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New To Auctions? Here Are Some Terms You’ll Want To Learn!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

If you have never attended an auction, your first time may come as a surprise. The auctioneer will speak rapidly as buyers continuously wave their paddles or hands in the air. The excitement, especially surrounding favorite items, can be described as frenzied. It is the auctioneer’s job to get people motivated to bid, and by using rapid-fire speech, the crowd reacts in the same hecticness.

When you attend auctions, you should know what items you are interested in and their values. You should also have an amount in your head that you will not exceed to avoid paying too much. The other important thing to know when attending auctions are the auctioneer’s terms. Often referred to as the “auctioneer chant,” which dates back to the 1920’s, you will hear a statement, a suggestion, and a question. You will also hear about the provenance of items, as well as filler words and the final call for bids.

The auctioneer chant

This chant will be spoken rapidly to elicit action from the crowd and get the bids moving on an item. One part, the statement, will inform you of the current bid amount. The suggestion is the auctioneers attempt to receive higher bids from the crowd. This suggestion will increase the amount on an item with the suggestion to increase it in certain increments. The question will be the auctioneer asking if there is actually a bid out there that will increase the amount.

Auction item provenance

If you have attended auctions or watched shows on TV, you may have heard the term, “provenance.” This word refers to an item’s history. It will tell you who the owner of the item is or was, and can include a well-informed history going back to the beginning of its origins. If an item of value goes up for auction, and there is a record on it, the auctioneer may work harder for higher bids. These items tend to have higher starting amounts, so the auctioneer will try to increase bidding by letting the crowd know there is provenance available.

The words between bids

Words used by the auctioneer in-between bids are called filler words. These words are spoken in the same rapid-fire speed and are intended to keep the rhythm of the chant moving. They will vary depending on the auctioneer. Each professional has their own method or style, but will give you time to think for a brief moment about the bid you want to place.

Final bid accepted

When the auctioneer accepts the final bid, you may hear the word “hammer.” The hammer price is the final, winning bid. The auctioneer will more than likely pound a hammer at the same time the word is announced. The auctioneer’s hammer seals the bid amount. After this, you will not be able to back out, so always be careful of what you are bidding.

If you would like to learn more about the auction process, contact the experts at High Plains Auctioneers today. You can call us (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email to learn more about Bidding and Selling at an auction. You can also view our Upcoming Auctions to see what we have available.