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If you have participated in a live or online auction, the auctioneer’s “chant” nor the online platform is generally placing bids.

We say generally as the auctioneer could be bidding for himself or someone else, but otherwise, the auctioneer or platform is inviting offers, and not making or extending offers nor making demands.

As such, in a live auction example, if an auctioneer is asking for a bid of $2,000, the bidder has to extend the offer (and/or acknowledge what is being suggested,) and then the auctioneer accepts.

If this same auctioneer turns to another bidder and suggests $2,500 and that bidder agrees to offer that, and then this auctioneer turns back to the prior $2,000 bidder and suggests $5,000, the bidder has to agree to offer such — as the auctioneer cannot take this bid without mindful consent.

We have written about bidding increments numerous times including, that bidders [rightly] expect if an auctioneer accepts a $2,000 bid, then a $2,500 bid, that the next suggestion will likely be $3,000 and not $5,000. https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/should-your-online-increment-table-be-systematic/.

Of course, if a bidder is willing to offer $5,000 instead of $3,000, auctioneers should obviously take that bid, and even encourage such an offer. But, auctioneers can’t take a bid for $3,000 and pretend it’s a bid for $5,000.

Even more concerning would be if this $3,000 bid was announced as a $5,000 bid, and another bidder bid $6,000 based upon a nonexistent $5,000 bid. On the contrary, bidding is collaborative, as we’ve written about here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2021/07/12/consensus-of-value-at-auction/.

Bid calling is far more than just numbers “rolling through the air” and actually contracts with offer and acceptance, consideration, and competent parties: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/bid-calling-is-just-numbers/.

To just review this treatise’s overriding concept, this woman fishing isn’t putting the hook in the fish’s mouth, and rather the fish is biting the hook — when (and only if) it wants to, and every auctioneer should know this.

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, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, 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 has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.