Sunday, July 08, 2018

Lee Pitts: Don’t Be These People

I've been in some form of the auction business for 45 years and have viewed auctions from all perspectives, from buyer, consignor, ring man, auctioneer, clerk, sale manager, etc. So I speak from some experience when I say there are some folks we'd just as soon NOT show up at an auction. Please, don't be any of these people:

#10- The Wannabe- These are young men fresh from auctioneer school who want to help by waving their arms and pointing out bidders for the professional ring men and auctioneers who don't really need their help, thank you very much. There's one at every auction and you can spot them because they're always overdressed in a tie and sports coat and they are just waiting in case the real auctioneer has a heart attack and they'd be called upon to finish the sale. In 45 years I've never seen it happen.

#9- The Wise Guy- This person sees auctions as his opportunity for 15 minutes of fame. Years ago at John Wayne's bull sale in Arizona there was a man who'd wave a huge American flag every time he wanted to bid. He got a lot of attention and even made the local nightly news but it was very disconcerting because folks in the crowd didn't know if they should stand and salute, say the pledge of allegiance or, in the case of any NFL players in attendance, take a knee.

#8- The Wasted- Auctions and an open bar are not a good idea. While a little alcohol might grease the bidding process it doesn't do anyone any good the next morning when it's discovered that a drunk homeless guy spent $500,000 on bulls.

#7- The Wishy Washy – It was difficult for some people to make the change when we went from using buyer names to buyer numbers. When we'd ask for their number after they bought a bull or a car they'd fumble around and have to search high and low for their bidder number. This takes up a lot of time and a clueless bidder can stop an auction faster than a contrarian bull that refuses to enter the sale ring.

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