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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

Does auctioneer licensing or membership matter?

Typically my phone rings, and it’s attorney asking if I have a few minutes. In most cases in that initial conversation, I listen to a story where someone has been damaged by misrepresentation, fraud, theft, or negligence.

Shortly thereafter, I hear about the particular auctioneer or auction company involved, that I’m either being asked to help or possibly explore their wrongdoing. Nonetheless, as an expert witness, I have to know the party names to gauge any possible conflict of interest.

My work has taken me all over the United States and in a wide variety of markets — real and personal property including houses, land, prized horses, cars, industrial components, processing plants, sports collectibles, licensing issues, and a good number of related matters.

However, something I’ve started to notice is that the auctioneers accused of misconduct are almost always not licensed auctioneers (or practicing without the needed license) and they are typically not active members of their state or any other auctioneer association.

In a recent case, I was asked to evaluate this phenomenon — how the lack of licensing or lack of membership can lead to these types of situations. It’s clear to me there’s one differentiator — education and/or training.

In order to secure virtually any auctioneer (auction) license, there is mandatory training and a test. If someone is active in their state or national auctioneer associations, they are continually exposed to education — in and out of the classroom.

The result? These educated and engaged auctioneers avoid finding themselves as defendants in litigation, and quite frankly typically avoid courtrooms altogether. Could one argue auctioneer licensing and membership matters? We did.

How does licensing or membership help with continuing education and training? Besides the knowledge necessary to pass a test, both state licensing agencies and auctioneer associations can provide for ongoing education and training — that quite frankly isn’t pursued when it’s not required nor easily accessed.

While licensing requirements depend upon your state and/or jurisdiction, taking advantage of state or national auctioneer association education doesn’t depend on your state; in fact, with no license or mandatory continuing education, state and national education opportunities are even more important.

Licensing/membership matter 05/10/20

It’s never too late to seek out further auctioneer education, nor is it ever so late for it not to matter. With both live, online, webinars, podcasts, videos, blogs, and the like available today, there’s also no excuse to be anything less than well educated.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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