Goldilocks & The Bidcalling Bears

The majority of state auctioneer association run auctioneer championships or contests require contestants to bring their own items to sell in the preliminary round.  This naturally leads to the question “What do I sell?”  Contest items are a subject that often suffers from an incorrect amount of attention. The fairy tale of Goldilocks comes to mind….

Goldilocks was judging an auctioneering contest in the forest one day that had three bears in the competition.

The first bear had selected her items a year in advance. She had memorized and rehearsed her opening presentation and item descriptions to the point she was saying them in her sleep. When it came time to sell her delivery was robotic, heartless and fake. The first bear had thoughtful items but it was all lost in an over prepared and shallow delivery.

The second bear was flying by the seat of his pants. He stopped by a Best Buy on the way to the contest and dropped $500 on items he knew would impress Goldilocks and would give him ample opportunity to showcase his remarkable talent. When his turn came to sell he rushed through a brief, informed descriptions of his ‘killer’ items so he could get on to the bid calling. Forgetting of course that salesmanship and product knowledge often trump the value of the items.

The third bear selected modest, thoughtful items a few months before the contest. Items were selected that would allow the third bear to showcase not only his salesmanship but also his talent at bid calling. The third bear rehearsed his introduction and item descriptions but was careful to keep his introduction authentic and genuine.

After all three bears sold Goldilocks awarded the championship to the third bear. He had done it ‘just right’.

When selecting items for auctioneering contest it is important to keep several points in mind:

  • The value of the item is important but after a certain point a higher dollar value item is unproductive and if the bidding goes high might in fact distract from your ability.
  • Select items that allow you to showcase your salesmanship. Simple items might sell themselves but that leaves little chance to demonstrate your talent.
  • Always remember you are the star and your bid calling is the show. Don’t allow the item or it’s description to overshadow your performance.

This blog post accompanies “How to Win an Auctioneer Contest: Part 3 – How Auctioneer Contests Work” and is offered in partnership with the Fast Talking Podcast and

Listen to Episode 3:

Thank you to the series sponsor:AuctionFlexLogo
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If you are an auctioneer or auction professional or aspire to the same join the National Auctioneers Association TODAY. It will change your life.


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