Auctioneers run auctions - public sales where items are sold to the highest bidder. These professionals appraise the valuables of potential clients, convince them to sell the goods, oversee advertising and other auction preparations, and still have the strength to bid-call for about 4 to 6 hours. Auctions may take place in famous houses such as Sotheby's or in barns and parking lots across the country.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Auction Catalogs
- Auction Event Tickets
- Online Career Search
Peruse the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) Web site for an overview of the auction world (see auctioneers.org).
Attend auctions for insight into the pace of the work. Also view the increasing numbers of auctions on TV and contact the sources they provide to gain information about the field.
Look into attending one of the auction schools listed on the NAA site to develop your bid-calling skills.
Understand that many auctioneers today also receive college degrees, with coursework in public speaking, marketing, acting and business. Find out if your state is one that requires licensure and a college degree to attain it.
Realize that you might begin working for an auction service as a ring person, who is an assistant responsible for confirming bids and attending to the small details of an auction. This work is a good way to get hands-on experience, since different types of auctions involve different procedures.
Become an expert in a few areas ' for example, real estate, art and livestock ' so that you will gain a solid reputation in those specialties.
Expect to eventually have to run your own auction business if you want to become very successful.
Tips and warnings
- You need a strong voice to be able to bid-call for about 4 to 6 hours during an auction.
- Become proficient with the computer software used at auctions.
- Consider expanding the size of your audience by using online auction services.
- Expect to work for a daily fee or a percentage of the sales. If you need a steady salary early on, you will probably need an additional job.
- Travel is a part of this career and does not always involve luxurious surroundings.