OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The nation’s most diversified and traditional group of marketing professionals are holding a celebration in April.
Saturday, April 20 has been designated National Auctioneers Day by the National Auctioneers Association. The day brings recognition to the creative efforts of auctioneers and the benefits of the auction method of marketing.
Don’t be scared. If you have never been to an auction before, you’re missing out on fun, and great treasures! Some say they’re fearful of auctions because they don’t know how they work. Many a television sitcom has exaggerated the auction setting. A man goes to an auction, scratches his head or touches his ear and it’s taken as a bid. This doesn’t happen in real life. Auctions are very organized and the rules are straightforward. Auctioneers know the difference between a bid and a twitch.
Here are some general rules of thumb for consumers who consider themselves “rookies” in the world of auctioneering.
Registering at an auction. When you arrive at an auction, register for a bidder number and read the rules printed on it or displayed on posters nearby. Be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand the rules.
But don’t worry, before the action begins, the auctioneer or another member of the auction company will review these rules and techniques.
Understanding the chant. That rhythmic auction chant, though widely known, is a mystery to many. It’s not meant to confuse or trick consumers. It’s merely a way to entertain the audience. In the simplest terms, it is a series of numbers connected by “filler” words to give the buyer time to think between bids.
The best advice is to simply listen to the numbers and think of the rest as entertainment.
Making a bid. When you hear a figure or price called out that you agree to pay on an item, draw attention to yourself by raising your bidder number. Make eye contact with the auctioneer or ringperson (the auctioneer’s assistant). Or shout “yes” or “right here.” The auctioneer will nod and point to you and repeat your bid.
You may remove yourself from the bidding process at any time by shaking your head “no.” Should the auctioneer misinterpret your signal, simply report the mistake right away.
Protecting yourself. The best rule of thumb to follow here is “look for the logo.” Members of the National Auctioneers Association are committed to professionalism in the auction business. They abide by a standard of ethnics that protects the public against fraud and unethical auction practices.
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