II. Growing up:
What do you think I will do when I grow up? What do you think you will do when you grow up. In addition to your real job — how about being an auctioneer? Remember, yesterday I told you that my Grandpa took a day off from his teaching job to go to an auction on December 19, 1900? Made me wonder who the auctioneer was.
I am going to do two things:
1. tell you what he bought and how much he paid for it:
Plow $4.75, Harrow $4.60, Lines $.55 (Think these were for horse harness), mower $14.75 (think I used this hay mower when I was a teenager– it was modified by my Dad to be pulled with the 1948 Ford tractor U saw me using to grade my driveway in yesterday’s blog), Half Bushel $.35 (Think that is a 1/2 tub), Feed cutter $.30, Barrels $.70, Buckets $.18, Tin $.12, Irons $.06, Oil can $.05,
2. I am going to give you 10 steps to becoming and auctioneer — Only as your fun second job remember — fun because you must learn about what you are selling — art, antiques, wine, special cars, cows, garden produce, what ever — would it not be fun to learn about a product well enough to auctioneer that product, when you are rich and retired — Again, be sure to read and re-read step 10.
Obtain your high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D). Take speech, marketing, history, business and agriculture classes while in school. These courses will help prepare you for the various roles required as an auctioneer.
Attend auctions. Watch the roles the auctioneer fills during a typical auction day. Observe his actions, decisions and skill.
Work part-time for an auction company.
- Serve as a ring-side helper that hands items to an auctioneer and aids in crowd control.
- Work as a bid watcher. The auctioneer needs help to identify everyone making bids, especially during busy and well-attended auctions. A bid watcher identifies bidders whom the auctioneer doesn’t see.
- Help set up auctions prior to bidding. Auctioneers rely on help to unpack, set out and arrange auction items for viewing and bidding. Learn more about the business by working on a set-up crew.
Attend auctioneer school.
- Choose between an on-site school or a virtual program. Auctioneer schools are located across the globe, and many programs are offered online.
- Select a school that meets your time requirements. Schools educate prospective auctioneers through programs that last a few weeks to several months.
- Take classes in bid calling, marketing and basic business management.
Join a professional organization. Nearly every U.S. state has a professional organization for auctioneers. National organizations exist, too, and offer continuing education and other resources to members.
Achieve certification or accreditation as a professional auctioneer. Many organizations provide testing opportunities for auctioneers to prove their expertise. Becoming certified or accredited improves your credibility and professionalism as an auctioneer.
Research state and local laws regarding licensing requirements. Many states and municipalities require auctioneers to become licensed. Proceed with licensing guidelines as your state requires.
Become an expert in various topics. Auctioneers are often sought due to their expertise in certain areas.
- Learn about livestock and agriculture. Many auctions sell livestock and agricultural equipment.
- Acquire knowledge about antiques. Auctions regularly include antique items, and it helps to know information about eras of history and historical items.
- Auction off vehicles as an expert. Learn about makes, models, years, engines and unique trivia about vehicles.
Practice. Use a mirror, record yourself, make bid calls aloud and use your skills in public. Bid calling is an art, as are describing auction items and dealing with customers. Improve your skills by practicing them regularly.
Maintain another career. It’s difficult to become an overnight success as an auctioneer. Keep a regular job or stay with your current career until you have managed enough success to replace a regular salary.