Going Once, Going Twice ...


| 7/14/2015 10:16:00 AM


Renee-Lucie BenoitOn the ranch we have need from time to time for equipment or livestock. Sometimes a time-honored tradition, the auction, has been the right place to get what we need. People on homesteads, farms and ranches have been going to local auctions since what seems like the dawn of time. I remember my grandfather talking about an auction a long time ago where he found some valuable equipment for this farm.

So when we needed sheep to train our herding dog, we went to auction and bought four sheep that were perfect for the job. Recently, we needed an equipment trailer so we headed off to a Ritchie Brothers auction. (Ritchie Brothers is the Big Time, just so ya know.) That time we got skunked. We were outbid on the regular trailers and the only ones left had air brakes and we don't have air brakes on our truck. Oh well. That's auction for you. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

A Brief History of Auctions

No one knows exactly when auctions first came into being. There is research that says wives in Babylonia were purchased through auction. I'm very happy those days are gone! Auction comes from the Latin word "augeo," which means "I increase". Auctions are not as common as haggling or setting a price, but sometimes they're the place to go when you want a lot of choices. The most common type of auction today is the English auction, which means the bidding is "open ascending price." There are other types where it's the opposite but I've never seen them.

The "auction chant" is a personal style of the auctioneer. The only thing that all auctioneers do is they state the current bid and the bid they want to get next. They'll say something like "one dollar bid, now two, now two, will ya gimme two?" and any variation of that. The slurring of words in between the bids keeps the momentum going. Listen carefully and you'll hear the numbers.



The Auction Itself