My First Auction and What I Learned

November 14, 2011

The other day I was reminiscing about what I learned from the first live auction I had ever conducted just over 10 years ago.

Having graduated from World Wide College of Auctioneering two months prior to the event, I had put together a very modest consignment auction from about 5 or 6 sellers.

My inventory was impressive for a variety of reasons and included 2 large electric organs, a piano, a water bed, some pots and pans, older tools, glassware and a variety of items of which were less than memorable.

The inventory was impressive because most of it had little value and I was impressed for a lifetime on what an auctioneer should work hard to avoid selling.

In addition to learning the value of two consigned electric organs weighing over 200 pounds, and moved 3 times with an end result of a no sale, I also learned of the value of kindness and generosity.

The first act of kindness came from Mr. Dunn, who owns Dunn’s Cider Mill near my home. I had been keeping a few bee hives on his property, and he was generous to offer the use of his parking lot for our maiden voyage in the auction industry. I will forever hold a place in mt heart for the Dunn family and the memories that were created there that day.

The next lesson came from an effort to save money on buying tables. I had constructed the saw horse variety using sheets of quarter-inch plywood to display our merchandise. Fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time my wife Aileen noticed an item that needed to be tagged with a seller/lot number. When she placed the items back on the make shift table, the quarter-inch plywood broke in half and like dominoes, all of the tables came crashing to the ground. Did I mention it was 15 minutes before the auction was scheduled to start.

The second act of kindness came from a bidder who I had never met who looked at me and looked at the mess, and simply stated, “well, lets pick it all up.” With that directive, our team and all of the bidders pitched in to set the auction back up. As the Scottish proverb states, Many Hands make light Work. Because it is but little to every one, and because of those many hands we were actually able to start the auction on time.

There were numerous other life lessons  learned that day, including another act of kindness from my good friend Dick Ellis who came to the auction to support me. I know for a fact that he bought a lamp that never made it home, but allowed me to say sold.

It would be an understatement to say that we have come a long way in 10 years.

Life is good, and I am grateful for the acts of kindness and generosity of friends and family, as well as the blessings from My Father in Heaven who guided me to the auction profession.

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