Why Do Auctioneers Chant

Auction chant – Wikipedia

During an auction, auctioneers will use a rhythmic repetition of numbers and “filler phrases” (also known as “bid calling,” “the auction cry,” “the cattle rattle,” or simply “auctioneering”) to solicit bids from the audience. Auction chanting is a way of conducting live auctions that is nearly universally used in North America, where it is conducted in English, Spanish, French, and a variety of other languages. Outside of North America, it is far less prevalent, and the most prominent exceptions inside North America are auction houses with substantial linkages to other parts of the globe, such as art brokerages, which are the most notable outliers within North America.

Auctioneers often create their own personal style, and competitions are organized to assess them on their abilities and abilities.


There are two numerals repeated at the same time in the auction chant, each of which represents the monetary sum associated with a particular object being sold. An item’s starting bid is represented by the first number, which represents the amount of money that is presently being offered by a bidder for that item. The second number indicates how high the following offer must go in order for the next bidder to become the “high bidder,” also known as “the current man on.” When there are gaps between the numbers, “filler words” appear, which are phrases said by the auctioneer to bring the chant together, making it smooth and rhythmic.

In chanting, filler words can be used to convey a message, ask questions, or just to add rhythm to the chanting process.

The chant that is commonly taught to beginner auctioneers follows the following pattern: “Will you give me two dollars for a one-dollar bid, two dollars for a two-dollar bid, and so on?

In many cases, auctioneers will make the following announcements before “closing the bidding” and selling an item: “Going once, going twice, sold!” or “Going, going, gone!” followed by the announcement of the winning offer.

To give the appearance that the auctioneer is speaking quickly, slurring the filler words together to form multi-part filler word phrases is an important factor. This is done in order to generate greater excitement and bid anxiety among the bidding crowd.


There are two numerals repeated at the same time in the auction chant, each of which represents the monetary amount involved in selling an item. An item’s starting bid is represented by the first number, which represents the amount of money being offered by a bidder at the time of the bid. “The current man on” refers to the person who is bidding in order to become the “high bidder,” which is represented by the second number. When there are gaps between the numbers, “filler words” appear, which are statements spoken by the auctioneer to help tie the chant together, making it smooth and rhythmic overall.

Filler words can be used to emphasize a point, ask questions, or just to add rhythm to a chant.

Typically, novice auctioneers are taught the following chant, which follows a pattern: “Will you give me two dollars for a one-dollar bid?

This pattern continues until the crowd stops bidding and the item is sold to the highest bidder (automobile auctions have “reserves” or “minimum prices” that must be met before an item can be sold), or until the item is sold to the highest bidder “If a reserve is placed on all automobiles, the high bidder may be asked to raise their own bid in order to successfully purchase the vehicle in question if the reserve is not met.

In many cases, auctioneers will make the following announcements before “closing the bidding” and selling an item: “Going once, going twice, sold!” or “Going, going, gone!” and then reveal the winning offer.

In order to give the impression that the auctioneer is speaking quickly, filler words should be slurred together to form multi-part filler word phrases.


Numerous shouts are followed by the distinctive yelling of a “ringman,” who is an assistance to the auctioneer and works in the “auction ring” to assist him. The ringmen are also professionals in their own right. Because auctioneering may put a significant amount of strain on the voice chords over time, many auctioneers also opt to work as ringmen, typically exchanging responsibilities with one or more colleagues (s). Ringmen aid the auctioneer by identifying bids and relaying critical information to the auctioneer over the auctioneer’s microphone.


Auctioneers can also compete in “competitions” in which they can be crowned regional and world champion auctioneers based on their chanting. This is widespread in the car and cattle auction industries, although it is not confined to these industries.

Ringmen can also participate in tournaments of their own. Annual auctioneer “bid calling competitions” are held by the National Auctioneers Association as well as state-specific Auctioneer Associations. The Ringmen tournaments are also held by these organizations.

In popular culture

Auction chants have even made their way into the worlds of music and entertainment, as in the 1956 hit song ” The Auctioneer ” byLeroy Van Dyke, which was about a relative of Van Dyke who worked as an auctioneer, and the 1995 hit single ” Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident ” byJohn Michael Montgomery, both of which were inspired by true events. To promote the American Tobacco Company’s brand, Lucky Strikecigarettes, radio advertising used the slogan ” Sold, American!” spoken by tobacco auctioneer Lee Aubrey “Speed” Riggs, which was later used in the 1940 filmHis Girl Friday.

During a hearing on social media held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on September 5, 2018, far-right activistLaura Loomer interrupted the proceedings to express her worries about alleged left-wing prejudice on the part ofTwitterCEOJack Dorsey.

