What is an Auction and Who is an Auctioneer?

Who is an Auctioneer and What do They Do?

Who is an Auctioneer?

On the surface this seems easy, everybody knows the auctioneer is the auctioneer is the person on the stage behind the microphone who is talking really really fast, right?

Maybe not, consider for a moment Purple Wave Auctions. As of the time I am writing this, Purple Wave Auctions has an Ag Equipment auction that ends today with 228 items in the auction, and the items are in 9 different states, and nobody is calling a bid, it is all online, so, who is the auctioneer?

Clearly it is an auction, an auction being conducted by a very successful auction company with a national presence, but there are no bid callers at a Purple Wave Auction. So, that makes me ask, if you can have an auction without a bid caller, and sell items (some of which are very expensive items) over 9 states, wouldn’t that mean that someone at Purple Wave is the auctioneer, even if they don’t call bids at the auction?
According to The National Auctioneers Association (NAA) an Auctioneer is:
“The person whom the seller engages to direct, conduct, or be responsible for a sale by auction. This person may or may not actually call or “cry” the auction.”
The idea most of us have about who is an auctioneer is wrong, it’s not the person behind a microphone wearing a cowboy had talking fast (even though this might also be true), it is someone who gets engaged (think, signs a contract) by a seller to direct, conduct, or be responsible for a sale by auction.
It follows then that if you want to become an auctioneer, the the place to start is to learn about how do you:
  • find sellers to engage you to
    • direct
    • conduct
    • and be responsible for a sale by auction.

Then let’s start the process to learn how to do these 3 steps.

To be an auctioneer you will need to be able to direct an auction, that involves a lot of skills and probably the best way to visualize this is to think of the typical Hollywood director sitting in their director’s chair yelling into megaphone to the crew and the actors, “QUIET ON THE SET, READY LIGHTS,  READY SOUND, ROLL FILM, ACTION!” but instead he yells “START THE MARKETING, READY CLIENT ACQUISITION, SORTING, READY SETUP, READY CATALOG, READY AUCTION MARKETING, READY ADVERTISING,  READY SECURITY,  READY TENT, READY PORTAPOTY, READY INTERNET CONNECTION, AUCTION!”

 Auctioneers have to tell a lot of people what to do, from printers to shippers. Even a medium size estate auction will involve setup/lotting help,  photography help, advertising help, perhaps help with a tent, portable potties, help with cashiering, clerking,  parking, ringing, maybe even help with bid calling. Even a medium size auction has a cast and “actors” that all need direction. That’s what the auctioneer does.