How to find Auctions in Your Area

How to find auctions.

by Rob Weiman

So, you want to go to auctions, …

but you can’t find any.

Here is how to find auctions in your area.

Auctions are everywhere, and nowhere, if you know how to find them they are all over, if you don’t know where to look they can almost be like a unicorn, you have heard lots of stories about them but you have never seen one yourself.

I wrote this guide to help teach you how to find auctions
in your local area.

The auction portals in this guide appear in no particular order. All have pluses and minuses, I will try to show you both.

You can’t hardly turn on cable TV and not see an auction show, there’s Storage Wars,  Storage Wars Texas,  Storage Wars New York,  Storage Wars Canada, Barry’d Treasure, Married to the Job on A&E, Auction Kings on Discovery, The BarrettJackson car auction on Speed, Auction Hunters, and Auction Hunters Pawn Shop Edition on Spike, Cash in the Attic on HGTV, Baggage Battles on Travel, Container Wars, and Storage Hunters on truTV, Hollywood Treasure on SyFy. Then there were the shows about auctions that came and went so fast you might have missed them, Money Brarn and Salvage City on Discovery, The Real Deal on History,  Ready Aim Sold!, and Sold! on History, Auctioneer$ on TLC, Auction Packed on Nat Geo.

All of these shows were about auctions in one form or another, storage auctions, container auctions, gun auctions, collectibles auctions, baggage auctions, movie and TV auctions, and consignment auctions. The public seems to want to see more about auctions. As an auctioneer in the business I started wondering if the pubic really has any idea just how many auctions are going on every single day in every single asset class everywhere in the World? I also wonder if they know just how easy it is to get themselves plugged in to this sub-culture and develop a money making hobby or a new job.

There are several auction portals that can lead you to auctions, here are my favorites:

How to find Auctions by members of

The National Auctioneers Association:

The National Auctioneers Association has a portal for you to find auctions by their members. You can search by keyword, by auction, item, and real estate, by date, or by auction company.

How to find Auctions by members of

State Auction Associations:

Here are a few of them.

Most states have auctioneers associations have a web site. To find these sites search on your states name and the words auctioneers association, in Missouri you might search on Missouri Auctioneers Association which will return the website of the Missouri  Professional Auctioneers Association. What you want to look for there is the Find an Auction link. These links will point you to auctions by auctioneers from you local state auctioneers association.

How to find Auctions on Bidopia

(from Ocala, Florida) lists auctions all over the US. Bidopia (also known as Auctionflex) features all types of auctions (which the list by categories on their front page. from collectibles, coins, guns, farm equipment, real estate (residential, land, commercial, condos, farms, and timberland, and more).

You will only find auctions on Bidopia, in-person auctions (they call these live auctions), Live auctions with internet absentee bidding, Live auctions with webcast bidding, and Internet-only (timed) auctions. These auctions show up on Bidopia as different color pins on the front page map. You can filter the results on the map by time by using the slider, or by type of auction by using the selection buttons or by both. Zoom in and out to find your area by using the + and- signs on the left side of the map. Bidopia features a responsive website, and is known in the auction industry as being one of the industry high tech leaders. To find auctions by your favorite auctioneer in Bidopia you might have to do some serious searching as they do not support this function yet (I am told it will be supported in an upcoming release.)

Bidopia returns it’s search results in a list format, and it does support Boolean searches.

For instance on Bidopia: “comic book” – will search for that exact phrase
comic book – will search for comic and book
comic or book – will search for comic or book
You can’t search for multiple exact phrases simultaneously “comic book” or “post card”
I will have more on Boolean searches in an upcoming post.

Here is a list of the main categories from their site:
Antiques & Collectibles (7121)
Art (929)
Boats (9)
Books (89)
Business & Industrial (1878)
Cars & Trucks (425)
Coins & Paper Money (3124)
Computers & Networking (27)
Consumer Electronics (220)
Estate & Personal Property (3895)
Farm & Ranch (563)
Heavy Equipment (240)
Jewelry & Watches (834)
Miscellaneous (20481)
Motorcycles (16)
Musical Instruments (32)
Other Vehicles (38)
Pottery & Glass (224)
Powersports (8)
Real Estate (125)
Sporting Goods (963)
Sports Cards & Memorabilia (175)
Stamps (86)
Toys & Hobbies (277)

How to find Auctions on

This site features both estate sales and auction listings. If you are looking for estate sales (known in parts of the country as Tag Sales) look for the little price tag icon. identifies auctions and auction listings by a gavel icon. also lists on-line only auctions denoted by a small globe icon.

You can search for the item you want nationwide by using the search box in the top right of the home page. Say you want to find coins, simply type that into the box in the top right corner. You can also click on the map and automatically see the auctions and estate sales in your area. Once you click on a state you can further refine you search by entering a zip code or by selecting a city.

There are a lot of auctions on and due to the name, it is a place many people would not think to look for an auction. also allows auctioneers to list auctions with direct links to their online bidding platform (many other sites do not allow auctioneers to do this). This is causing a rush of auctioneers to their platform away from sites like auctionzip.  returns it’s search results in a list format, and it does support Boolean searches.

How to find Auctions on

Most auction sites stop at the border, not auctionguy. This site will help you find auctions in both the US, and in Canada.

Auctionguy has an auction map to let you drill down to your area, it will also let you browse by location, auction company or date. There is also a search feature that will let you find auctions by item (eg. Ford F150).

Auctionguy returns it’s search results in a list format, and it does not support Boolean searches.

How to find Auctions on

Auctionzip  is one of the first auction aggragator sites. They are centered around finding local auctions by zip code, hence their name.
They do not have a map interface but instead let the user put in a zip code, and how far to look for auctions from that zip code (30, 50,100, 150, 250, 500, any miles) and let the user either search for all auctions in that range or limit the results to only auctions with a particular keyword in them. For example you could look for auctions centered on my zip code 63042 and then say within 30 miles which would find all the auction within 30 miles of my zip code.  If I wanted to find a particular item you would simply type it into the search bar when you did your search.

Auctionzip returns it’s search results in a calendar format, and it does not support Boolean searches.

Here is a list of auctionzip’s category Home Pages

How to find Auctions on Lotnut

Lotnut is a website that aggregates lots. According to the site “LotNut is NOT an online bidding platform. LotNut is an advanced item level search site that makes it easy for you to find items offered for sale at online auctions. It is a showcase for items that an auctioneer has for sale, no matter what bidding platform they are sold on.”

Lotnut brings auctions from different auction sites together in one place and allows you to search for the lots you are interested in. Give it a spin, you will like it.

Take Away Day

 Take Away Day

by Rob Weiman

Chinese Auctioneers visit NAA Louisville, KY Conference and Show
Chinese Auctioneers visit NAA Louisville, KY Conference and Show



It’s my first day home from the National Auctioneers Association’s (NAA) Conference and Show, and I have decided this year to call it Take Away Day.

Conference and Show is big on a lot of things, education, fun, fellowship, but sleep isn’t one of them. If you attend a pre-conference class the problem is even worse.  To make matters worse I don’t work at my peak (or anywhere even close to it) if I have not had the correct amount of sleep. I attended the NAA Auction Technology Specialist class before C&S, and the 7 hour Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal practice on the last day of C&S, in between I went to a lot of classes, volunteered to work with my wife Tina as an election committee member, and was a class monitor.  It is a lot to absorb, and a lot of the time I am running on fumes. I stay up to late, I get up to early and in between I go to fast.

