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What to Expect

The atmosphere of support and encouragement in an auctioneering program can really help when it comes time to start out on your own.

"All the instructors that were there -- there were like 18 of them from all over the United States -- and they said, 'Now when you get on your own, when you need help, you call us,'" says auctioneering graduate Melissa Mosher.

"These are big-time people in their businesses. These are not little fly-by-night people. These are really busy people and I have called several of them and their response has been incredible."

She says that one auctioneer donated a print and a painting for her first auction and another actually did the auction with her. "There's a great amount of support," she says.

Mosher spent about a year and a half working in auctions as an assistant before she decided to go to school. She says the school taught her everything from history to how to run a business.

One of the most important things in the program, she says, is the material related to law and legal issues.

She also studied how to develop a corporate image, how to contact auctions, and the skill of appraising. About 10 percent of her time was spent on developing an "auction chant."

Ben Bater took a two-week training program. He has been around the auctioneering industry for a long time. He says that the program he took was appropriate for him, but probably wouldn't be right for someone who didn't know exactly what they wanted to get from a school.

"I would encourage people to find what they really want out of an auction school and then interview the schools," he says.

He says he knew quite a lot about the industry, but needed the basic techniques, such as how to conduct himself on the stand and how to call numbers.

The schooling gave him the basics of auctioneering: the legal issues and laws that he would have to know about the industry. He says that students also learned how to chant.

"It truly is as basic as learning the ABCs," he says. "You know your ABCs when you're a two-year-old, but learning how to put them together is a different thing."

Bater says that people skills are extremely important as well.

"More than five percent of your credentials is how you treat people. Being a good auctioneer comes in second, to tell you the truth."


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