Loomer was hauled out of the room, and Long was greeted with laughter and cheers by his colleagues and audience members.


  • “Auctioneers – How and Why Do They Talk So Dang Fast?” by Carolyn Janik and Ruth Rejnis in Real Estate Careers: 25 Growing Opportunities, published by John Wiley and Sons in 1994, ISBN 978-0-471-59203-7
  • “Real Estate Careers: 25 Growing Opportunities” by Carolyn Janik and Ruth Rejnis in Real Estate Careers: 25 Growing Opportunities, published by John Wiley and Sons in 1994, ISBN 978-0-471-59

Why auctioneers talk fast, explained by the world champ

The fast-talking method that auctioneers employ has a name: it’s referred to as “the chant” by the industry. Otherwise known as “rhythmic poetry with numbers,” as described by Livestock Marketing Association world champion Brandon Neely. The question is, why do auctioneers speak so quickly in the first place? A recent phone conversation with Neely revealed why they speak in this manner, what auctioneers actually do, and how he rose to the position of world champion.

Why auctioneers talk funny

Brandon Neely is at the corner. The Livestock Marketing Association is a non-profit organization. The chant of a cattle auctioneer is a combination of utilitarian and psychological elements. “It’s the idea of an auction that you can sell stuff in a short period of time,” Neely points out. “The pace that appears to be quick is actually not so fast,” he explains. “If you analyse an auctioneer’s chant and take out all the filler words, you’d be left with simply the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5,” says the author.

  • The quick speed of the chant establishes a brisk pace, and a competent auctioneer does this with ease.
  • A skilled auctioneer can be as energizing as a dance rhythm, which in turn encourages potential purchasers to keep bidding.
  • “All right,” “how many bucks there,” and “what do you want to buy for ’em,” according to Neely, are some of the most prevalent responses.
  • Over time, the words get jumbled and the bidding continues to be active.
  • Despite the fact that he does not play an instrument, Neely was able to insert these filler phrases so rapidly over the phone that I was surprised to find that he did not.
  • Distinct auctioneers have different styles, which can be influenced by factors such as area, personality, or just the sound of one’s voice.

One factor, though, unifies the greatest of the best: “They’re all on the same page,” Neely says. However, concentrating just on the chant leaves out a significant portion of what cattle auctioneers actually perform.

How to run an auction — it’s not just talking fast

A look back at the 2015 World Championships. LMA has a Facebook page. The auctioneer begins by identifying the item(s) that he or she is selling. The weight, sex, and overall health of the cattle are all important considerations when it comes to livestock (including vaccinations). In addition, when it comes to cattle auctions, the auctioneer is frequently the one who determines the starting price at which the bidding will begin. A skilled auctioneer communicates well while remaining non-intrusive.

After that, you start to work.” The auctioneer must raise the bidding while simultaneously identifying and acknowledging bidders.

Sometimes a bidder raises his or her hand, and other times, according to Neely, “we capture bidders by the wink of an eye.” That can be a difficult task at times.

Managing all of this, on the other hand, is only the beginning of what it takes to be the top livestock auctioneer in the whole globe.

How you become a world champion for selling livestock

Neely, 29, was born and reared on a family farm in West Virginia, where he attended cattle auctions as a youngster. It was a hit with him from the start. “My cousins and I used to have a cattle auction game,” he recalls fondly. By the age of 12 or 13, he was accompanying his father to cattle auctions a few days a week, and by the age of 15, he had secured his first job. After 14 years as an auctioneer, Neely has relocated to the Alabama town of Southside and is now a full-time resident. He has traveled throughout the country to sell swine, sheep, goats, and cattle.

Because the global championship is so difficult, Neely had to fight for nine years until he was crowned winner in June 2015.

A panel of judges assesses the auctioneers’ livestock expertise during an interview, as well as their performance at a live auction, which includes bid-catching skill (the ability to notice all those signs), clarity of chant, voice quality, and general understanding of the livestock market.

Throughout our chat, Neely was so straightforward and unassuming that it was difficult to believe that he was once considered one of the world’s top salespeople.

Nonetheless, when I inquired about meat suggestions from this cattle specialist, he enthusiastically endorsed a fine Delmonico, a bone-in rib eye, or even a hamburger as excellent choices. There was no need for a shout because I was already salivating.

Why Do Auctioneers Talk Like That?

