Auctioneers conduct sales at which property or goods are sold to the person offering the highest purchase price.

Duties & Tasks

Auctioneers may perform the following tasks:

  • check the property or articles for auction
  • list items to be catalogued
  • arrange placement of advertisements in newspapers, magazines and online
  • organise the display of merchandise for inspection before the auction
  • talk to vendors (sellers) to determine the lowest price at which the vendor is prepared to sell (the 'reserve price')
  • read out the terms and conditions of sale at auctions and, if necessary, present relevant documents (such as zoning restrictions applying to real estate)
  • answer questions to ensure the terms of sale are clear
  • comment on any special features of the item being sold, call a starting price and ask for the first bid
  • ask for bids and carefully adjust the amount by which bids are advanced until the item being sold goes 'under the hammer' to the highest bidder
  • supervise the work of others as sales are finalised at the auction.

Working Conditions

Auctioneers may be required to travel to inspect property or merchandise, or to visit prospective clients. They usually stand on a platform during auctions so they can be clearly heard and seen by all the people present.

They need to be thoroughly familiar with the property or goods they are offering for sale so they can recommend a realistic reserve price to vendors.

Sometimes they work outdoors (for example, when involved in an auction of livestock or real estate auctioned on site). They may also work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.

Personal Requirements

  • strong, clear voice
  • able to make quick, sound decisions
  • self-confidence
  • able to address large groups of people.

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