SUFFOLK, Va. – Tom Perry of Tom’s Auctions & Appraisals – one of the premier auction houses in the mid-Atlantic states – has been in the business for years, but he is a firm believer in the adage that you can never have too much knowledge. He is about half-way done with a course that would earn him the prestigious Certified Auctioneers Institute designation.
The CAI is a three-year program offered by the National Auctioneers Association, the Kansas-based organization that represents the interests of nearly 5,000 auctioneers in the United States, Canada and the world. Mr. Perry is a member of the Virginia and National Auctioneers Associations. The NAA believes there’s no better way to learn from auctioneers than to hold an annual auction.
On the third day of the week-long program, year-two participants (like Mr. Perry) host a fundraising event called a Fun Auction, for all CAI participants and instructors. The participants donate the majority of the items to be auctioned and then run the auction. Anyone can bid on the items, and the proceeds benefit the NAA and the charitable causes of the participants’ choosing. The theme for this year’s auction is ‘Cooking Up Funds.’
At last year’s Fun Auction, over $20,000 was raised. This year’s event will be held on March 23, at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., at 6 p.m., but interested parties may bid online, through Proxibid.com. “The auction typically lasts about four hours,” Mr. Perry said. “Each auctioneer has the choice of selling their own donated items or can opt to let one of the other auctioneers in attendance sell for them. And some of the best auctioneers in the world are in this program.”
Mr. Perry added, “It’s a fantastic learning experience, and a great deal of fun. The donated items are wonderful. And it’s for a worthy cause.”
This year’s Fun Auction will feature a wild and wonderful eclectic mix of merchandise, to include framed, signed and numbered limited-edition art prints; an Auburn University football weekend package; an NAA stoneware crock; a $500-off tuition voucher for a future NAA program; advertising packages galore; and several Auctioneers’ State Association memberships.
Other items will include CAI memorabilia; dinner with IAC champions; tuition to the Professional Ringmen’s Institute; auction college tuition packages; an Oklahoma Hunt Dinner for four with Spanky and Amy Assiter; Structuring Your Chant; an auction flag; a Proxibid event listing; tuition to the Texas Auction Academy; a portable auction podium; and an NAA tote bag.
Still more items to cross the block: membership to the Texas Auction Association; an ad in USA Today for the World Wide College of Auctioneering and Auctioneers Associations for Nebraska, Minnesota and Oklahoma; Oklahoma Hunt; golf for two, with lunch; two one-year memberships to the Auctioneers Association of North Carolina; a day of Kurt Aumann at your service; a Georgia turkey hunt for two; the Ohio Auctioneers Association and the list goes on.
“The Fun Auction is just that, a fun auction, and it’s a learning-by-doing exercise to make better, more efficient auctioneers of everyone in the NAA’s CAI program,” Mr. Perry said. “I’m thankful to be in the program.” The NAA was founded in 1946 to promote the auction method of marketing and enhancing the professionalism of its members through education and technology.
In 2007, the auction industry grew by 5.3 percent, with over $270 billion in goods and services sold. Proxibid will be one online bidding facilitator for people who can’t attend the Fun Auction live. You may also donate items or leave absentee bids for the auction with Tom Perry.
Tom’s Auctions & Appraisals is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them at 757-539-2498, or you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information log on to www.tomsauction.com.
For more information on the National Auctioneers Association, please log on to www.naa.org.
Photo courtesy Tom’s Auctions.
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