In the past I have come home and hit the ground running to catch up. I have the best of intentions but often the notes I took (if I took notes) get laid on my desk, and I run out the door to go conduct an auction or do a set up. Not this year, today I am having a Take Away Day.

The ancient Greeks had two words for knowledge gnosis and epignosis. If you want to study this in depth here is a good place. I have often heard it called head knowledge (gnosis) and hand or technical knowledge (epignosis). I have also heard them compared to our English words, knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom is applied knowledge, without application knowledge is to no avail.

So, starting today on Take Away Day I am working on applying the following knowledge:

  • I am going to become a huge student of the Boosted Facebook Post, thanks to John Schultz and the ATS class.
  • I am going to spend more time using Google Anylitics.
  • I am going to work on adding video tutorials to my website thanks to some tips from Doug Devitre at the CAI session.
  • I am going to work on identifying my buckets and setting goals for filling them thanks to a conversation with Robert Mayo.
  • I am going to stay in contacts with my new friends from China, who I would never have met in a million years without the NAA.
  • I will be re-writing my notes from ATS so I may have a lot more to add here.
  • I will order the Conference and Show downloads as I missed most of the classes due to being an election committee member, EI Trustee, and class monitor.
  • Keep in touch with my new friends (many of which I already knew from the Facebook Auctioneers group).
  • I will strive for epignosis.

So, what are your takeaways?

The Fairy Box

The Fairy Box

The Fairy Box

Copyright © 1994 Rob Weiman


It wasn’t a large box, but it was special.
She sat it on the table by her bed
so she could see it,
and she looked at it a lot.





Her Mother said it used to belong to her grandmother
and that she had brought it from some place called , “The Old Country”,
but her older brother said it was a Fairy Box
and that was why it was so fancy.
Alicia knew that what her brother told her was true.

He said that if you waited until night time
just before you went to sleep
and you turned off all the lights in the room,
except maybe the little one in the far corner
the fairies would come out.

when the moon was full
and you opened the curtains
you could see them.
They would dance around on the box
as the trees outside
would creak and sway in the summer breeze.

The fairy box was silver, and it had pictures on it.
Pictures of men with dogs
and children on ice skates,
there was a merry-go-round with horses on it,
that looked like they wanted to jump right off.

The box wasn’t round
but it wasn’t square either,
it was some other shape that Mom called an octagon.
Alicia thought it was shaped like a thick stop sign.

The pictures on the fairy box weren’t exactly painted on
they were sort of smushed on there.
Dad said that they were stamped on,
but Alica had seen her brother stamp on old cans to recycle them
and they never came out looking anything like the fairy box.

The parts of the fairy box that were not shiny metal color were dark black,
like a magic marker.
“That was where they go the words magic marker from,” her brother said. “
They are black markers,
as black as a magic fairy box.

when the fairies came
Alicia would see the horses prance, and paw the ground;
then they would gallop with the wind in their manes,
right past the pond as the children would spin
and whirl on their skates
and the dogs, with the men,
would bark.

On the top of the box there was a picture of a balloon,
not the type Alicia got at birthday parties, but a huge sky balloon
the type people ride in.

Alicia would tip the magic fairy box on it’s side,
right before she would get into bed
as she snuggled into the covers and sat
with her back against the headboard
she would watch the balloon as It sailed right over the tree tops,
past farms, tiny villages
and tall church steeples.

There were letters all around on the fairy box,
they were twisty and strange.
Once she thought her mother said they were German,
but every time she told her brother that
he said it was elf writing.

Alicia loved the fairy box
and sometimes, when she took it to bed with her
with the moonlight shining through the windows
she would turn the fairy box over and over
until at last she would sigh
lay her head on the pillow,
and the fairy box would slip from her hands and tumble
like a dream
to the covers.

As the years went by the fairies did not come as often
and Alicia started to use the box to store her rings and necklaces


Then on her sixteenth birthday Alicia’s uncle gave her a beautiful handmade jewelry box,
and Alicia put the fairy box away.

Alicia’s life became quite normal,
there were boys and parties
friends and marriage,
children and commitments,
she often found herself staring out her window
her mind
with thoughts of skates, and ice and barking dogs,
of horses, and balloons, and fields
tall church steeples
with loud clanging bells.

One summer night,
as the wind blew through the curtains.
Alicia woke from a strange dream.
She had dreamt that she was six again
and the fairies where there.
Her teddy bear was dancing with a tiny man in a tall top hat.
The covers lay soft against her skin.
The air smelled of honeysuckle,
and she was very, very happy.

The next morning Alicia went to the attic,
it had been far to long.
Her own daughter was six now
she had something she needed to do.

Johnson Shutins, Auctioneers, and Joe Desloge.

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

One morning about 14 years ago I found myself standing outside my local post office with an older man who was wearing a olive drab sweater kaki pants and a belt that looked like it was made from hemp that hung down from his waist. He struck up a conversation with me about all the packages I had on my dolly. My wife and I were selling a lot of items on eBay then and I was making a run to the post office to put some of them in the mail. I had a very full dolly and the old man was very curious about this. He was peppering me with questions, who I was, what I had in the packages, how did I get started on eBay, what did I know about computers.

The door opened up a half and hour later and I was worn out, I felt as if this little old man was interrogating me, he was nice but he was intense. As he walked up to the counter I heard the clerk say, “good morning Mr. Desloge, here is your mail”.  I said,  “Desloge, let me shake your hand”. He asked my why, and I said, “I live less than 3 miles from your house, and your family donated Johnson’s Shut-Inns State Park, it is my favorite place in the entire state, I have always wanted to meet one the Desloges so I could say thank you, so thank you”.  He almost glowed. Very few people knew that the Desloges had donated the park, so Joe was very surprised that I knew they were involved at all.

Joe and I became friends, and over the years I learned that there was a log cabin somewhere on the property that the Desloge family used to go to that was insulated by whoever built it by stuffing newspaper in the walls.

Johnson’s Shut-Inns is named after the Johnson family military that is located on the park grounds and gets the name Shut-Inns form a formation of beautiful granite stone that is worn smooth by the currents of the black river as it is shut-in by the rocks. Joe’s father  (Joseph Desloge Sr. Joe is really Jospeh Desloge Jr.) donated the park after spending years over 17 years to acquire the properties to make the park, and then spent more time donating money to improve the park. It is a special place, if you ever get the chance to visit, by all means do.

Years passed, and I went from selling on eBay to conducting estate sales, to conducting auctions. I joined the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) and attended many classes, at one of these classes I shared some information on Google marketing with one the instructors who wound up asking me to take over the class for the next 1/2 hour to share the information with the class. I was asked after the class to come help with other classes, then I started offering to teach classes to state auctioneers associations. I was asked to come to teach  a class on accelerated marketing via Google and lead a round table on social media  at the Texas Auctioneers Association’s meeting in the town of San Marcos, Texas. While I was at San Marcos I ate most of my meals in the hotel restaurant. On the far end of the restaurant wall there was a picture of a beautiful stream running through purple/blue rocks in the middle of a forest. After looking at it for several meals I wandered over and had a closer look, it was a picture of Johnson Shutins.

First World Problems

Years ago my wife Tina and I sponsored a young girl in Ecuador, for years we sent a check to her family via a relief organization (one of the ones that builds a school in the village and helps feed a child and provides education as well). This little girl was perhaps 7 years old when we got a picture from the organization along with a letter.

