Thursday, November 03, 2005

Profile of a Relaxed Auctioneer

The year is 1993, it's a hot summer day, and I am selling purchased storage auction goods at the flea market. I am doing pretty well, counting the hundreds in my pocket, when this cowboy comes roaring into the space across from me in his vintage pickup. The dude starts unloading his pick-up, while a crowd begins to gather around him. The S.O.B. begins to auction off his wares. Of course, no one around him is able to sell a thing during this spectacle. He leaves an hour later with many more hundreds in his pocket than me or anyone around for that matter. I ask myself, Why am I stressing over this?

Who would have thought that within that very year the cowboy and I were to become the best of friends?

Ed Brown is an old friend of mine, and of course the S.O.B. I am referring too above, as well as the person I blame for getting me into this life changing career of auctioneering. He convinced me that auctioneering would be my salvation. Ed also gave me my first break in the business, and introduced me to Fundraising Auctions. I took his counsel to heart, and the rest is history.

Ed hails from Rawlins, Wyoming. Ed is a new breed of cowboy! He rides a steel horse named Harley, and prefers the Electro-Glide variety. By the way, Ed owns 16 Harleys, and he always appears to be having the time of his life. As a kid, Ed would go off onto the prairie to bull dog deer from his motorcycle for entertainment. It's a Western thing, he says. It runs in the family, as his grandfather had made an indelible impression on the young Ed, when Ed had witnessed his grandpa lasso an unwelcome coyote from 25 yards away while the two of them were mending fence line. The final score, Grandpa 1 and Coyote 0! Ed, like his grandpa, is also an expert marksman. Ed's life is filled with the stuff of legends.

Ed and I are quite different, yet in many ways very similar. Both of us are driven, adept in business, and both of us are successful auctioneers. One dramatic difference that has always impressed me about my buddy Ed is his uncanny ability to be relaxed in any situation. He is as calm as can be, and he does not stress. His personality and ability to relax has reinforced for me the necessity of approaching life from a different perspective, taking time off, and having fun, which I have only recently taken too heart.

As an auctioneer, Ed specializes in Fundraising and Storage Auctions, as well as working for Adesa Auto Auctions as a contractor in Stockton, CA. Ed is also one of the best Ring Men I have ever had the pleasure of working with. No matter how busy he is, he always tries to have fun. Whether he's riding his Harley from storage facility to storage facility, covering as much as 400 miles a day, he is always enjoying life. Ed has also been known to visit a local shooting range between auctions to shoot trap, another one of his passions. An avid sportsman, Ed also enjoys hunting and fishing. Just recently, he has even taken on his new hobby of Wine Tasting & Collecting. Ok, I take full responsibility for introducing him to his new hobby! Ed realizes the value and potential dollars of this hobby, as he fully understands that Wine Auctions are becoming a huge business! Ed always takes full advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself. I still get a chuckle though when tries to pronounce Peanut Nor (Pinot Noir).

Perhaps the most fun I have ever had in any auction has been with my compadre Ed. Although work is almost always involved, whether I am assisting Ed with an auction, or he's helping me with one of my auctions, we always make it a party. In 2003 Ed helped me with a huge government surplus auction, which I barely made the next day, as Ed had flown up the day before, and that evening the both of us had over imbibed. However, the auction was a huge financial success, and the client was quite pleased.

This past Spring I flew down to Sacramento, CA to conduct a Wine Auction, and I stayed with Ed and his family. All weekend long I assisted Ed with three of his Fundraising Auctions, and he had helped me with my wine auction. We ate great food, drank good wine, and mingled with celebrities the whole weekend. Mel Brooks stated in one of his movies, It's good to be the king, and I could not agree more!

To be a successful auctioneer requires a lot of hard work, but balance is also important. Let yourself be influenced by the Ed's of the world, since it is those special souls who demonstrate some of life's best attributes that we all wish to mirror. Life truly is precious and short, and we are here for only a short time. Take time to enjoy life, have fun, and relax.

Tom DiNardo is co-owner of DiNardo & Lord Auctioneers of Anacortes, WA. Tom is an Auctioneer, Appraiser, and Writer.

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(c) 2004 Tom DiNardo - All rights reserved.