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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

Must an auctioneer sell anything?

It might surprise some auctioneers — auctioneers get to decide what clients they engage and what clients they don’t. So when an auctioneer says, “I don’t want to sell … ” and asks for thoughts … the thought shouldn’t be that he should put up for auction what he or she doesn’t want to put up for auction.

If I don’t want to put any marbles in my auction and ask if anyone can help me with what to do with a customer inquiring about selling marbles, refer me to someone who does, or give me other advice I can pass on to this customer. If I don’t want to sell marbles, that’s my choice, not yours.

“You should sell …” or “You must sell …” or “You’re a fool for not selling …” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Equally, “You shouldn’t sell …” or “You mustn’t sell …” or “You’re a fool for selling …” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary either — other than possibly involving the legality of the sale.

If I’m an auctioneer with a customer and marbles, and you are an auctioneer who gets up every morning to sell marbles, then help me (the owner) out — but don’t insist I sell them for this owner if I don’t want them in my auction.

Outside of a court order, it would seem no auctioneer is under any obligation to engage any client. Also, you as another auctioneer are under no obligation to insist any other auctioneer do anything … although certainly on this platform, I’ve endeavored to generally help auctioneers be better and avoid litigation.

We’ve previously written about auctioneers “known” for selling certain items and “known” for not selling certain items:

Many auctioneers specialize in a particular property category or two (and many do not.) It’s perfectly acceptable to engage some types of property and related clients and not other types of property or clients, just as you — that other auctioneer telling me what to do — probably do as well.

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, Brandly Real Estate & Auction, and formerly at Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auction Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He has served as faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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