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How do auctioneers learn to talk like that?

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  • How do auctioneers learn to talk like that?

    How do auctioneers learn to talk like that?

    I guess we see pretty good ones at the sales we go to but where (what types of sales, also) do they do starter sales to learn to practice?


  • #2
    They go to school to learn to control airflow and rapid speech. Have been told by an auctioneer they also practice rapid fire speech with tongue twisters...things like the sixth sheik's sheep was sick and rubber baby buggy bumpers.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles


    • #3
      I always thought a better question is WHY do they talk like that? It always seems to me like they don't want you to be able to understand them so maybe you will be tricked into bidding more than you thought but that doesn't make any sense because then you could just refuse to sign the slip.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home


      • #4
        Its part of keeping the "excitement" of an auction going and encourages people to jump in. And yes, it trips up many people until they get into the rhythm. Btw Laurie, many auction services, including the one I work for, now require things like a signed bidder's statement, computerized entry of license numbers, and the auctioneer has no qualms dialing up the local LEO to deal with a reluctant buyer when it comes time to pay the dues. Usually if the item is memorable or high priced enough for the fuss, there are pleanty of staff and even buyers left at the end of the sale to vouch for the high bid and that the person in fact made it. The software we use will link back a swipe of a license to any previous time the bidder has been in the system, and can show at a glance any outstanding accounts


        • #5
          Some people, believe it or not, come by it very naturally with just a bit of practice at home! When I was about 10 years old, the boy next door, same age as me, could do it, and would have us girls in fits of laughter imitating auctioneers. I shudder to admit this but I *think* we even "played auction" with our horses one bored summer afternoon. Got them all "sales prepped" and everything. But we were, of course, pretending it was Keeneland, NOT the local feedlot!
          "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


          • #6
            I wasn't talking about skipping out I was talking about finding out the horse you thought you bid 5k on was actually just purchased by you for 50k because you couldn't understand them. Just refuse to sign the slip and have them bring the horse back in the ring due to your misunderstanding. Of course nowadays we have electronic boards that print the price on it as it is going up so that is less likely to happen but back when they first started talking that way I am sure it happened frequently.
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home


            • #7
              Ah! And yes!


              • #8
                Sometimes it's a family thing. Current Keeneland auctioneer Cris Caldwell is the son of longtime Keeneland auctioneer Tom Caldwell. I believe his brother Scott is also in the profession.

                Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                I wasn't talking about skipping out I was talking about finding out the horse you thought you bid 5k on was actually just purchased by you for 50k because you couldn't understand them. Just refuse to sign the slip and have them bring the horse back in the ring due to your misunderstanding. Of course nowadays we have electronic boards that print the price on it as it is going up so that is less likely to happen but back when they first started talking that way I am sure it happened frequently.

                FWIW, I can't imagine anyone bidding if they were so confused by the process that they didn't know if they were bidding 5K or 50K.

                When we were first buying TBs I did find the bidding to be intimidating, so I sat with someone who was experienced and had them bid for me. Now it's no big deal. And of course at the big TB auction houses, you can simply stop the bidding and ask a question anytime you get "lost".


                • #9
                  They get their start doing the disclosures at the end of car commercials...


                  • #10
                    They chant like that to keep you mesmerized , so you don't realize what your spending. That's what it does to me anyway.


                    • #11
                      It's incredible, isn't it? I find it hypnotizing at first, but after a couple hours sitting in the pavillion I always have a pounding headache. I can't sit through the whole day--I just come in and out when I'm interested in the particular horse in the ring.
                      Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                      • #12
                        Scott Caldwell is indeed in the business and is in fact one of Keeneland's regular auctioneers alongside brother Cris. Their dad apparently was an auctioneering legend around the nation--and not just in the horse sales world. I talked to a young auctioneer once who was just moving from car and cattle sales into horse sales, and he said that auctioneers everywhere know about Tom Caldwell. I thought that was kind of neat.