If you’re asking whether or not auctioneers compete for business, the answer is—of course! But there’s a different type of competition that lives in the world of auctions, and it’s more exciting than you might think.
Yes, auctioneers compete. Fast talking is what auctioneers are known for; the bid-caller’s chant has been celebrated for centuries. And for good reason: those quickly moving words and numbers facilitate true price discovery for almost anything you’d want to sell. But did you know auctioneers use their voice to compete as well?
Where auctioneers compete
Summer time is competition time for auctioneers. Most state auctioneer associations hold contests throughout the year. But, there are three big events in the auction world that happen every summer.
- World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC)
- World Automobile Auctioneers Championship (WAAC)
- International Auctioneer Championship (IAC)
How auctioneer competitions work
During these events, auctioneers compete in rounds of bid calling and interviews. WLAC and WAAC award one champion for each competition. IAC crowns both men’s and women’s champions. These prestigious events bring together dozens and dozens of auctioneers vying for the titles.
Fun facts about auctioneer competitions
- “Triple Crown Champions” are auctioneers who have won WLAC, WAAC and IAC. Only a few exist.
- WAAC also features competitions for ringmen and teams of auctioneers and ringmen
- Ed Buckner of Mexico, Missouri, was the first WLAC Champion
- The largest of the three competitions is the IAC, produced by the National Auctioneers Association (NAA). Since the IAC began in 1988, it has crowned 58 champions.
- At the first WLAC, 23 contestants sold the same 20 head of cattle over and over again.
- Paul C. Behr of Denver, Colorado, was the first IAC Champion
- Bob “Punjo” Reed, a country western singer and promoter, founded WAAC in 1989.
- The Livestock Marketing Association started WLAC in 1963.
- IAC Champions participate in a toy auction at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (in every year possible), with toys donated by the National Auctioneers Foundation.
- Mike Lambert of Kirksville, Missouri, was the first WAAC Champion.
- IAC also features a junior division called the International Junior Auctioneer Championship for ages 12-18
- WLAC holds regional, semi-final and final rounds.
- IAC Champions become spokespeople and representatives of the NAA for the 12 months following their win.
Each of these competitions are live-streamed for public viewing. Watch their websites and social media channels for updates. But be fair warned, once you start watching, it’s hard to stop!