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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

It’s “swart” to have a meeting

Many times prior to an auction, the auctioneers will have a meeting.

Such a meeting as this is basically conducted to ensure everyone is, “all on the same page.”

This type of meeting is certainly more prevalent with auctioneers who have not worked together much. Gatherings such as this might only last five or ten minutes, with time for a few questions.

For an auction I was called into to provide both consultative services as well as bid calling, I was charged with organizing and leading the pre-auction meeting.

This particular auction was an absolute auction. Although a meeting like this could cover a variety of issues, I decided to cover five basic rules to keep in mind all day …

We use the acronym SWART to denote our five material points:S = Seller can’t bidW = No WithdrawalA = Absolute all dayR = Can’t Refuse a higher incrementT = No Tie bids

In this absolute auction these five points are explained as follows:

Seller can’t bid

The seller, as well as anyone on the seller’s behalf, may not bid at an absolute auction (unless a forced sale.) It is illegal to knowingly take a bid from the seller.

No withdrawal

Once an item is put up for auction, and a bid is received within a reasonable time, the item cannot be withdrawn; nor can anything be added or deleted from that lot.

Absolute all day

As the auction is advertised as absolute, it would be troublesome, if not illegal, to change the auction type to “with reserve” on any (or all) of the property.

Can’t refuse a higher increment

Refusing a higher bid constitutes a reserve, which is not permitted within an absolute (without reserve) auction. Any higher increment, no matter the amount, must be accepted.

No tie bids

Intrinsic to all auctions, there are no tie bids. The auctioneer can and does have only one bidder on, and everyone else is out, at any one time. Once the auctioneer says, “Sold!” the property is sold to the bidder the auctioneer has, and nobody else.

The auction went well, and all auctioneers seemed to appreciate a consistent approach to being in compliance with the UCC 2-328.

Further, I even heard from a few attendees that it seemed, “All you auctioneers graduated from the same auction school,” (even though we didn’t) as no bids were reopened, no items were withdrawn and no higher increments were declined.

Pre-auction meetings could as well involve clerks, cashiers, registration personnel, ring workers and others. Nothing wrong at all with having everyone on the same page — especially if it’s a legally compliant one.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.

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