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We previously wrote about auctioneers specializing here, where auctioneers only sell a certain type of property: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2021/02/12/im-known-for-selling/. Today, we explore another type of specialty, where auctioneers don’t sell certain property.

Years ago, we regularly heard from 100’s of auctioneers that they don’t sell bibles and flags, despite stores and other retailers all over the United States and elsewhere selling them every day: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/bibles-and-flags-at-auction/.

Auctioneers are free to sell (or not sell) any type of property, and they can decide such outside of possibly a court order or other mandatory directive. Such could be a bible, flag, hatpin, food, or a gun used in a crime. One auctioneer says he would sell it, and another says he wouldn’t sell it, and it’s all good either way.

The only issue really is when one auctioneer is telling another what he or she should — or should not — sell. It’s not up to any auctioneer how another auctioneer conducts his business. Further, it’s okay if an auctioneer proclaims what he sells or doesn’t … for example, on his website and even social media.

We’ve sold bibles, flags, hatpins, food, and items used in crimes and other similar situations. Many times, these auctions were court-ordered, but not all. As we’ve suggested — we’ve sold this property and told you, our reader, about it.

Auctioneers are rightly judged by what they sell as well as what they don’t sell. For that matter, auctioneers are judged by the public in a myriad of ways beyond the property their clients bring to them. I would suggest their speech (bid calling, expressions, social media posts, etc.) likely get the most attention.

Many auctioneers also grade what they sell or don’t sell by the seller and/or circumstance as much as the type of property. Our rule for sellers and situations is there must be “urgency, equity, and reasonable expectations.” If a seller isn’t in a hurry, or doesn’t have sufficient equity, or has unreasonable expectations, we usually prefer he or she hires some other auctioneer or no auctioneer at all.

Lastly, there are some items that can’t (legally) be sold. https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/can-auctioneers-sell-recalled-items/. There are other items which require particular licenses to sell such as firearms, real estate, cars, and the like. It’s prudent all auctioneers pay close attention to both these so-referenced lists — what can’t be sold and what can only be sold with an additional license.

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.