Calling for the next 2019 Minn. State Auctioneer Champion; Competition to take place in Moorhead

Published 9:12 am Friday, January 11, 2019

Crowned state champion in 2017, Dave Thompson of Austin knows of the excitement that comes with competing against other professional auctioneers in the industry. He described the moment of bidding and to represent Minnesota was an experience that he would never forget.

“It really is an exciting thing, like an electric feeling to come there,” Thompson said. “People come from all over the state, and we try to open it to people outside of the state. It’s really an amazing feeling to attend something that you know these are people who are competing to be the best, and are among the best.”

The Minnesota State Auctioneers will host the 31st Annual Minnesota State Championship Auctioneer Contest from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17 at Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead in Salon G. This competition looks to crown the 2019 State Champion Auctioneer, who serves as the goodwill ambassador for the auction method of marketing and licensed auctioneers in Minnesota.

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“What’s really neat for our contestants are those in attendance to help with bidding,” Thompson said. “There’s some family members there as well, business people from the area, and some from the public are invited. It really emulates a true audience of what kind of auction you’re doing.”

To prepare for a contest, Thompson shared that many auctioneers spend hours practicing and fine tuning their specific style. His tends to lean toward estate bidding, but Thompson particularly enjoys benefit bidding for nonprofit charities and organizations.

“I’m driving down the road and I use telephone poles as my bidding increments as I’m driving,” Thompson said. “You just practice and practice. No two bid callers are the same, and it’s neat to see what people are using for filler words and such. …You learn different styles, and I enjoy helping nonprofits and realize the true potential for what they do.”

The best of the best

Learning about being an auctioneer wasn’t something that came with family history, Thompson shared. He was first-generation and had enjoyed seeing auctions when he was younger. After attending school in Mankato for auctioneering, he was drawn to it.

“Everyone thought I was crazy to do something like that,” he said. “But, it was neat, and I got to learn more about the business and felt that it was in the right direction.”

What judges look for in a champion caller would be someone’s ability to call a bid and the razor-sharp eye on focusing on different bids. Those who are successful may make it out with a trophy and privilege of representing the industry and the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association as an ambassador.

Those who represent the state then have the opportunity to represent Minnesota in a national competition. Thompson knows that process all too well and advised those competing to just enjoy the ride and reflect on their own personal calling styles.

“Sharing a stage with 100 plus auction professionals from around the world vying to be the next champion and being that representative means the most to me,” Thompson added. “I know you’ll have nerves, and be calm as possible and your true desire to be the champion will surface. That’s my biggest advice.”