Even if you’ve never been to an auction in person, you’ve probably heard what it sounds like when an auctioneer is speaking. Auctioneers feature in films, television programs, and other media because, to put it bluntly, they are amusing to listen to. Auctioneer chant is the term used to describe this fast-talking method of selling items. It’s known by a variety of titles, including bid calling, the auction cry, and the cattle rattle, among others (a number of auctions are cattle auctions). However, why do auctioneers utilize this chant, and how does it function exactly?

Breaking Down The Auctioneer Chant

If you listen to the audio sample above, it may appear to be full and utter nonsense at first. The fact that this individual is a champion at fast-talking should be acknowledged, and hence he may be a fraction of a second faster than the typical auctioneer is. However, even in the most rapid of auctioneer chants, there is a technique to the maddening hum. The two figures that appear in the auctioneer’s chant are the most significant pieces of information: one that represents the current bid, and another that represents the amount that someone would have to offer in order to surpass the current bidder in the auction.

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In the event that you are unable to comprehend anything else that is being spoken by the bid caller above, you will be able to make out the numbers, which is all that is required for you to participate in the auction.

In reality, the remainder of the terminology that are important to know are referred to as “filler words.” Even though the amount of filler words that can be used varies from auctioneer to auctioneer, there are few possibilities that are frequently used in auctions.

Afterwards, when it appears that there is no one else interested in bidding, the auctioneer “closes the bidding” by saying something like “Going once, going twice, sold!” For a little more palatable introduction to what an auctioneer truly sounds like, you may also listen to the famous 1956 song “The Auctioneer” by Leroy Van Dyke (at least a success by ’50s standards), which is available on YouTube.

Van Dyke does show off some serious auctioneering skills in between telling the narrative of a young auctioneer coming of age (and you can find thefull lyrics here).

Something about it all has the feel of a chant or a series of repetitions. Despite the fact that there is a great deal of diversity amongst bid callers — particularly among professionals who want to add their own flair – the auctioneer’s chant is, at its heart, extremely predictable.

Why Not Just Talk…Normally?

While auctioneering is frequently mocked as a bizarre and amusing activity, it is not primarily for amusement purposes. While no one is certain where the auctioneer cry originated, it is unmistakably North American in origin. The origin of the chant is thought to have originated with tobacco auctioneers in Virginia around the mid-19th century, and the chant spread from there. Although the design is still strongly associated with the southern United States, it is not used at all auctions. If you were to attend an art auction, it is quite unlikely that you would hear the auctioneer chant.

A successful auctioneer chant is one that is efficient above everything else.

However, despite the fact that computerized means such as eBay can outperform human talent, the most prolific auctioneers are able to pull off spectacular feats of mass selling.

How Do Auctioneers Learn The Chant?

Perhaps you’re asking, “Does there exist some sort of auctioneer training school where they can learn how to speak like this?” There are a plethora of them, in fact. You may be required to obtain a specialized license, which may be obtained through an established auctioneering school. State regulations differ, but you may be required to do so. It is recommended by the National Auctioneers Association that you take lessons even if a license is not required in order to accumulate the hours of experience necessary to be a professional auctioneer.

Numerous other talents are also necessary, including as bookkeeping, ethics, and legal knowledge.

For those of you who are interested in learning how to do the chant on your own but do not want or cannot attend school for it, there is a solution.

When you recognize that this is your life’s calling, you may learn what exercises to perform, which one-liners to toss into the chant (“Money will do you no good where you’re going, so spend it here today”), and how to become a bid caller yourself.

The Auctioneers Chant – Michigan Auctioneers

WHAT THE AUCTIONEER’S CHANT IS ALL ABOUT It is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of auctions and auctioneers alike that the chant – that rapid-fire, quick-cadence blend of numbers, words, and sounds – keeps a clipping moving forward. Sure, it’s fascinating. Without a sure, this is remarkable. Obviously, it’s exciting. However, in its most basic form, the chant is a means of communication. It is an auctioneer’s method of informing bidders of all pertinent information on the sale of a certain item at the time of the auction itself.

  1. Those who are unfamiliar with auctions may be misled by the auctioneer’s quick speaking and believe that the auctioneer is talking words and making noises that are not intended to be comprehended.
  2. The auctioneer’s chant is the term used to describe this kind of rapid-fire speech.
  3. Simply put, it appears to have developed out of need, as auctioneers saw the need to sell commodities in a more expedient manner.
  4. An auction, in contrast to other sorts of sales, is a one-time event in which all of the consumers must be present at the same moment.
  5. In its most basic form, the chant is just a succession of numbers connected by “filler” phrases designed to give the buyer some breathing room between offers while he considers his options.
  6. For many people, the chant is one of the most exciting elements of an auction, even though expert auctioneers are much more than just quick talkers.
  7. Purchasers employ filler words to remind them of the previous figure they bid and to give them time to ponder whether or not they want to bid higher next time.

