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How To Choose An Auctioneer

               How to ----------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------CHOOSE AN AUCTIONEER
                                                QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
> Does the auctioneer    > Is the          > How much does    > Who will set up    > How will the
   have experience?           auctioneer      the auctioneer          the auction?            auction be
                                          licensed?        cost?                                                        advertised?
An auctioneer acts as an agent for the seller to sell articles at auction to the highest bidder. Duties of an auctioneer include examining merchandise before sale, taking an inventory of the items to be sold, marketing the auction with newspaper ads and other methods to inform the public that an auction will be held, and arranging merchandise in groups according to type of article.  During the auction, the auctioneer will describe the merchandise to inform the bidders what is being sold and to encourage bidding, and closes sale to highest bidder.  The auctioneer clerk records the items sold and prices realized, and provides the seller with an accounting of those items sold and prices realized.  
To be an auctioneer requires a good memory, a sense of humor, business sense and the ability to speak clearly and at length.  The auctioneer’s goal is to get the highest price possible for the seller.
Price is raised little by little
May bring more than your asking price
No price ceiling
Price is determined by more than one buyer
Quickest and most convenient method
Sells at the time desire
Sell items you don’t need anymore
Moving into smaller quarters
Moving out of state
Estate settlement
1. Experience – Does the auctioneer have experience in selling the type of items you want sold?  The auctioneer should be able to cite previous auction experience related to the type of items you are selling.
2. Knowledge of values – this ties in with experience, either from auctioning or appraising that type of merchandise.  NOTE: Sometimes sellers have unrealistic price expectations for their merchandise.  Sellers may inflate the current value of the item based on the price they paid for the item when purchased new or on a price of what they think is a similar item, when in fact the items are very different in regard to condition or quality.
3. Reputation – Knowledge of an auctioneer’s reputation can be gained by attending some of his or her auctions and/or by discussing with past auction clients.  An auctioneer’s reputation includes ethical standards.
4. Marketing plan – the auctioneer will usually describe his or her marketing plan when making a proposal to the seller, i.e., how, where and when the auction will be advertised. This will be a significant part of the “Cost of Services,” and may be in addition to the auctioneer’s commission.
5. Cost of services – If all other factors are equal, cost of auctioneer’s services may be a deciding factor in choosing an auctioneer.  However, sellers should not use “cost of services” alone.  As with any other service, the cheapest may not always be in the best interest of the seller.  Usually, this will be paid in the form of an auction commission, i.e., a percentage of the gross sale of the merchandise.  In addition to the auctioneer’s commission and advertising/marketing, other costs may include auction assistants, auction facility rent, port-a-johns, etc.
6. Professional associations – Membership in state and national auctioneers associations along with other professional credentials ma indicate that an auctioneer adheres to a high code of ethical conduct.  These associations also have grievance processes that sellers can use if they are unsatisfied with the auctioneer’s services.  Membership in auctioneer believes and partakes in continuing education in the auction industry.
7. Licensing – Requirements vary from state to state as to whether an auctioneer’s license is required in addition to a sales tax license.  Check before making your choice.
8. Clear understanding of expectations – The seller and the auctioneer should have a clear understanding of each other’s expectations, i.e., who will do what, such as, who will box up items that will be sold as on e unit, who will set the auction up, is any transportation or hauling involved, etc.


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