The picture was of her mother holding a trash bag full of things (I could make out a pair of flip flops) and I remember she had a very sad look on her face. The letter explained how the girl we were sponsoring had gone fishing with her dad down at a local river. Her father had seen some pigs in the nearby vegetation and ran off after them hoping for an easy meal. When he returned his daughter was nowhere to be found. The looked and looked but could not find any trace of her, but somehow had decided that she must have been eaten by a snake. They found a very large snake nearby and killed it and found his dead daughter inside.

I was thinking about this today as I tried to fit my groceries into my completely full refrigerator, and I remembered the little girls picture that used to hang on my refrigerator. The same picture I hung the letter on. The letter explained how she had died and asked if we wanted the stuff in the bag her mom was holding back since the litter girl was no longer going to be able to use the items. Of course I said keep the items and give them to her brothers and sisters. I tried to support the family but his organization had strict age rules and the brothers and sisters did not fall in the correct ages for them to support.

So there I was looking at my over stuffed refrigerator, thinking of that little girl, and about my little girl. My daughter is getting married in 8 days, she did not get eaten by a snake, and we have too much food.

Life is good today, and now I think I will say a prayer for the family we used to support all those years ago. I bet when you daughter gets eaten by a snake the pain never goes away.

It is good here in St. Louis, MO. I love my job as an auctioneer, I get to work with my family, all my family (at least for one more auction). Next week my daughter gets married and moves away, but at least she did not get eaten by a snake.

Texas Auctioneers, and Live Oak Trees

I live in Missouri but for some odd reason I have a strong relationship to Texas auctioneers. I would have never thought that would be the case. I was born in Lockport, New York but I moved to Texas when I was 3 months old. We lived in El Paso. Most of my Texas friends didn’t even know that until now.

My father was a Warrant Officer in the US Army and worked with Nike Hercules Air Defense missiles which happened to be located on the edges of the country in places like El Paso.

I don’t remember living in El Paso, we moved to Fairbanks, Alaska when I was 3 years old. Like I said we lived on the edges.

My next exposure to Texas was in Indiana the the Certified Auctioneer Institute hosted by the Keller School of Business. I met several Texas auctioneers there including Rick Stroud, BS, CAI, BAS and Cindy Stroud, BA, CAI, BAS , Luther Davis, and Si Harbottle, CAI.  Over the 3 years we were together in the Spring at CAI we came to respect each other and we became great  friends.

My next exposure to Texas was life changing. I was invited to Texas to teach a class at the Texas Auction Association’s convention. The Texas auctioneers took my wife and I to Gruene, San Antonio, Boerne, and then one of the coolest places I have every, ever gone, Luckenbach Texas.

What makes Texas so great is the Texans, and Texas. Let’s face Gruene is a wonderful place because  it is pretty, but then Texans made a very cool mill there and then they turned that mill into a way cool restaurant. Now Lukenbach, is a town of 3, but it has a bike rack that they use for guitar cases, there were 12 cases on the rack the day we went there (I counted). They have a general store, that is also a post office, a bar and a dance hall. As I sat under the spreading moss covered trees full of roosters and hens and listened to the excellent musicians play I was reminded of a line from Field of Dreams (with a slight modification)
“Is this heaven? No it’s Texas”. I thought the musicians must have been from all over the US to be that good, I was shocked to learn that they were mostly from just a few miles away.

One song in particular struck a cord with me. A young man named Jake Martian (I just figured out his name today almost a year and a half later) who sang a hunting song about the last living live oak tree. Live oak trees grow down South, they are often as wide as they are tall. The live oak trees stay green all year (thus their name) but they are dying off and nobody knows exactly why.

I would have never found Gruene, or Boerne, or Lukenbach. I would have never seen a Lukenbach pickers circle. I wold have been much poorer, you can’t buy a day like this.  Here is a video I took that day. It is shaky but I love this video. It was one of the best days of my entire life, and I owe it all to Texas Auctioneers.

Auctioneer Finds Live Cannonball St. Louis Home

Auctioneer Finds Live Cannonball St. Louis Home.

Auctioneer Rob Weiman of Mound City Auctions finds Live cannonball in St. Louis, MO. home.
Live Cannonball found in St. Louis home.

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They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but cannonballs, well that seems to be another story. Auctioneer Rob Weiman of Mound City Auctions has now found 8 cannonballs in residential homes in the St. Louis area. He was setting up a regular estate auction in Chesterfield, MO. (a suburb of St. Louis, MO.) when his wife (Tina) found a live cannonball in a box. She called over to Rob and said “Rob, come take a look at what I just found.” Rob informed the seller that this was a live cannonball and the owner said “no that thing is just fine, I dug that up when I was a kid. I used to play with that and roll it down the driveway.” Rob let him know that he may well have played with it but that didn’t make it any less real. He told him “these thing are perfectly safe, right up until the time that they are not.” If you look closely at the cannonball you will see that it has a plug in it. this is to contain the the explosive charge that is used to make it explode. The auctioneer took the cannonball outside and called the police after telling the owner, “I have to call the police, you can’t sell these, and you can’t throw them away, they are quite dangerous.” The policeman called the supervisor in and the Sgt. called the bomb squad. The bomb squad, called in the bomb disposal truck.

I am a National Auctioneers Association Educational Trustee and one of the classes I teach is on auction safety. I would love to bring a program to your state on auction safety. I was a licensed Master Electrician before I was an auctioneer and can share some other safety tips with your group to help keep your auction staff safe, and not just from cannonballs, grenades and stuff that will blow you up.


I previously presented a class at the Spokane, WA. convention on Auction safety.
You can see that here.

Professional Auctioneers | Ringmen

Professional Ringman Sam
Sam “The Hit Man” Grasso

The Missouri Professional Auctioneers Association’s 2014 Winter Convention

Professional Auctioneers | Ringmen

by Rob Weiman

The Missouri Professional Auctioneers Association met this Winter at The Elms in Excelsior Springs, MO. It was a wonderful hotel, with a great history. We had a 2 part real estate class covering selling commercial real estate in Missouri, a class on the art and science of working the ring, and a panel on  “Marketing in the 21st Century”.

The ringman class was taught by Sam “The Hit Man” Grasso. For those of you not familiar with the auction world this might require a bit of explanation. Sam works as a professional ringman.

Auctions (not unlike circuses) can have rings. Just like a 3 ring circus, a 3 ring auction would have something going on in 3 different places, these places would each be called a ring. An 3 ring auction might have a jewelry ring, a gun ring and a furniture ring. Auctioneers set up multiple rings in an auction when they have to many things to sell in one ring during the time frame of the auction. The idea is that the bidders who buy guns are not normally the same bidders that buy jewelry or furniture. If they are interested in both rings they can either bring another bidder with them and split up, with each bidder attending a different ring, or they can leave an absentee bid with the auctioneer calling bids in the ring they can’t attend.

Each ring would have it’s own auctioneer and ringmen (sometimes called ring persons) and a clerk to record what sold, who bought it and what did it sell for.  Sam is one of these ringmen. He makes his living traveling the USA assisting auctioneers. A ringman is the go-between standing out in the crowd, relaying what the auctioneer is saying to the bidders and relaying information from the bidders back to the auctioneer either with their voice or with hand signals. Sam is at the top of the heap in the world of ringmen, he is in great demand, he makes auctioneers money.   When he is not ringing at an auction Sam is teaching others the proper way to be a ringman at State and National Auctioneers Associations conventions.

