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Auctions can be a very serious affair, although some can be downright hysterical

By Holly Darwon

AS auction numbers around the country are about to explode I thought I’d share some of the funnier auction stories I’d seen over the years.

What prompted me to think about this was last week I was mid call with a bid in the high six hundred thousands and a buyer asked ‘what’s the bid?’, now to lighten the mood I said ‘umm $953,000’’, the crowd laughed, he smirked.

“No sir the bid is actually $690,000,’’ I corrected. To which he replied ‘‘OK then, add the $953 on top’.

Touche! this took the bid to $690,953, much to the delight of the enormous crowd. It went on the sell for $725,000.

A month or so ago I was at a house in Graceville. Bidding had opened and the bid was $600,000. A bidder raised his card and I heard “sixteen”.

“‘Good strategy,’’ I replied and raised the bid to $616,000.

“No!’ Yelled the man, ‘six teen’.’’

“Yes sir,” I replied, “I have taken your $16,000. It’s unorthodox, but I like your style,” I said while trying to lighten the mood and not really sure why he was getting worked up.

“No, you #$&@ing $&@?, Tin, I am bidding another tin thousand to six tin.’’

Oh boy, it dawned on me, I’d misheard the kiwi accent and he wanted to bid to $610,000. I apologised, he smiled and it eventually sold to someone else for $630,000 – a rare win for the Aussies.

Regular tactics can include people dressing up or dressing down, bidding really fast or super slow and being overly aggressive or ultra friendly. There really is no consistency.

I remember an auction in the early 2000s. It was for a hobby farm outside of Brisbane. A beautifully groomed couple attended the auction to buy it. The younger female partner was glowing with energy and as the auction started she started bidding.

The interesting bit was, she wouldn’t stop, over and over she called out increase after increase on her own bids, to the sheer delight of the crowd and the owners. Far be it for the auctioneer to stop an enthusiastic bidder from paying more.

They were of course the eventual winners and their post auction celebratory embrace was nearly as exciting as their bidding.

With auction numbers about to peak, be on the look out for the strange, the weird and the wonderful auction strategies. I’ll report back with some others in the coming weeks.

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