Do you ever get that feeling that somebody’s watching you? If you’re at auctioneer school, odds are lots of people are watching you — the entire class and instructors, in fact. “It gives me butterflies,” said Chad Simmons, who, along with fiancée Michelle Rose, went through the Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in High Point, North Carolina, this year. The trick is not letting nerves get the best of you. “The first time,” Rose said, “I could hear my own voice shaking.”
To be sure, day after day is a grind — 13-hour-long days for a full week. Gradually, the students get better at their craft. “Auctioneering is not just talking fast — it’s a lot of different elements coming together. It’s really hard to do that, especially when a lot of other people are watching you who already know how to do it,” Rose said.
You have to put yourself out there, and while there’s lots to learn and improve upon, there’s a good bit of natural talent involved, too. Simmons was voted class president, and he more than adequately shows off his skills in the video below. Of course the road doesn’t end at graduation, next comes getting licensed and putting your education to work in the real world.
The specifics of licensing can vary state by state, but one example is Ohio, where an auctioneer must first attend an approved auction school, serve a full year as an apprentice, and act as a bid caller in 12 auctions before applying for an auctioneer license. The applicant must then take and pass a written and verbal examination prior to receiving a license.
Ohio’s Department of Agriculture goes on to talk about the perks of using an auctioneer:
- Buyers come prepared to buy.
- Quick disposal reduces overhead.
- Exposes the property to a large number of buyers.
- Accelerates the sale.
- Creates competition among buyers, potentially increasing the price of a private transaction.
- Takes the seller out of the negotiation process.
- Ensures an aggressive marketing program that increases interest and visibility.
If you’ve ever thought about being an auctioneer, this is what you have to look forward to.
Image and video by Ryan Tipps at Spring Valley Farm