Question #7

Do you do that 'Fast Talkin' Thing?
Common Auction Anxiety.


" I'm afraid to go to an auction because I might accidentally buy something."

While not exactly a question, you would be surprised by how often I hear this.

I'll answers this in 3 parts as it is really part of 3 elements of the live auction culture.

1stly: No. It is impossible to accidentally buy something by sneezing our scratching your ear.

To bid at an auction, the bidder must register with the auction company in advance and receive a bidders number. All purchases are confirmed by this bidders number.

Simply, if you are not registered, your bid is not accepted or binding.

Yes, occasionally bidders known well to the auctioneer may use a bidding "signal" or have an absentee bid that allows the auctioneer to bid on their behalf to a limit.
Professional auctioneers selling items of true value do not take bids from those who have not pre-registered.

While it makes a great urban legend, it simply doesn't happen.

2ndly: I am often asked: Do you do that fast talking thing?

Seemingly every time I tell someone that I am an auctioneer, the 1st thing they want is for me to "do that fast talking thing" for them. The technique is traditionally referred to either chanting, crying, or calling the bid but most professionals today simply call it bid calling or " having a good chant" .

While all auctioneers working live auctions do some variation of bid calling, some have taken it to a true American art form. The technique most likely began in the US in the early days of the tobacco auctions. It is primarily a verbal shorthand meant to communicate to all interested what the current offer is, what the next asking price will be and to who it sold and for what final price. The challenge was to do all this as quickly and engaging as possible because there was so much to sell, therefore the fast talker who could set a strong pace, keep the buyers interest and still be understood became the most sought after bid caller.

Each specialty came to have its own style. An auto auctioneer will sound differently than a live stock auctioneer and each auctioneer has his or her unique take on the art.

Today, while bid calling seems to be a dying art as electronic bidding platforms become more wide spread, auctioneers are by nature competitive people and take great pride in their bid calling abilities. Both state auctioneer associations, and the National Auctioneer's Association have yearly competitions, naming annual champions and keeping these skills of the trade alive and well.

Lastly: I am often asked: Why/ how did you become an auctioneer?

The 1st duty of the boss is to sell.
Being an entrepreneur a number of decades, I did a lot of selling.

I came to auctioneering very slowly over many years of entrepreneurial experience.
( see Our People page) Also, I was a regular attendee at auctions of various types. I have both bought and sold high value property via auction, coming to understand not only the process but more importantly, the philosophy. One day, at an antique auction of all places, I decided to change my viewpoint and become the auctioneer.

I believe in the process because I have seen it work so many times.

How I became an auctioneer? To license in the State of Pennsylvania, one is required to either attend a state approved auction school and perform many hours of practicum or apprentice for a number of years. Then, pass a test and maintain a bond. I chose school and practicum at as many different auction companies as I could fit in.

The auctioneer's license in Pa is among the most empowered sales licenses in the country and the state boasts some of the best in the world. I am immensely proud to be among them.

After a number of years of general practice auctioneering, I chose to specialize in
Real Property and have educated myself accordingly.
I see a great future for quality real property at auction.

Omar P . Bounds III



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