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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

You don’t accept credit/debit cards?

As an auctioneer selling personal property — and over 91% (as of today) of United States consumers using credit and debit cards instead of cash or checks — it would seem obvious taking credit and debit cards benefits you and your seller.

We started accepting credit cards in 1993 at all our onsite auctions. We used a Verifone 330 credit card swiper, a DC power supply, a Motorola bag phone, and a long antenna. Here we are 30 years later and still have auctioneers refusing to accept credit (and debit) cards.

As an auctioneer, I can assure you that you aren’t maximizing your live or online bidder pool by refusing to accept payments with credit and debit cards. You will tell me it’s too expensive, and I’m going to respond that fewer bidders are far more costly.

Sure, certain transactions are better suited for wire transfers, checks, or cash … but not accepting credit or debit cards from anyone here in 2023 is foolhardy. Given the widespread preference and use of such, your bidder pools could be 10x larger by accepting credit and debit than not.

Additionally, if you are selling online or simulcast, credit, and debit processing is nearly imperative to register and/or place any bid. Credit and debit cards are part of the fabric of buying and selling, and it’s absurd to think limiting purchases to cash and checks will maximize your seller’s position.

It’s not 1823 or 1923 … if you are an auctioneer, you need to behave like it’s 2023 and know that what worked 20, 30, 40 years ago isn’t good enough. Plenty of credit and debit processing options are available, and you need to choose one and provide this patently beneficial service to your sellers and buyers.

Lastly, you as an auctioneer are held to agency (fiduciary) duties owed your clients — including “reasonable care.” It is impossible to claim you are fulfilling your fiduciary duties to your personal property sellers when you’re not accepting credit and debit card payments.

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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