30 €? 40 €? 50 €? 60 €? Most people think that the main skill of the auctioneer is his incredibly quick speech, but the craft is much more complex. His involvement behind the scenes is just as important to the success of an auction as his persuasive skills. Auctioneers perform many functions in marketing, public relations, business management, accounting and administration. In this article, we explain how to become an auctioneer.
Method 1 of 4: Discover the world of auctions
Step 1. Obtain your bachelor's degree or equivalent degree
In order to get a license (or be taken seriously), you will need to have one of these degrees. At school, take classes in public speaking, marketing, history, business and agriculture. These courses will help you prepare for the different roles required as an auctioneer.
While college isn't necessary, it can be helpful. According to a survey carried out by the NAA (“National Auctioneers Association”), 35% of auctioneers have degrees and 36% have had a university experience
Step 2. Attend auctions
This is the first step in becoming an auctioneer. Start attending auctions! Look at the different roles of the auctioneer on a typical auction day. Observe his actions, decisions and skills. His role is not just to speak quickly.
Step 3. Work part time for an auction company
If you are in high school or just looking to get some experience, start working for an auction company no matter what tasks you have to do. Even if you are only organizing the coins for sale or sweeping the floor, it can open doors for you.
- Work as an assistant. Pass the items to the auctioneer and help him control the audience.
- Work as an observer for the auctions. The auctioneer needs help identifying who is bidding, especially during successful auctions with lots of participants. The observer identifies bidders that the auctioneer does not see.
- Help organize the auction before it starts. Auctioneers need help unpacking, laying out and setting up items for display and sale. Learn more about this type of business by working on an installation team.
Step 4. Research state or local laws regarding licensing requirements
Now that you've discovered this world, do you like what you see? You can decide if you want to get your license and become an auctioneer. Currently, 37 US states require a license. Follow the steps necessary to obtain your own license, according to the standards of the state where you are located.
Some states require you to attend an NAA affiliated school, some want one or two years of experience before you are allowed to take the final exam, some want formal apprenticeship, and some allow a combination of experience types. mentioned above. If you have the opportunity to get hands-on experience, you may not need to take any classes
Step 5. Start working for charity gigs
You don't need a license to be an auctioneer for charity concerts. It's basically volunteering (you don't make any money) and so it's open to those who are kind enough to devote their time to it. It's a great way to start developing your resume and to be known in this industry. Over time, it will all depend on your reputation. And we must not forget that it is also for a good cause.
Method 2 of 4: Obtain your license
Step 1. Go to an auctioneer school
While not always necessary, it is certainly a valuable experience. Unless you know the right people to bring you into this business, school is the right approach for you. The NAA has a list of schools on their website.
Currently, the NAA has schools in the United States, Canada, South Africa and a branch in Australia. Depending on your location, you may be able to find a course that lasts only a few weeks, or you may have to choose one that lasts for one academic semester. In any case, it is not very long.
Choose between an on-site school or a distance program. Auctioneer schools are located across the world and there are many programs offered online. You will attend courses in auctioning, marketing and basic business management
Step 2. Find an apprenticeship
Some states like Ohio and Tennessee require one or two years of experience before you are allowed to take the exam. But whatever the rules in your jurisdiction, it's best to start gaining experience as early as possible.
There is an apprentice auctioneer permit. This is usually a stepping stone (often mandatory) in states that require experience prior to the exam. Exam fees are currently around a few hundred dollars in most areas
Step 3. Take the exam
In most regions, they are quarterly. Your state should have information on how you should study for the test, such as the Texas Green Book. But since you have already entered the world of auctioneers, you will have plenty of other resources.
In some states there are laws of reciprocity. This means that your license will be valid in states that recognize it, but it will not be in others. If you want a license in a state that doesn't work the same way you got your license, you'll need to meet their criteria and take their exam
Step 4. Submit your license request
Once you have taken and passed the exam (if you fail, you can usually retake it a 2nd time the following year), you can apply for your license. This proves that you have been successful and that you are now officially an auctioneer. Congratulation ! However, it will still cost you a few hundred dollars.