One of the auctions Sam works is a 5 ring auction that still takes 7 days to sell thousands and thousands of pieces of equipment. Sam told us he was working this auction one time when his ring that day had 789 skid steers (A Bobcat is a type of skid steer). These auctions can have thousands of bidders, it is simply physically impossible for an auctioneer to see all of these bidders let alone see if they are bidding. Sam can get in the crowd get to know the bidders in his area, chat with them see what they are interested in, before the auction starts. He can find out if they want to set up some sort or signal to indicate that they want to bid. These bidders tend to be professional buyers, some of whom attend the auction with over a million dollars, and their own private body guards. The often do not want others to know they are bidding, they might bid by winking at the ringman, crossing their fingers or other small signals. The ringman can see these small signals, keep track of the bidder, the bid amount of the bid and signal the auctioneer that they have a bid and that their bidder is “in” or has the current high bid. If they want to be sure if the auctioneer has their bidder and their bid as the high bid they can use another hand signal to the auctioneer to ask “do you have my bid?” All of this is very seamless, and transparent to the bidders.

The ringman will speed the auction up and will be able to let the bidder know when they are “out” (that is, tell them that they are no longer the high bidder) ask the bidder if they want to bid again (get back in). Depending on the auction and the auctioneer, the ringman might be able to pass a cut bid to the auctioneer. As an example say the auctioneer is selling a large Caterpillar D9 Bulldozer and the current bid is $85,000 and the auctioneer is asking for $90,000, the ringman might have the a bidder who will not bid $90,000 but might bid half of the bid increment (in this case $87,500) or perhaps $86,000. In this case the auctioneer and ringmen would normally have a hand signal to indicate  the smaller bid amount. Many times a bidder who will not bid $5,000 in one bid will bid $10,000 more in $1,000 or $2,500 bids. This is were a ringman pays for himself.

Ringmen can be of great value at a large benefit auction. Non-profits who think that their volunteers can match the performance of a professional ringman have never seen Sam or a real professional ringman do their magic.  Sam has a very friendly demeanor, he is the type of guy that can know you for 3 seconds and establish a rapport, people what to make him happy. He can get the last dime out of a room. If you ever see a pro like Sam work you will never leave money on the table again by using “free bid spotters”. A bid spotter and a professional ringman are not even remotely close. Sam got his nickname from auctioneers for his ability to get his bidders to “hit it again” (bid one more time).

If you have ever worked with the hit man, or any other great ringman I encourage you to leave a comment about how important they were to the success of your auction below.

The Common Crap Road Show


What not to bring to my St. Louis auctions.
Welcome to the Common Crap Road Show!

Some things have no value at auction,

some things have no value anywhere.

Auctioneers deal with a lot of normal everyday stuff. We run an auction company in St. Louis, MO and for every $100,000 plus vintage comic book I have ever sold, I have sold 100,000 almost worthless things. OK, some of them wound up having worth (but not much) because for one reason or another someone paid me for them. I may have had to put them into boxes, and grouped up a bunch of the boxes to sell them. At some point someone wants you to move on and will pay you $2.50 for the group-O-boxes so you will quit yammering, get on with it, and go sell what they came for.

We conducted an auction a few years ago. We had a good crowd and the sale went fine, and we had a treadmill in the basement. A big, heavy almost worthless treadmill. I sold it for waaaaay more than I normally get for a treadmill and thought we did great. In fact whenever I tell another auctioneer that I once sold a used treadmill for $375 they don’t believe me, it’s like some sort of treadmill World record I think. The owner thought otherwise. It started me thinking about a TV show that needs to be produced “The Common Crap Road Show.” It might look like this…..

In a large room people wait patiently in line clutching their “treasures”, things like Wheaties boxes from the 90’s, new baseball cards, comic books from 2010, etc. The walls behind them are draped with banners saying things like National Geographic/Readers Digest,  Avon, and Bennie Babies! Under the banner marked Exercise Equipment the expert is just starting to talk to Bob. Let’s listen in.

Expert: “Well Bob, why don’t you tell us about your item?” Bob: “I have a great treadmill. It’s like brand new, I got it right after Christmas and only used it once.”

Expert: “Yes you and 2 million other people purchased one of these, it is the Jogger 2010 the best selling treadmill of all time. It is as common as a treadmill gets! In fact it may be the most common piece of exercise equipment ever. So, what do you think it is worth?” Bob: “I was hoping at least $1,500 because that is what I paid for it last December.”

Expert: “Well Bob, I have a copy of your receipt and it appears you only paid $1,400 for it and that included their “free” delivery. Bob you realize of course that 1) you paid only $1,400 for this treadmill not $1,500 and 2) that included an industry standard $200 delivery fee, right?” Bob: “But that was a year ago, it should be worth more now. The new ones cost more, shouldn’t mine be worth more not too?

Expert: “It doesn’t work that way Bob. Do you own a car?” Bob: “Sure, I think almost everyone owns a car.” Expert: “When you bought your new car, did it go up in price or down.” Bob: “Well, down, but this is different, this is a treadmill, not a car!”

Expert: “Right you are Bob, people need cars. A treadmill provides its user the same thing that the have without a treadmill. The can walk and run, only now the can do it on a thing that takes up a lot of space, is incredibly heavy and loses value faster than fireworks.” Bob: “You mean my treadmill is no longer worth $1,600?”

Expert: “No, Bob I’m afraid that in it’s current location (here in a large hall full of silly people who buy wrong, but with easy access to overhead doors) and it’s current condition I’d say your treadmill is worth $300, but if you take it home and put it in your garage it might be worth $50 to $75 but back in your basement it is worth perhaps $5 on a good day. Remember most people who want a treadmill need exercise and are out of shape so they can’t get one of these monsters up the steps.” Host, well that’s all the time we have today, join us next time when we will showcase a collection of used sleeper sofas!

By the way, the Ruby Lane store (Kiddstuff) that posted the picture of the worthless Avon bottle on Pinterest to try and drive traffic to their online store, is now out of business. Not to worry, a quick check turned up another optimist over at Etsy with  the same car (only this one has it’s cap!) and it’s only $7, but you better hurry before they go out of business too. Here is a link in case you don’t have enough common crap at your house.

Auction Laws | The Laws of Auction

The Laws of Auction

By Rob Weiman

Auction Laws the Laws of Auction
Auction Laws | The Laws of Auction

Auction Laws | The Laws of Auction
by Rob Weiman

Auction laws, yes there really are laws in auctions (the Uniform Commercial Code or UCC for instance) but that is not what I’m talking about here. These are the laws of men, I am talking about the laws of nature,  and the nature of man. These are my laws of auction that I came upon by observing thousands of auctions. These auction laws have held true at every auction I have ever participated in, as a bidder as an observer or as an Auctioneer


Auction Law #1. Nobody cares what you paid for you things.

They don’t care at all. They care about what they want to pay to buy your things from you, not what you paid for them. I have never been at an auction where the Auctioneer is chanting and asking for another bid and someone in the crowd shouted out “What did they pay for it?” I have sold items that had an original price on them of 10 cents for $107,000 and I have sold things that the Seller paid $2,500 for $250. If you think things are always worth what someone paid for them, I have a closet full of WAMU and ENRON stock that I would love to sell to you! I think you might not want that deal, and why? Because you don’t care what I paid for it, you care what you want to pay for it.

