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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

We’ve always done it this way … so what should we do?

We wrote in 2014 that many auctioneers have bad habits and are hesitant to change because they’ve always done it this way: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/weve-always-done-it-this-way/. This same rule probably applies to most of us, auctioneer or not.

Today, we explore if an auctioneer has a good habit — should he change so he isn’t doing it the way he has always done it? Of course not. If you as an auctioneer have developed a good habit — stay with it. Bad habit? Look at changing …

For example:

  1. “We always reopen the bid to only the high bidder and the other bidder in case of a tie bid.” This is a terrible habit — good to change it.

  2. We always go over the terms prior to the start of the auction event.” Great habit — definitely keep doing that.

Habits are often difficult to change. Many have smoked for years and find quitting quite difficult, for example. Drugs? Excessive alcohol? Eating too much? Spending too much? Maybe good to change all these?

However, how about working out each morning? Eating a healthy breakfast? Wearing your seat belt when driving? Get enough sleep? Be kind to others? Maybe good to keep these habits?

The “We’ve always done it this way” phrase used to more-or-less poke fun at older auctioneers who are hesitant to change is a bit misguided. For that matter, some auctioneers also use the “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” phrase pointed to those who constantly are making changes seemingly for the pleasure of constant change itself.

We would suggest a better phrase — “Make an effort to improve every day.” Some days, that might be only tweaking operations, making no changes, or completely overhauling operations. It’s likely a balance: Just because you’ve always done it doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, just like if you refuse to do anything differently because “it’s not broken” may or may not be misguided.

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, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is 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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