Saturday, October 07, 2006

What’s Up With Two Auctioneers Selling At The Same Time?
By Robert A. Doyle, CAI, ISA, CES, CAGA

50th President of the National Auctioneers Association
Principal Auctioneer/Appraiser Absolute Auction & Realty, Inc.

Robert A. Doyle


The Multi-Ring Auction is not a new concept. In fact, the method dates back to Colonial times when large estates had to be liquidated during daylight hours.

As the 50th President of the National Auctioneers Association I have had the pleasure to visit 25+ state auctioneers associations in the past 6 years. I have had the privilege to study many auction gallery operations and learn from world class auctioneers.

I learned a few things:
  1. An auction-buying crowd is good for about 5 hours.
  2. Only a “specialist” wants to sit through a “specialty sale”.
  3. Non-competing categories can be sold at the same time.
  4. Buyers like to know approximately what time an item will be sold

Time is a precious commodity. We appreciate this fact and utilize the multi-ring auction to provide you with the best selection of items within a reasonable length of time.

We have conducted Multi-Ring Auctions at every estate auction in the Pleasant Valley Auction Hall this year. It has worked out very well. All lots are cataloged. We sell approximately 80 lots an hour. Signs are posted indicating which lots sell where.

I will say that newcomers to the auction hall sometimes have an initial reaction of panic and concern. I don’t know where to sit? How can I buy in two places at once? However, once they scan the catalog it becomes clear which auction ring they should sit in. Many people sit in the same auction ring all night, some move back and forth, some leave bids on an “Absentee Bid Form” and do not attend at all!

For those that are interested in a lot of items spanning all rings there are a couple of strategies that can be utilized to be an effective buyer. 1. Bring a partner, get a duplicate bid card and attend both auction rings. 2. Leave bids in one ring and attend the other.

Results: We are getting larger crowds, selling more merchandise in a shorter period of time, for more money, then if we sold in one ring.

Example: An 800 lot auction being sold at an average of 80 lots an hour takes 10 hours to sell.
1 Ring: We start selling at 5PM we would be done at 3AM with a handful of people picking up nice items at bargain prices.
2 Rings: We start at 5PM we are done at 10PM with a nice size crowd paying fair market value to the end.



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