That’s right, down deep you are already a believer in my auction law number 1.

Auction Law #2. Nobody cares what you think your things are worth.

They care what they think your things are worth. My daughter painted me a picture back in 3rd grade. I think it is valuable, you might differ with me on that point, because you don’t care what I think it is worth. However, people care a great deal about what a lot of other people think something is worth. That means there is a demand for the item.

If a lot of people think your items have value, the do. 

In the end people only care what they think (or a lot of other people think)something is worth. Nobody cares what you think it is worth. 

Auction Law #3. Nobody cares even a teeny little bit what you THINK you saw on eBay or the Antique Road Show, because you are mostly likely wrong.
I can’t tell you how many people have told me that “I saw one just like mine on eBay for (insert high price here)!”When I ask them what color the price on eBay was they ask me “what difference does that make?” The difference is one color (green) means it sold, and another color (red) means it didn’t sell.Often the person telling me about eBay prices has never sold even one item on eBay and doesn’t have a clue how it works. They don’t know that when someone sets the starting price it costs them, when someone sets a reserve price that is high and the item does not met that reserve they still have to pay the listing fee and the reserve fee. They often don’t understand that the item they saw that was “just like” their item was bigger, smaller, a different color, not a reproduction, etc. There are lots of things on eBay and the Road Show that do look just like the one they have but that one little difference is what made the one on the Road Show or eBay so valuable.
Then there is that little word that makes all the difference, condition. Even if your item was exactly the same but your item has a slight defect, a crease, a chip, wear marks, etc. then they are no longer the same. A vintage comic book (let’s say X-men #1) can be worth wildly different amounts. We sold a copy of X-men #1 graded 9.4 out of 10 at one of our comic book auctions for $107,000. In another comic book auction we sold another copy of the exact same book graded 3.5 for $1,121. Obviously they were not “exactly the same”.
Auction Law #4. People don’t care how much money a seller needs, or why they need it, unless you are having a charity auction.
At a charity auction some people do care about what the cause needs. I have sold a pie for $2,500 and a puppy for $4,000 at a charity or benefit auction. I’d love to think it happened because I was such a great Auctioneer. The reality is that it had a lot to do with great and generous people who wanted to help a cause. I just helped them help the cause. Perhaps some day I will sell a dog or a pie at a regular estate auction for more than that, but I’m not holding my breath.
People at charity auctions do care what the charity needs. At a regular estate or consignment auction, nobody cares about the needs of the seller.If you are thinking that because you really need money to pay your taxes, settle a debt, or just keep a roof over your head that the bidders are going to pay more, you are just wrong because they won’t.These laws teach us what to expect, they show us the facts, and the facts they show us are these:. Your items, anybody’s items are worth what someone will pay for them in a given location at a certain time on a particular day and not a dollar more. If you want to make your items worth more increase the number of people that know about the auction with better marketing or advertising, or the number of ways people can bid on the items (Internet bidding, phone bidding, etc.) or the ease with which they can bid.At the end of the day what you have is what you got. An Auctioneer can shine a Yugo all he wants and it will not turn it into a Mini Cooper, just a shinny Yugo.
So keep the auction law in mind if you ever decide to have an auction, remember ignorance of the law is no excuse.
After Thoughts:
I recently had a man with a Ph.D. in Economics who teaches at a local University attend my auction. When we were chatting he mentioned that he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri . I brought up the topic of my Auction Laws  and then he blew my mind. He started quoting them to me. He said he uses them to teach his class. It was a humbling experience, but I guess I must be on to something here!



Heart Attacks and Auctioneers

Heart Attacks and Auctioneers by Rob Weiman

As a "healthy" active 54 year old auctioneer, I had a heart attack.
As a “healthy” active 54 year old auctioneer,
I had a heart attack.

At age 54, an in “good health” I had a heart attack during an auction and almost died.

I believe auctioneers are at special risk for auctions, here is why.

Randy Wells  (the Past President of the National Auctioneers Association) asked me let everyone know what I felt like before I had my heart attack. He was hoping it might help others who having a heart attack identify what is going on. While this blog has been written from the prospective of an auctioneer many of my observations would possibility hold true for other professions, in particular those with high stress/adrenaline levels such as police, or firefighter.
I had thought about doing this before but did not thinking that many of you have had heart attacks yourselves and to you it is old hat, but I think that there may be something here to help others.

Looking back it is a little easier to see signs I missed. Tina and I walk a lot, often 3 miles or so. Recently I have found myself asking her to slow down a bit so I could keep up. That was a sign, I didn’t catch it at the time but it has a flashing light on it for me now.

If you are asking your spouse to slow down on a walk, it might be because you are having shortness of breath.


On the day I had my heart attack I woke up feeling anxious.

I made a comment to Tina that I felt very very anxious. I could not put my finger on why. My shoulders and neck were very stiff and tense. I felt like I needed a massage, I could not pop my neck, just very tense and anxious. I think my body knew something was wrong. I think it was telling me so. I just missed it. I told my son and daughter to go easy on me when they first showed up at work because I was very anxious. My chest did not feel like I was being crushed. I felt tense. I chalked it up to being worried about our auction because Tina had vertigo due to an inner ear infection and was not coming to the auction. I know how much she does lotting the items out and keeping the consignors straight so I attributed my anxiousness to missing my wife at the auction.

I helped move items into the American Legion Post (including a pinball machine), but I noticed that when we stopped to eat that

I felt full before I ate more than a slice of pizza.

Then my chest started feeling a bit tight, it was not a big deal. Imagine that you had put on a shirt that was a size to small. Not a big squeeze, more like a minor discomfort.

I was feeling some nausea,

but since Tina had an inner ear infection with vertigo and was throwing up a lot I thought I was just feeling queezy in some sort of sympathetic sickness type of thing and wrote it off.

I normally am the one who gets the stuff unpacked on the trailer while the crew carries it in and that is exactly what I did on this day. I felt a bit tired when I was doing this, OK very tired.

I put the pinball machine together, got it working, and set up my computer. While I was doing this the crew was getting the other items set up and sorted out. I went to the back of the hall and laid down across several chairs. I was just very very tired. Remember that I found out later that I had a 100% blockage on one of my arteries (still a little unclear which one but I think it is the one on the left side), and a 50%, 40% and 30% blockage on the others.

So, the auction is starting soon,

I was feeling tired

but the preview has started so there was not time to nap. I got up and started setting up the microphones. I started the auction and we clipped along but it started feeling like my shirt was shrinking, XLarge, Large, Medium, Small… but it passed. The auction went on.


Heart Attacks and Auctioneers

My wife Tina and I have talked about this dozens of times.

It seems to be quite common for a auctioneer to die of a heart attack.

We jazz ourselves up on adrenaline for hour after hour. Some auctioneers still smoke, a lot of us eat out all the time (lots of salt and fat) and some of us are a bit over-weight. I didn’t think it would be me, I am only 54, I am 5′ 10″ tall and weigh 200 lbs at my height my ideal weight would be between 143 – 189 lbs, I get a lot of exercise by walking several miles 2 or 3 times a week, I have never smoked, I have used fat free milk for over 20 years, I use margarine, I don’t drink excessively, and have used sweeteners to keep my triglycerides down,  but I do have a father who had a 6 way bypass, a brother with congestive heart failure, and a grandmother who died of a heart attack.

Looking back I see I was at elevated risk and it would have been very very smart to have asked my doctor to have my heart checked out.