Auctioneers generate a consistent beat in their chants by include filler phrases that link and roll together.

This makes it easier for bidders to know what to anticipate next and to keep the offers coming in at a consistent rate.

Because of the consistent pace, the auctioneer’s chant can go more quickly than conventional conversation.

Throughout a typical home estate sale, the auctioneer’s chant assists him or her in selling an average of 60 goods every hour during the auction.

Additionally, the fast-paced chant generates enthusiasm and makes the auction setting exciting in addition to keeping the bidding going forward.

After all, the auctioneer can only chant at the speed at which the bidders are willing to bidding.

The numbers are the most essential component of the chant, and they are the ones that are pronounced the loudest. The chant is only difficult to comprehend if you are not completely focused on bidding on an item you want to take home with you! The National Auctioneers Association provided the image.

A Very Brief History on the Fast-Talking Style

“Why do auctioneers speak so quickly?” is one of the most often asked questions I receive. Though no one knows for certain what the proper answer is, I’m happy to provide an answer to this particular query. The National Auctioneers Association made a concerted effort to learn more about the cadence’s origins and evolution. It was determined that public auctions had been operating since far before the nation’s formation, but that they were extremely popular during the Civil War when military commanders sold captured goods to the highest bidder for the greatest price.

  • However, there is no indication that the men of the Blue and Gray adopted the fast-talking style that is popular today.
  • After the Civil War, public leaf auctions extended from Virginia to other states, and it is possible that this was the case.
  • The auctioneers who work at the world’s major auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, utilize a more restrained British style of auctioneering than their American counterparts.
  • Buyers are supposed to be aware of the predefined bid increments before placing their bids.

Auctioneer Chant: How To Understand Those Fast Filler Words

All auctions are conducted in a fast-paced environment, with auctioneers chanting bids to the highest bidders. The auctioneer sings in a rhythmic and smooth auctioneer’s voice that is easy to understand. But what exactly are those filler phrases that they utilize to keep the beat going? Auctioneers utilize filler phrases to keep the auction moving forward and to ensure that the sale proceeds as rapidly as possible. Filler words like as “now,” “bid,” and “dollar” are frequently used by auctioneers, but there are a variety of additional filler terms that they may employ from time to time.

Continue reading to find out more about auctioneering, including how auctioneers learn to chant.

What Is the Auctioneer Saying?

Auctioneers’ filler words may appear to be nonsense to those who are unfamiliar with the auctioneering process; nonetheless, auctioneers swiftly and instinctively master the art of auctioning. An auctioneer may chant auctioneering filler words in a steady rhythm to assist auctioneers in communicating with other auctioneers in the auction ring more swiftly and efficiently. It is also possible to learn the auction chant, which is still another part of auctioneering. The auctioneer shouts in order to assist bidders in understanding the object that is being auctioned off.

Auctioneers have been known to employ their own unique personal flair when conducting auctions in the past.

Most auctioneers who are just starting out will start with the standard chant of “One dollar bid, now two, now two, would ye give me two?” or something similar.

Consider, for example, the following table, which displays the varying tempos of several types of auctions:

Type of Auction Pacing and Speed of Auctioneer’s Chant
Industrial Medium to fast
Fine Art Fast
Cattle Fast
Public Medium to slow
Automotive Fast
Real estate Fast

Schursuccessgroup.com As you can see, industrial auctions are completed in a short period of time. Due to the fact that they are communicating with possible purchasers who do not frequently listen to auctioneers, public auctions tend to be a little slower-paced, and the auctioneer speaks more slowly. Auctioneers, on the other hand, can also supply auction callers in order to facilitate speedier auctions or cattle sales. Almost any member of the auctioneer’s crew who is familiar with the object being auctioned and the tempo required to obtain the highest bid feasible can perform the function of auction calling.

What Are the Auctioneers Filler Words?

In an auctioneer’s chant, there are a number of terms that are used to keep the auction going forward. These filler words are also referred as as auctioneer jargon in some circles. Filler words are used to keep the auctioneer’s pace and to persuade bidders to place bids. Some of the more often used auctioneer terminology are as follows:

  • It’s all over, all over, all over: In order to notify bidders that an item is going to be sold, this phrase must be used. Y’able to place a bid: This phrase is used to inform bidders that they are eligible to place a bid on an item. It is a quick filler phrase for the phrase “you are eligible to bid.”

