HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Auctioneers Bid Calling Contest, held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Auctioneers Association annual conference, took place at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Jan. 13.
“This is a bona fide auction,” Nevin Rentzel, PAA emcee for the evening, told the crowd of Farm Show spectators and fellow auctioneers. The competing auctioneers would be selling items to raise money for the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation while being judged on their auctioneering abilities.
“It’s nerve-wracking leading up to it,” said Daniel Reeder, from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Reeder, a licensed auctioneer since 2009, explained. “You don’t get nervous during the day-to-day auctions,” but being on stage with a room full of peers judging your abilities is enough to make even the most confident sweat a little.
Reeder never imagined a career in auctioneering, but he married into an auctioneering family and got his start working as a ringman during sales for Hostetter Auctioneers.
This was Reeder’s fifth year competing and although he has never won, he has placed in the top 10 multiple times including a second place finish one year. He placed fifth in this year’s competition.
Rentzel explained contestants are judged on a point system of up to 100 points. They receive points for their introductions and initial command of the sale, their appearance and poise and their voice control including: speed, clarity, rhythm and voice expression. Contestants are also judged on their eye contact, their ability to hold the attention of the audience members and their close of the sale with “SOLD.”
The competition consisted of three rounds. A practice round allows contestants to sell one item without being judged. In the next preliminary round, contestants sold two items and were judged on their ability to effectively sell the item.
Judges’ scores are tallied following the preliminary round and the top 10 auctioneers advance to the final round. Contestants who advanced to the finals had one final attempt to show off their skills by selling two more items each.
J. Merl Stoltzfus, of Perry County, was named champion auctioneer at the end of the night. John Stauffer, of Lancaster County, was runner-up. Bryan Oberholtzer was named the rookie champion. The rookie competition is for auctioneers who have been licensed for less than two years.
More than $1,800 was raised for the scholarship foundation.
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