Decision Time: Hire a Professional Auctioneer or utilize a Volunteer Auctioneer?


When planning a non-profit event, seems questions, decisions and things to do come at you from every angle and pile up quickly.  Trying to do a lot with a finite budget can be a challenge and the temptation is to take shortcuts.  With meals, chose the lesser priced entrée; with the décor, less elaborate; and with auctioneer, sometimes a volunteer is chosen—Sometimes free isn’t free when choosing your auctioneer.

The focal point of a fund-raiser is the live auction; not the menu and not the décor.  It’s the live auction.  Hiring a non-professional can cost you in proceeds and puts your organization at risk.

Did you know?

  • To conduct an auction, an auctioneer must be licensed by the state—it is the law.
    • This includes commercial and non-profit auctions.
    • Licensed auctioneers must complete annual certification and are regulated by the state auction board.
    • Unless your volunteer is a licensed auctioneer, you and your organization are not following the law.
    • Auctioneers must pass a license test administered by the State of Alabama.
  • Professionalism
    • A licensed auctioneer carefully complies with professional standards of conduct.
    • Knows what to say, what not to say and how to say it when selling items at Auction.
    • Brings an experienced team of spotters to assist at the auction.
  • Reduced Risk
    • Licensed auctioneers are bonded:
      • This covers you and the organization.
      • Compliance issues, etc.
    • If a dispute over the price or timing of bid comes into questions—a licensed auctioneer. is certified to settle the dispute on the spot—if you chose an unlicensed individual and a dispute arises—what will you do?
  • Experience
    • Licensed auctioneers have experience in every facet of the auction process.
    • At Granger-Thagard, we conduct over twenty non-profit auctions a year and even more real estate auctions!
    • The complete staff of Granger-Thagard are licensed auctioneers.

If you are a passenger in a plane, who do you want flying it?  An experienced, licensed pilot or an unlicensed volunteer with no flying experience.  If you are depending on the proceeds of a live auction at your next fund-raiser, do you want a licensed professional auctioneer or an unlicensed, inexperienced volunteer at the helm?  You decide…






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