I had them run an EKG once or twice in the past. They came back fine. But not that I have been down this road that little xray of my heart that showed the blockage looks like a handy bit of information that I would have liked to have done earlier.

So there I am calling bids, with my shirt shrinking and I asked my son to step in.

I thought “maybe I have to use the bathroom”.

This is when I started thinking I was in trouble. I didn’t have to use the bathroom but found myself alone, in a bathroom and the squeezing getting worse, now I’m starting to think “maybe this is a heart attack”.

I heard myself going, “Whew, whew, whew!”

I was breathing and clenching up. I don’t mean I was wheezing, I was saying whew as in whew that was a great pitch. This is when I decided something was seriously wrong, the whews were in sync with slight squeezing across my chest, coming in waves.

It occurred to me several days later that I had this Whew, whew thing happen to me once before.

Years ago I was an electrician at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft company and I was working on a 277 volt lighting system in the cafe. I had grabbed the metal fixture with both hands to pull on it when a wire I had removed but not put a wire nut hit my arm and made my arm and hand muscles clench where I could not let go (electricians call this being “locked on”). I was receiving 277 volts from my right arm and it was going right across my heart and out me left hand. I simply could not let go. I was on a 12 ft. ladder, and the only reason I lived is I ran right off of the ladder and gravity pulled me off of the light fixture.

When I landed I was hunched over and found myself going “Whew, Whew, Whew”.

I thought “if this is a heart attack I could die in here, nobody will see me if I fall out” So, I went back out into the hall. I think this is the first decision I made that night that saved my life.

I did what any red blooded auctioneer would do, I starting ringing. I held up old movie posters, I joked around, what the heck the squeeze had gone. I was fine, I would just go home and sleep it off. I was just over tired. I put my daughter on the mike, and continued to ring. Then I called the last few items, and my shirt started to shrink again, XLarge, Large, Medium, Small, XSmall,

I sat down and then my arms started to tingle.

One of my bidders looked up and said are you OK? and I said NO, I don’t think I am OK at all? Another bidder asked if I had boxes so I walked out to the trailer and sat down and the first bidder followed me out. I said “I think I need to go to the hospital” second decision that saved my live.

My son said I’ll drive you and I said

“no, call an ambulance”

third decision.
When the ambulance arrived I was sitting down with my feet propped up on a table looking all cool calm and collected, in fact they could hardly believe that I was the patient. The flat did not believe me, not even a little bit.

They said

“well if you want we can run an EKG on you out in the ambulance”

, I said “I would like that” fourth decision. I walked out to the ambulance and climbed in myself. They ran the EKG and then they started acting very very differently. They called in right away and put an 18 gauge needle in each arm for IVs and gave me the spray of Nitro. By the time we got the 15 minutes to the hospital they had given me nitro 3 times and I was on an IV and oxygen but had still turned gray.

The rest is just hospital stuff.
Summing up:

  • I was short of breath on walks and looking back should have had that checked out.
  • Tense Shoulders/Neck
  • Uneasy anxious
  • Nausea
  • Squeeze (shirt shrinking, not as bad as a blood pressure cuff but close toward the end)
  • Tingle in my arms, starting at the top and working it’s way to my fingers.
  • Hard time breathing, Whew, whew, whew
  • Take an Ambulance not car

Now dear readers it is your turn.

I want to hear from others who have had a heart attack.

My goal is to help someone else. I delayed calling an ambulance for over a half an hour while I tried to explain this away in my mind. I will never make that mistake again, nor should you.

You are encouraged to respond here or contact me via my contact form on this website. Thanks!



Since I originally wrote this blog I have received many responses on Facebook I have received many responses. I will attempt to include them here:


  • Janine Huisman Thanks for sharing, Rob. So glad that you’re doing better!
  • Rich Ranft Now if we could get rid of all carbohydrates at conventions…doughnuts, muffins, etc. and have like fresh fruit instead………………….at both state and national levels.
  • Tina Weiman Totally agree Rich Ranft. We would all be better off!
  • Lou Ann Waters Thanks for sharing Rob. Your story could save a life.
  • Marc A Geyer Thank you Rob. Very glad you are doing better. In sickness and in health, the knowledge you share greatly benefits your auction family.
  • Donna Walters-Tuttle Thank you for Sharing and Glad you are Better! and Alive! Scary Stuff!
  • Toney Thornhill Rob thabk you for sharing. Would you be kind enough to post this on your regular page. I would like to share it. I know it was written with the auction profession in mind, but the symptoms and logic of your thoughts may help other professionals as well.
  • Randy Wells Rob, that is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for posting. I’m betting that you helped save someones life today. Auctioneers helping Auctioneers, Ah Ha!
  • Tom Jordan Rob Thank you for sharing. Maybe this is a topic that a session on at C&S. Your health.
  • Scott Musser Thanks for sharing Rob. A few questions:

    1. Were you currently on any statin drug?

    2. Were you taking aspirin regularly?

    3. Did you take any aspirin after the symptoms came on?
  • Robert Mayo Wow! I am so glad you are able to tell that story.
  • Jim Littlejohn Thanks Rob- I agree with Randy
  • Bill Merritt Rob, thanks for sharing! You can also have a heart attack and never know it happened. I did that and later in tests it showed up and it had done a little damage.
  • Darron Meares Men and women – start moving. There are a lot of things we can stop, but one we can all do is start moving.
    23 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 4
  • Brent Voorheis I, too, am very glad that you are here and can tell this story. Wake up call for everyone.
  • Tricia D. Wiltjer Rich Ranft it’s sad because I always order both at the Michigan conventions…cookies, chips and fruit and a basket of apples. Guess what’s left over at the end of the day. We need to start making smarter choices. I would love to see the day where the junk food is left over and the fruit is all gone. Then I can stop ordering the junk food without getting yelled at.
  • Darron Meares Men – get regular physicals. Turning, coughing and bending over are all part of the game as we get older (no need for further explanations)… at 41 I can see the benefits of regular physicals. No time better to start than right now!
    23 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 3
  • Rob Weiman Great questions Scott Musser
    1. I was not on anything but allergy medicine, and some tums.
    2. No, I only took aspirin when my joints hurt or I get a bobo
    3. I did take 4 aspirin (chew able, orange and yummy) that the ambulance crew gave me just as soon as they did the EKG but after the squirt of Nitro.
    23 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Tricia D. Wiltjer regular physicals for women too:) Guess what the leading cause of death is in women? HEART DISEASE. Thanks for posting this Rob. It’s sure an eye opening. A girlfriend of mine had a similar situation and she had no idea it was a heart attack until she ended up in a helicopter because they didn’t have time for the ambulance drive. Her teeth hurt and her neck hurt. She thought it was a tooth acting up. Then it went down her arm. Never had chest pains or tightness at all.
  • Vicky L. Flickinger Thank you for sharing Rob! Very good information for everyone! I am so happy everything went well for you and that you are on the mend! I am sure you and Tina are both emotionally exhausted!
  • Brian A. Ward Rob, Thanks for sharing, I believe this will really help a lot of us. Great information
  • Rob Weiman Toney Thornhill, I put a slightly updated version on my website. Feel free to use it as you will (link-backs are always welcome, sorry SEO never stops around here).