In order to fill the space between bids, auctioneers employ a variety of words. This auction chant is intended to drive auctiongoers forward in their bidding. The following is a list of filler terms that are often used by auctioneers: This is a concise list of the most often used filler terms by auctioneers. Depending on the sort of auction you are attending, you may hear different filler terms.

Why Do Auctioneers Say Going Once Going Twice?

In order to offer a final opportunity to obtain a higher bid, auctioneers use the phrase “going once, going twice.” When auctioneers use this term, it indicates that the auction is about to come to a close and that bidders will have one more opportunity to improve their offer. If no one bids higher than the current high bidder, the highest bidder is declared the winner of the auction and the next auction is held. It is typical among auctioneers to use the chant “going once, going twice,” which indicates that there will be no more bids or opportunities for greater bids on an auction item once the first and second bids are placed.

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Furthermore, it gives the auctioneer with a chance to determine whether or not there is any further interest in the next sale.

When auctioneers utilize this conditioned reaction, they are giving everyone one final chance to win the item.

Why Do Auctioneers Talk Like That?

That’s how auctioneers communicate because they have to move at a breakneck rate in order to get the most money in the shortest period of time possible. When the auctioneer chants, it helps break up the auction process by letting buyers to submit their bids in between the various activities that are made throughout the auction process. The auctioneer’s duty is more than just asking if someone is interested in purchasing something; it is also their responsibility to keep the auction running smoothly.

  1. While no one knows where the auctioneer cry originated, it is unmistakably North American in origin.
  2. Although the design is still strongly associated with the southern United States, it is not used at every auction.
  3. Those who make bid calls sell products in a more calm and deliberate manner, similar to that of Europeans.
  4. Using this auctioning approach, some auctioneers can sell over 100 goods in an hour, and it is all due to the fact that it is continuously moving and continually informing everyone in the room with the most up to date information.
  5. Source:babbel.com Keep an eye out for the chant of the auctioneer and try to figure out what is going on in between each move while you watch your next auction.

A continual stream of bids is yelled out by auctioneers as they make their way around the room, which is known as auctioneer chant. This repetitive chant helps bidders stay in sync with what is being offered for sale and puts everyone in the room on the same page with the proceedings.

How Do Auctioneers Learn the Chant?

Auctioneers learn to chant by rehearsing their beats over and over again. For further assistance in learning the beat, they can listen to recorded auction chants. Some auctioneers participate in apprenticeship programs in order to learn from their peers. Others, on the other hand, will simply practice on their own. Here are some examples of how novice auctioneers might learn the ropes of the trade:

  • Attending school or pursuing certification and licensing
  • And Practicing by yourself
  • Training for a long time
  • Watching informal training videos on the internet

The following are some of the skills auctioneers can master while attending auction school and throughout their training and licensing period:

  • Auctions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and their operation is explained here. What to do when an auction is called
  • What to do in order to maintain order in the room The chant for the auction
  • The kinds of objects that are commonly auctioned off at auction

When executing the auction chant, the auctioneer’s rhythm and pace are critical factors to consider. It needs to be clear enough to be heard by all participants in a variety of room sizes, as well as by the audience. Everyone, including those who are not present in the room, should be aware of the bids being placed and dragged into the action. It is quite tough to learn this auctioneering approach, and it takes a significant amount of time and effort. The auction chant is one of the most important components of an auctioneer’s performance, and it should not be overlooked.

As a result, it helps to guarantee that all proposals are presented in a clear and understandable manner to everyone present.

When it comes to auctioneering at a livestock auction, the auction chant is one of the most important things that must be learned and practiced thoroughly.

It is possible for an auctioneer’s career and success in running a successful sale to be made or broken by the chant used during the auction.

Do Auctioneers Need to Be Certified?

In many places, in order to work as a professional auctioneer, an auctioneer must first get certification from the state. There are 27 of the 50 states where this is the case. An auctioneer’s certification and licensing are crucial because they establish a standard for how he or she should behave themselves during a sale. Auctioneers who wish to be certified must complete the following requirements:

  • Completing an apprenticeship is a must. An internship is highly suggested in places where no formal training is necessary
  • Passing a certification test is also highly encouraged. Auction schools provide a variety of levels of teaching, so selecting the most appropriate one is critical. Some jurisdictions, on the other hand, just need you to pass an exam in order to become a licensed auctioneer. Participate in training. It is required that auctioneers have completed at least 80 hours of training in about half of the 27 states that require auctioneer license.

Once auctioneers have fulfilled the necessary criteria, they must renew their license every two years in order to maintain their status. Public events such as cattle auctions and estate sales provide opportunities for auctioneers to make a living by selling things. It is necessary to master the chant that allows for the speedy selling of things and rivalry amongst purchasers in order to become an auctioneer. Frequently, written questions concerning ethics and other legal responsibilities that an auctioneer must comply with during a sale are used to obtain certification.

