my own auction company initially offering primary estate settlement onsite auctions.
Our work has now taken us now to 31 states, selling real and personal property in the middle of a field of the most remote southern Indiana county to selling about 500′ from the front door of the White House. In between, we’ve been an auctioneer in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami Beach, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and dozens of other major cities.
Much to many auctioneers’ surprise, I note no big difference in how bid-calling is expected to be anywhere in the United States. Bidders all across the nation appear to be similar in what they expect, how they bid, their customs and habits. Maybe the Internet has leveled the knowledge about how all this works?
1000’s of auctioneers travel extensively to work their craft; others work the same auction 4 miles down the road for 47 years … there are no certain ways auctioneers must or choose to work, and much depends upon who sees us, hears us, gets to know us, and chooses to hire us — there’s no “right” way or “wrong” way necessarily.
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, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.