    St. Louis, MO. Auction Auctioneer Mound City Auctions
  • Jeff Harvey Thanks for sharing your story! May save a life!
  • Rob Weiman OK, Thanks for the back slaps, now you other people have a job to do. Lets hear from you. You may save a live too. Your turn.
    23 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Paul C Behr Thanks much Rob
  • Darron Meares 23 years old… paramedic school during the day, bartending at night, Paramedic ride time all day on Friday, auctions on the weekend. I didn’t catch the Bell’s Palsy as a sign of me needing to slow down. So, the body talks louder with a slight heart attack on the back side of my heart – someone said it earlier – only the EKG picked it up. I still didn’t change until a few years later… but I have made the change for the better and not looking back!
  • Rob Weiman Holly Cow Darron I would nerver in a million years have thought that you had previously had a heart attack, in fact you are who comes to mind when I think of someone in perfect shape.
    21 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
  • Rob Doyle Thanks for sharing. Have fun.
  • Jeb Howell Great stuff Rob, thanks for the detail, will pass this along
  • Dick Whittington Rob, my first heart attack was very different from yours. Started the morning out feeling fine, was New Years Eve. Cold Saturday morning headed to the horse farm where we were rebuilding the stables. Worked there for two or three hours, the air seemed to make my feel raw as I breathed. Ran errands, had a quick lunch and went to the cattle farm. Worked around there with the same raw feeling. Walked about 1/2 mile stretching temporary fence with no problems. Started back to the truck, had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, still no pains. Sat in the truck for about ten minutes to catch my breath, still no pains. Went to Lowes Hdwe and walked around picking up several items, still fine, now rawness. Came to the house, showered, went out to eat. Came back home, laid down on the couch to watch TV. Woke up about 10 or so with indigestion ( I thought) Changed position and discomfort went away. Still no chest pains. About 11:45 I woke up again uncomfortable (no pain yet) and could not get it to go away. I got up and told my wife that I think we need to go the the ER (four minutes away) Walked into the ER thru the EMS entrance and the nurses looked at me and asked what was I doing coming in thru that entrance. I told them that I could not get my breath. I do not remember much of anything for the next 24-36 hours. They told me that I had a minor heart attack with very little damage. They did a cath on Wednesday, told me that they would be in my room to tell me what they found and their plan of action. Two hours after the cath, the “Big One” hit me. Everything you have ever heard described with the exception of nausea. I am very fortunate as the LAD (AKA “The Widow Maker”) was 90% blocked and had gone into spasms.
  • Dick Whittington Hit enter too quick. Took me to cardiac lab and in less than 30 minutes after I pushed the call button they had done the “rotor rooter” and ballon on me. Still not a lot of damage but left with congestive heart failure. Cardiac rehab and the procedures left me stronger than I had been in years. Take care of yourself, when the doc will let you enroll in a cardiac rehab program and follow it to the T. I have survived for 17 years now, a couple more angioplasties, change of meds a couple of times, and am still semi productive. I was
  • Dick Whittington Like Darron I had spent time in the back of an ambulance (20 years), taught CPR, administered CPR. I was fortunate that I did not go into denial when the signs were clear. Many people do that and do not get to the hospital quick enough.
  • JillMarie Wiles My Dad lives in Yuma 5 months out of the year. He traveled from Arizona to Oregon by plane to be with us when Ava was born. I was 2 weeks overdue and he was becoming more and more agitated, with anticipation we thought. My step mom said he would go out to do something and have shortness of breath. His color wasn’t good and he was tired, but no pain. Ava was born but he was still agitated, short of breath, tired and his skin tone was poor. He had nitro pills at his home in Oregon and was taking them but not telling anyone. His dad died of a heart attack, so my dad kept his heart problems to himself as not to worry anyone. He continued to take the nitro pills on their flight back to Arizona. When he got back home he said he felt the same but a slight pain started in his arm and chest and he said to his wife “Get me to the hospital, now.” He had a heart attack at the hospital, similar to Dick Whittington. He had open heart surgery with valve replacement and extensive recovery. He is alive and well 6 years later with a complete dietary change. Here is the “eye roller” of the story. When they checked the nitro pills he had been taking, that he brought from Oregon, they had long expired. He knew he was having a problem and didn’t want to worry anyone. If you don’t feel right, say something. When you hit the floor at least they will know what your symptoms were before, hopefully being able to help save your life. Also, if your taking any medication, including asperin, check the experiation date. To be proactive, asDarron Meares reccommended, it’s move it or lose it. Thin people still have heart attacks, however it’s the food you put into your body that really matters and then how you strengthen your body after that. Your heart is a very important organ in your body, one you can’t live without. Thanks Rob for being so open about your experience. I will admit I laughed when you said “I did what any red blooded auctioneer would do, I starting ringing.” Your sense of humor will provide the best medicine for your recovery.
    18 hours ago · Like · 3
  • Dick Whittington My druggist recommends 90 days max on nitro, I replace my bottle every 30 days. $7.00 vs a funeral, no brainer.
  • Dick Whittington I forgot to add that for almost three years prior to my heart attack I had been working out 3 to 5 days a week, 45 minutes on the tread mill sometimes 1 1/2 hours in the weight room. Doc told me that I had grown some collateral circulation around the blockage, probably saved me from major muscle damage or even worse, death.
  • Dick Whittington Darron, I had been on a regimen of aspirin for about 15 years prior to my MI.
    18 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Dick Whittington Jack Hines just had open heart surgery. Hmmmm, this profession must be hard on the old body.
    18 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Reggie Gabriel Rob, I had a similar experience to yours but didn’t make many good decisions. I had 100% blocked on the left side and I think the others were less than 70% (current protocol/insurance, says they don’t take surgical action until there is at least 70% blockage). I was 49 yrs. old and weighed 195lbs (about 30 lbs. over weight). 
    Looking back there were clear signs … but I didn’t believe at 49 yrs. old that arterial blockage was the problem. Although I should have known since my father had a heart attack at 56 accompanied by a quad by-pass. Also, my father was a physician (worked in ER for many years) I had heard many stories of stupid people waiting too long to get help. I should have known better.
    My symptoms were more like heartburn/indigestion. About a month or so before the main event I first felt an intense burning in my chest (not pressure) it lasted only about a minute. When that happened I figured I’d better start getting the weight off and I started dieting, over the next month I lost about 10 lbs. Also, over the next month or so the “heart burn” became more intense came more often and lasted longer each time. Several times it kept me up at night and a couple of times it would last a good portion of the day. The pain would radiate from my chest out to my hands. The pain was comparable to kidney stones but would eventually go away with some time. I was convinced it was heartburn because some of the typical heartburn remedies seemed to help a little.
    Also, during this time I recall unloading furniture from trucks and doing other general tasks that I would find hard to do I would feel weak and short of breath.
    To make a short story shorter … I was convinced I had heartburn and even though my doctor had told me to go to the ER when I had chest pain … I went but was convinced it was heartburn. I sort of remember the ER doc scolding me for driving to the ER and not calling 911 because the paramedics have medication on the bus that may have reduced some of the potential heart damage and I kept thinking in my head “call 911 for heartburn, this guy is freekin’ crazy” ….
    I might add at 49 yrs. I had never experienced heartburn in my life … so the fact that I suddenly without explanation started experiencing what I thought was heartburn should have been a clue.
  • Mark Musser I’m thankful that you are still with us my friend, and able to share this very important info.
    Like many others have said, this could very well save someone’s life! Thanks Rob, and can’t wait to see you in Indy!
    16 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 2
  • Rob Weiman I found out today that my 100% blockage was the left circumvent artery. I don’t know if it has a cool name like Widowmaker, maybe we should give it one! Hows this for one The Auction Stopper!