A live auction scenario in which you may exhibit your auctioneering abilities is only included in a few number of tests, licenses, and certificates.

Where Can Auctioneers Become Certified?

Accreditation is available through the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) or through the state auctioneer associations in where they operate. This is an essential component of the profession and must be taught in order to ensure that a transaction goes well. Classes offered by the National Auctioneers Association might assist you in reaching your objective. Auctioneers can benefit from a range of resources provided by the National Auctioneers Association, including the following:

  • Articles
  • Classes
  • Conferences
  • Designations
  • Microlearning
  • Online courses
  • Summits
  • Webinars
  • E-learning

You will discover that the National Auctioneers Association provides all of the resources necessary to pursue a career as an auctioneer. Furthermore, if you are unable to locate what you are searching for on the website, please do not hesitate to contact us. One of the numerous skills that auctioneers must master in order to be successful in their profession is the auction chant. Also available to assist you is the National Auctioneers Association.

Do Auctioneers Specialize In Art Auctions?

Some auctioneers specialize in certain types of auctions, such as art auctions and fine collectable auctions. They have the knowledge and experience to assess the worth of goods and to determine how those items might be auctioned off for the highest possible price. While a degree in art history or equivalent experience in the art market is not essential to work as a fine-art auctioneer, many art auctioneers have a background in art history or comparable experience in the art market. This provides them with the fundamental information necessary to determine the worth of the artwork being sold.

However, in order to function as an art auctioneer, you must have a working understanding of the following: However, a college degree is not essential for this job, and less than half of all auctioneers have earned a bachelor’s degree.

When it comes to the art industry, certain auctioneers will have a higher level of expertise.

They will be able to assess the artworks they are selling in front of a large group of bidders in this manner.

15 Fast-Talking Auctioneering Terms

Your ears may have picked up the news that Han Solo’s leather coats sold at auction for $191,000 and J.K. Rowling’s writing chair fetched a record-breaking $394,000. You might not be aware of what goes on at auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, what with all the paddle waving and torrential language that spills from auctioneers’ mouths, but you might be surprised. Before you try your hand at auctioneering, familiarize yourself with these 15 quick-talking auctioneering words.


Some of you may have heard that Han Solo’s leather coats sold at auction for $191,000, while the writing chair used by J.K. Rowling sold for a stunning $394,000. When you look at auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, you might not realize what precisely is going on because of all of the paddle waving and the torrential language that is spewing from auctioneers.

Consider these 15 auctioneering jargon words before you try your hand at some competitive bidding.


Filler words are, in essence, all of the words that are not included in the bid. They differ according to the auctioneer, which gives their chants their own rhythm and roll. As an added bonus, they provide potential purchasers with a few seconds to consider their next bid and to be reminded of what the last price was.


The auctioneer isn’t the only one who is involved in the operation of the house. The bid catcher, also known as the ringman, is responsible for keeping track of all bids and communicating them to the auctioneer using hand signals or vocal communication.

4. LOT

A lot is a single object or a collection of goods that is being offered for sale.


When an object is put up for auction, it is referred to as “going on the block.” The term “block” relates to the auctioneer’s platform, which was formerly made of a solid block of wood.


The three Ds stand for debt, divorce, and death, and they are frequently cited as reasons for placing an item or objects on the market. According to linguist Barry Popik, the five Ds (death, illness, divorce, drugs, and denial) can be a factor in various situations.


Anyone who has seen the Antiques Roadshow will be aware that the provenance of an antique may significantly raise its value. Provenance is a term that comes from the French language and refers to the history of ownership of an object that may be traced back to when it was initially made, if feasible.


One money represents a single bid for a complete lot, or for a number of products at the same time. So if you paid $100 for five paintings, you would receive all five paintings for the sum of one hundred dollars.


However, the money is multiplied by the number of times it signifies “each.” If an auctioneer announces that a lot of five paintings is “times the money” and you bid $20, you are effectively bidding $20 per artwork.


When every single lot sells at an auction, it is referred to as a “white glove sale.” Its extremely unusual event was given this name because of an ancient ritual in which the auctioneer was presented with a pair of white gloves before the auction began.


If the bidding is sluggish, an auctioneer may resort to the chandelier bid, which is a fictitious bid in which he or she gestures to the ceiling or wherever an imagined bidder may be located. This technique, sometimes known as therafter bid, is technically not unlawful, although it is frowned upon by the general public.


