The word auctioneer, for many people, conjures an image of a fast-talking pitch man, holding a gavel who can entice you into bidding on a glass of ice water in the dead of winter. While bid-calling is the most crucial part of an auctioneer’s job, it is only a minor aspect of what he or she does. An auctioneer plays several roles – such as that of an office manager, public relations manager, accountant, and coordinator, to name a few. Though auctioneering looks like a lucrative profession, success in this industry is not a sure thing. A combination of training, skills and determination can be helpful.
What do they do?
As an Auctioneer you will be responsible for selling various items at public sales which are held by court orders. The items may include livestock, real estate, industrial equipment, artifacts et al. Your responsibility would be to describe the item to be auctioned before a sale and ask for opening bids. You will be paid on commission basis. You will also be responsible for advertising sales in newspapers, on the radio, in trade magazines via social media and by mailing out circulars to probable clients.
- Confidence and good communication skills
- Commercial awareness
- Considerable interest in the area in which you are selling, such as paintings and antiques
- The ability to reason and apply simple numerical concepts
- Good knowledge of the market, likely buyers and good advertising skills
- Attention to detail
- Good personality is an important factor
How do I get there?
If you want to be an auctioneer, the only thing you need is aptitude. You should be able to hold an audience, sometimes for long periods, and develop an atmosphere that is conducive to the buyers wanting to buy and come back another day.
There are no formal qualifications for becoming an auctioneer and requirements vary from employer to employer. Big auction houses usually look for graduate students with a degree in fine arts, but most of the learning is done while training.