Behind The Scenes Of The Auction Setup

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May 6, 2019
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Setting up an auction. It takes a lot of work, and most importantly, it takes a great crew!

I will briefly take you through the process.

For a Saturday antique auction, I start loading my van on Wednesday. There are times when almost the full sale is in my storage.

On Thursday, Rick and Charlie meet, we load the cube van and Charlie’s van.  If the hall is not booked Thursday evening, we run the vans down and unload, so we are ready to go Friday morning.

Friday morning starting at 9:00 am, things get a little hectic.  At times we will have up to a dozen consignors dropping off between 9:00am and noon. Usually there are about 6 consignors at a time unloading their vehicles.

Our setup staff are basically the same staff you see auction day. Dave & Carol, Charlie, Donnie, Rick, Lisa and Mom.

We build the front hall stage, put out all the tables and set out the table clothes.

As fast as the items are coming in, they are unpacked onto about a dozen large tables.  We set up the main stage, which is usually furniture, Dave works on setting up the primitive section, and the rest of the crew unpack.

We usually have 25-35 different consignors, so we have to make sure everything is tagged, before it is placed. Most sales have over 600 lots, so there is in excess of 800 items to sort out.

Everyone has their own responsibilities, and because we have been working together so long, and so well, everyone carries on with very little guidance from me.

We joke around a lot, have coffee breaks and lunch, and despite the chaos, by about 3:00 pm, everything is basically in place.  We do a little fine tuning, and usually everyone is out the door by 4:00 pm.

I take the final hall pics, and then get back to my house as soon as possible, to have the photos posted to the website.

Usually consignors will drop off, see the huge piles of merchandise, and if they show up to the auction, often comment on how amazingly it all comes together!  They’ve seen the before auction scene and now realize how much work goes into setting up a sale.

 We’ve done this 255 times, and sorted and sold over 140,000 items!

Auction setup is usually the short day. Auction day is another 10-12 hours, and I won’t even touch on what’s involved the rest of the month…that will be another blog!


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