The chandelier bid — that is, a false bid in which the auctioneer gestures to the ceiling or wherever a fictitious bidder could be — may be used by an auctioneer if bidding is sluggish during a live auction. Although this technique, which is also known as therafter bid, is technically not against the law, it is strongly discouraged.

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Unlike regular auctions, in which bidders attempt to raise the price of an item, in a Dutch auction, the price of an object or piece of property is steadily reduced until someone decides to purchase it outright. In the realm of initial public offerings (IPOs), a Dutch auction operates in a similar manner. All potential investors end up paying the same amount per share, which happens to be the lowest price that was proposed. For example, if you bid $100 per share and the lowest offer ends up being just $75 per share, you will only be required to pay $75 per share.

What distinguishes this form of auction as “Dutch”? While we don’t know for sure, we believe the origin is akin to those of idioms such asgo Dutch, which refers to a general derisiveness against the Dutch due to a competition between the Dutch and the English in the 17th century.


Candle auctions, which are an old British practice, enable bidding to continue for as long as a small candle is burning. The bidder who placed the highest offer at the moment of the candle’s extinguishing is the one who gets the item.


As soon as the auctioneer’s gavel or hammer is struck, the hammer price is formally declared the winning offer and officially sealed in history. Additional resources include: Artspacemagazine;Investopedia;Sotheby’s;Weese Auction Co.: Glossary of Auction Terms; and Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Hypnotizing Chants of Champion Livestock Auctioneers

It has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1963 for eager competitors to gather to demonstrate what they refer to as a “chant,” a rhythmic, rapid-fire narration that eventually results in the sale of a live, blinking farm animal. The World Livestock Auctioneer Championship has been held in the United States since 1963. What happens in between—the filler words peppered throughout an auctioneer’s flow and delivered with terrifying velocity—is what divides a functional auctioneer from a master auctioneer.

  1. The finest chants are similar to songs in that they are melodious, multitudinous, and victorious.
  2. was held in Bloomington, Wisconsin, and David Williams was there to shoot it.
  3. “As a result, I wanted to go observe what professional auctioneering looks like now, forty years later.” Today, Web sites such as eBay have made bidding on products both remote and ordinary, making it a convenient way to purchase both rare and everyday items.
  4. Champion auctioneers have a formal and orderly demeanor; they are frequently referred to as “colonels,” an accolade that stems back to the American Civil War, when military colonels auctioned off the dry goods looted by soldiers during the war.
  5. A lot of discourse about freedom is typically heard before and during each event (possibly as a reminder of the auction block’s ugly past as a location for selling human beings).
  6. Cowboy hats, sport jackets, scuffed boots, and blue denim are among their wardrobe essentials.
  7. Miller, like many other great auctioneers, comes across as friendly and kind in interviews.
  8. “One dollar bid, now two, now two, would you offer me two?” the prices become evident as you become acquainted with its specific rhythm—and it may take a few minutes to become acclimated to the crests and swells.

According to him, “every auctioneer I spoke with was from a little city I had never heard of, and they were largely from rural villages scattered across the Midwest, the South, California, and Canada.” Some learnt the job from family members who worked as professional auctioneers, and others went on to complete their study at auctioneering schools.

“There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment,” Williams remarked.

Taking first place in the competition is a significant achievement in the business, and it helps to increase their recognition, which leads to opportunities to work in larger sale barns around the country.” History of American folk art is replete with vernacular customs that began as chores but evolved into exquisite expressions worthy of spectacle and celebration: rodeo events, quilting championships, and so forth.

“The poetry of capitalism,” Herzog once said of auctioneering; certainly, seeing the auctioneers spit out cattle prices with such unique skill feels like proof that, even the most mercenary activity, can occasionally become aesthetically pleasing.

Why Do Some Auctioneers Talk So Fast and Others Don’t?

The ordinary man or woman on the street will describe their mental picture of an auctioneer in the following words: “Someone who wears a cowboy hat and talks really rapidly.” This is the image of auctioneers that has been perpetuated for decades, yet in truth, auctioneers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that are all equally effective. In fact, many auctions you attend will have an auctioneer who wears a cowboy hat and chants at a breakneck speed to get your attention. Such auctioneers who specialize in cattle, farm and ranch equipment, or other things normally connected with agriculture or construction may usually be found in those areas.

