I work with a lot of wonderful families and equally fun collections. We spend a lot of time and many dollars on preparation and advertising for the bidders. In 2018 we had some auctions that had amazing inventory. I work hard to build the excitement, tell the story, and work up to a successful sale for my seller.This summer I had a man remind me it’s time to review some auction etiquette guidelines. Just a little reminder:
1. Being drunk at an auction is not good for you or anyone else. Your bids are still valid, even if you don’t remember bidding. And no, I won’t hold your beer while you get your number.
2. Please review the information, ask questions, and look at the auction items. You are responsible for all of your bids. There are no returns, and we are not Walmart!
3. Get there early to get your bidding number and run sheet.
4. This is a biggie… Park accordingly and don’t block anyone in with your trailer. Think of others that may want to leave early.
5. Pay for your items promptly when you are done buying and make sure you have proper payment with docs. If you do all this you will have a great time and be ready to bid.
Another issue is when some people don’t realize all of all the hard work put forth to run a successful auction and become disrespectful. This tends to brings out the bitch from deep within. I don’t like to wear that hat often, but will if needed. My biggest pet peeve, it’s a biggie, is the guys that bring a “For Sale by Owner” car and have no intention of being a bidder, but come to sell their car at my seller’s auction. I know this happens, and they understand that we advertise well, and draw people, but I feel it’s unethical and wrong to benefit from other's labor and investment. Now mind you, I don’t mind cars being setup ½ mile away, in town, and well, just not right in front of my sale or in our parking lot!
This summer was a case of one of the worst offenders that I’ve seen in 18 years. My widow owned 900 acres and both sides of the highway in South Dakota. The highway Patrol also told us, no parking along the side of the highway. Now this “Ole’ Boy” must have left in the middle of night from North Dakota to beat it to hustle our auction. My husband was helping me with this sale and was driving my pickup while I was riding shotgun when I was put in a state of shock. We came up to the farm and there is a guy leaning on a red 1969 Roadrunner waving down, yes waving down, my customers to stop and look at his car. He was in a field approach that my seller owned right in front of the farm. My husband pulled up, and I asked the man to please move as this is private land and there is no parking. You cannot have a “For Sale by Owner” car by our auction. Just move it down to the main highway. Well, things escalated quickly, and apparently, he felt a little lucky that day. He said, "Call the cops Bixch!, public access." Really, 7:15 a.m.- and the “B” word. Game on! I’m not real ladylike, so this is not a good way to start the day. He then proceeded to throw more fuel on the fire. Well, no more being Ms. nice. I called 911 and started giving a description of the car and the man. The police wanted the plate information; he blocked it with his body. I got out and went to the back of the car and read the plate. I asked him to move again, and this is where he went too far. I picked up a sign and was reading his phone number and he charged me, reached in my pickup, stole my purse and started running to his car. Growing up and living on a farm and moving a few transmissions in my day, I still had half the handle and jerked the purse back. He was just about ready to make a move when I got my purse back into the truck. This is when he spied my 6’4” big ole’ Dutch husband and backed off. The cops were listening to the whole tussle and called back and asked if I wanted to press charges. I said, “no - I just wants him to move ½ mile down the road off the property!” I finally arrived at the farm and some of my MoPar buddies - Brad Harms and crew that had helped, asked “Yvette, what was that all about?” I said, “well, you guys know I work for my sellers and go the distance? Well this GM Gal just took one for the MoPar team and went around with the Road Runner Guy." They said, “Oh, you met that guy with the 1969 Road Runner!” The Road Runner then blew by us and parked again up in her other field approach and had yet another altercation with the family. The cops went flying by and instructed him to move. He finally went across the highway and parked. I don’t know if he sold that Road Runner. But honestly, this is unethical behavior to barge in on a sale without invitation. Asking goes a long way. Who knows, it maybe could have been added to the sale if my widow seller said yes.
Think of the seller, and well, just think a little bit. Would you be able to park a car with a big ole’ sign in front of Barrett Jackson? Would you be able to do that at a Mecum Auction, at the front door? Well, this is no different. Have a little respect, and please be a good, respectful bidder, and we’ll get you a t-shirt and have a grand time. Don’t, and well, I don’t want to “wear the hat!”
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