Step 5. Join a professional organization
Most states in the United States have a professional organization for auctioneers. National organizations also exist and provide continuing education and other resources to their members. The NAA is a great place to start. There are also conferences that you can attend.
Many organizations, including at the state level, offer the opportunity to test auctioneers to prove their expertise. Becoming certified or accredited increases your credibility and professionalism as an auctioneer
Step 6. Practice another trade in parallel
It is difficult to be successful overnight as an auctioneer. Keep a regular job or keep your current trade until you are successful enough to replace a regular salary. Most auctioneers start part-time.
Method 3 of 4: Break into the auction world
Step 1. Work for an auction house or auction house
Most of the businesses are independent auction companies, people like you who started out as auctioneers and then opened their own business. However, there are also huge chains of auction houses. As in all areas, some are better than others, but you will never know if you don't try.
Try to find an auction company that specializes in your field (agriculture, antiques, etc.) and is willing to work with you and your schedules. Will they train you? What will the costs be? Will you be an employee or an entrepreneur? These are questions to consider when looking for a job
Step 2. Become an expert in various subjects
Auctioneers are often sought after based on their expertise in certain areas. You need to be able to look at an object and tell roughly what condition it is in and what are the important factors to know about it. If you neglect a scratch, you could start the auction with too high a price. Here are the most common auction subthemes.
- Learn about animal husbandry and agriculture. Many auctions sell livestock and farm equipment.
- Learn about antiques. The auctions regularly include antiques and it can be useful to know information about the objects and the different historical periods.
Sell vehicles like an expert. Learn about makes, models, years, engines as well as unique vehicle trivia.
Some states, like Tennessee again, have a specific license for auto auctioneers
Step 3. Market your auctions
You will be strongly responsible for participating in your auctions. In order to get bidders, you will first need to market your auctions through the right media, in the right places, at the right times, and to the right people. If the auction has taken place and the products have not been sold, your customer will not be happy.
It is important to know your audience. An auction with Elvis memorabilia and thousands of vinyl records is totally different from an auction that features 19th century modern art and fine china. The extent of your network will be very, very important
Step 4. Get moving
If you live in an area with a small population, you are obviously going to be more successful elsewhere. Consider making contacts throughout your region or even moving to an area favorable to your specialty (where a lot of farming is done or just a prosperous area to start with). The more contacts you have, the better you will develop.
Method 4 of 4: Get to the top of the ladder
Step 1. Practice convincing bidders
Use a mirror, check in, make offers out loud, and use your skills in public. If you went to auctioneer school, they will have already prepared you for this. Convincing your audience is an art, because you will decry the items auctioned while being in direct contact with customers. Improve your skills by practicing regularly.
Persuading the audience is obviously the most visible part of an auctioneer's job, but it's only a very small part of it. It is also important to be charismatic, a good trader and have good administration skills to start
Step 2. Become a facilitator
A good auctioneer isn't just someone who knows their stuff and can talk ridiculously fast while being clear. It animates the whole room. An auctioneer who charms his audience can raise prices up to 20%. If you don't make the crowd bid, the auction will be a disaster.
- If it wasn't clear thus far, you will be working on commission most of the time. So the more you charge your audience, the better you'll earn. So you have to work!
- To some extent, you will persuade your audience to pay more. People will automatically start to hesitate when prices go up. Your job is to be persuasive and convince them (without them realizing it) that they are making a good decision by overbidding them.
Step 3. Be up to the task
A good auctioneer is often very elegant. You will be able to work with items that are very expensive and you have to adapt your behavior to the situation. Don't call your bidder "the woman in the orange hat over there" and never point fingers at people. You will be working with ladies and gentlemen and you should always be very elegant.
If you switch to TV, there will also be a different protocol. You will need to address viewers who have just turned on their television. Increase your charm, be tactful and wear a brightly colored top or tie
Step 4. Understand that this job requires more work than it looks
In addition to all the prep work you will have to do (working with customers, dealers, etc.) and managing the auction, you will have to work out the small everyday details. And there will be many.