  • Towards the end of the evening, you could find yourself at an art gallery auction where the female auctioneer is dressed in conventional business clothes and her auction chant is bordering on conversational in nature.
  • The majority of auctioneers customize their chant and style to match the client and customer they are selling to and selling on their behalf.
  • In order to achieve this goal, he or she may choose to conduct the auction at a rate of 150 heads each hour.
  • Many of the bidders at these types of auctions are experienced purchasers who understand and expect the auction to move quickly and efficiently.
  • A fine art auction, for example, would normally have a completely different character than a traditional auction because it is on the other end of the spectrum.
  • Only a brief description of the style, history, and spirit of a particular work of art may require 1 to 2 minutes of your time.
  • There are always exceptions to any rule, but if the cow auctioneer in the preceding example attempted to sell the fine art auction in the same manner and at the same pace that he used to effectively auction off 1,000 head of cattle, he would very certainly be unsuccessful.

That is the point of distinction. To write this paper, Doak Lambert, CAS, of Lambert Auction Co., who is an auctioneer, donated his expertise. Find a skilled auctioneer in your region that can help you sell any asset.

Why Do Auctioneers Talk So Fast? – Dakil Auctioneers, Inc.

For many people, the first time they step foot inside an auction house is a frightening experience. Numbers are flung about left and right, objects are sold for thousands of dollars in less than a minute, and, for the most part, you may not be able to comprehend what the auctioneer is talking about. When it comes to the portion about auctioneers who speak in rapid succession, what appears to be a foreign language is actually done for a reason. Despite the chaos, there is a strategy to everything.

Auctioneer Chant

When you’re at an auction, or when you watch an auction represented on television, pay close attention to what is being stated. It is really the bid calling or auctioneer chant that you hear instead of merely a jumbled-up string of syllables that you believe you are hearing. The chant is comprised of three parts: the current bid for the item, a filler phrase, and the next price you can bid on for the item. Consider the following illustration: A $5 starting bid is placed on a chair at the outset of the auction.

It is a method for auctioneers to communicate with bidders in the most effective manner possible.

Auctions can feature hundreds of lots with thousands of goods to bid on, and they can be very large.

It permits auctioneers to proceed quickly through an auction, which may be completed in a few of hours.

Auction Filler Words

Typically, when people think about auctions, they think of the filler phrases that appear between bid prices. But the fact is that they aren’t there for any practical reason other than to provide information to the audience; rather, they are there to provide a rhythm to the bid prices. When these phrases are said quickly, they might be difficult to comprehend. This is why auctioneers refer to them as “filler words.” They assist in carrying the numbers associated with each bid price. There is no rhyme or reason to the filler words that certain auctioneers choose to employ in their auctions.

Some of the terms you could hear include “bid to purchase”, “dollar bidder now,” or “what do you want?” Again, when said slowly, these filler words would not elicit a second thought from the ordinary listener.

However, when spoken quickly, the phrase “bid to purchase” might easily be misconstrued as “bidaby.” It is not always required to use a filler word. Auctioneers can alter numbers during an auction without using a filler, which allows them to move the sale along even faster.

But, Why Do Auctioneers Talk Like That?

It is uncertain when auctioneers first began utilizing a chant to drive auctions along more rapidly, however some sources trace the practice back to the nineteenth century. Generally speaking, the usage of an auction chant is restricted to the United States, and more especially to the southern states. Auctioneers may or may not employ a chant, depending on the sort of auction being held. A high-end art auction held in a more relaxed environment is likely to employ a more deliberate technique of declaring bids and prices..

  1. And it is here that the chant comes in handy.
  2. The auction industry is all about time and how quickly you can move through bidding in order to sell the objects on the auction block.
  3. More things, especially if they are sold at greater rates, is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
  4. The rapidity with which auctioneers speak contributes to the impression of impending doom.
  5. Sure, you may go into an auction with a strategy and a minimum and maximum price in mind, but bidding on products demands rapid thinking as well as depending on your gut instinct.

How Do Auctioneers Learn to Talk Fast?

What appears to be a straightforward strategy on paper is actually a component of a wider strategy that took years to develop. After learning the chant at an auction school, auctioneers put their newfound knowledge into practice when they begin working as auctioneers. To begin, you will typically study six sorts of numbers — quarters, halves, 1s, 5s, 10s, and 2 12 — in order to improve your speed and accuracy. Consider the following example: if you’re learning to rattle off fives, you’d start with five and work your way up to 100 in five-number increments.

If you do this every day for a few weeks, you will see a significant improvement in your speed and pace.

The chant would be practiced by repeating it with the same numerals as previously and a filler word, such as “bee.” For example, you may say five bee, ten bee, fifteen bee, and so on.

Once again, the emphasis is on speed. You may learn more about how auctions work and how auctioneers communicate by attending one of our in-house auctions or by contacting us at 405-266-2709 if you have any questions. We add new events to our auction program on a regular basis!

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