    So I’m seeing some patterns emerge, tension, agitated, anxi…See More
    15 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Darron Meares Rob – I thought I was having a stroke. The entire left side of my face was paralyzed… even today if I am tired you can see it.
  • Darron Meares It lasted about two weeks… then S L O W L Y went away
  • Doug Solomon Thank you, Rob for sharing your personal experience so unselfishly. May your experience save lives. Thanks for being the role model that you are, both professionally & personally.
    15 hours ago · Like · 1
  • JillMarie Wiles I can see an article in the Auctioneer Magazine called the “Auction Stopper” relating to the methods auction professionals use to manage stress and control health issues post “having a health scare”. I’d be interested to know what type of health issues are most faced by conducting the work we do. Would you be interested in reading an article like that?
    15 hours ago via mobile · Like · 4
  • Tina Weiman I have to say the overwhelming outpouring of love and support from this auction community is quite humbling and brings tears of joy to me. I am way not a mushy, gushy type of chick, but you guys are amazing!
    15 hours ago · Like · 6
  • Jack A. Briggs As a 26 year veteran in Emergency Services and over 20 as a paramedic, I could tell stories all day long. But, I’ll keep it short.
    1. A lot of times I’ve seen people die, their spouse will tell stories about they reminisced most of the day, driving by where they used to live, where they went to school, etc. I could go on. 
    2. Heart Attacks are of many varieties, some they have classical chest pain with or without radiation. Some LIKE ME…. for a year I had what I’d describe as a feeling of reflux. In October 1997 I tested for a police officer job and I ran like crap, I just couldn’t run. I was always tired, 

    On a Friday night I had jaw / neck pain like it was in a vice and I’d rate a 10 on a 0-10 scale. I took like 10 antacid. went out to eat and had a 16oz ribeye. About 2 hours later I had the jaw pain again. This time it made the first pain look like an 8 on the 0-10 scale as this was worse. 
    I told my wife something just wasn’t right so we went to the ER. I was given a nitro (and it worked). Was admitted and Monday saw the cardiologist. On that Wednesday had an Angiogram and had a 99% blockage of my Right Coronary Artery. They deployed 2 stents and was admitted overnight. My heart was damaged and I was ONLY 30 (Thirty) years old. The next day, December 3 1997 I asked the cardiologist how long the blockage was building-up. he said probably about 2 years. I said immediately… Doc … I goy married 2 years ago yesterday (Dec 2, 1995 – NO KIDDING). He looked at my wife and she looked at him and this is my lifelong humor now. My wife asks if everyone has heard this story. YES THEY HAVE!!!! 

    I went home the next day. Now, since Dec 3, 1997 I’ve had 11 angiograms, 6 times they placed stents (including my Left Anterior Descending or (Widow Maker). My Circumflex …. and several times my Left Anterior Descending, and some of the other vessels. 
    Initially they blamed it on my health habits and I’ll agree. But after this many times …. they agree. I’m just an unlucky SOB. BUT I attribute a lot of it to stress …..stress…. stress…… going from 0-100mph all the time is just not healthy for anyone. 

    Honestly I was so much into it that if someone said in 1996 to choose a career or family. I would have chosen career. But, my priorities have changed. My beautiful wife and two great sons come first now!!!!

    I’m like family to my cardiologist and have a direct number to his nurse. 
    If I ever have any chest pain …. I’ll immediately be flown to Des Moines, Iowa and have an Angiogram. No if’s ands’ or buts’ about it.
    I contribute it to stress which is why after starting EMS in 1986 I attended World Wide College of Auctioneering in Feb 2013. 

    And after World Wide College of Auctioneering, I knew I was always meant to help people so, my only way out of EMS was, I retired my paramedic number along with some other jobs I did (medical examiner investigations). 
    Although I work for the state of Iowa full-time as a planner for disaster services and review disaster plans. 

    My point is, it can happen to anyone at anytime, at any age. And Women often times have completely different symptoms and sometimes no symptoms at all. 

    I got to the point where no matter the call, EVERY lady was ruled out for cardiac issues. 

    My goal is Benefit and Fundraising auctions. Although I know it’ll take a while to get there. (I’m signed up for Jenelle’s Boot Camp in May), I plan to get my BAS and ATS. I just wish I had more mentors in my area. 

    I’ll also do charity in catastrophic instances. ESPECIALLY for anyone in emergency services like fire, police, ems, etc. in fact I just was involved with a lady that had a transplant of a kidney. and I’m working on trying to get into working with the Wounded Warrior project(s). 

    Sorry for the looong story. But, I’m proof. And now Rob is proof it can happen and a lot of times we deny it’s a heart attack!!!! 

    I’m super happy for Rob, Tina, and their family as they have a second chance.

    If you think about it, there are people out there with medical problems they don’t even know about yet. I.e. Cancer, lymphoma, etc…..
    13 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 2
  • Rob Weiman Jack A. Briggs, give us some things to look for. Did many of them have the tension, agitated, anxious, and or the raw feelings some of us are talking about?
  • Ruthie Faye Box Taylor Whoa! Thanks Rob for such a descriptive recenactment So glad that you are on the road to recovery and what a tribute to your life and generous and loving personality to help others with your detailed experience. You are a one of a kind soul.
    13 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Jack A. Briggs P.S. I carry spray nitro and have it everywhere lol. Maybe a little more expensive, but lasts a lot longer.
    13 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Tina Weiman Jack A. Briggs, Is that a prescription thing or do you just buy it over the counter?
  • Jack A. Briggs Prescription. Usually they give bottles of nitro but, because of my history, I’m close (relationship wise) to my primary care and all my other doctors. That I ask for spray nitro. It’s usually good for 6 months to a year and if not used …. you can tell by a float test how much is left. I haven’t used mine in a few years. 
    BUT, sometimes insurance won’t cover the full amount.
  • Dick Whittington Rob the raw I was talking about is like breathing very cold air. Ever taken a deep breath in cold weather and your lungs felt raw? It was18 degrees that morning and I just though that was what was giving me that feeling.
    13 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 2
  • Dick Whittington In Orlando, at C & S I did not feel well. I took the first nitro since I left the hospital in 1995. Went to cardiologist when I got home, they did an angioplasty, the circumflex artery was well over 90% blocked. Did not have any pain on exertion, I just would get short of breath and not feel well when sitting around. Shannon Schur and Lori Lemons-Campbell looked after me at C&S. I must have looked I’ll or something.
    12 hours ago via mobile · Edited · Like · 2
  • Rob Weiman Yes, I know that feeling Dick Whittington. Thanks for telling others so they can file it in their memory banks. 

    Can anyone give me a good supplier of First Aid Kits that you would recommend for auctioneers? Darron Meares, Dick, or Jack A. Briggsyour thoughts? How about those defibrillators?
  • Dick Whittington I have a nuclear stress test scheduled. Had a couple of weird episodes recently, one almost passing out sitting at my desk, and another of feeling very bad. No pain from either. Just a precautionary test.
  • Dick Whittington I like the AED’s but to carry one and possibly use it on someone else, I am not sure where you would stand legally if someone sued you. I would have to think you were outside the protection of the Good Samaritan law protection. I suggest that everyone take a CPR course and keep your certification up to date.
  • Jack A. Briggs With the defibrillators …… I don’t know what Missouri’s laws are. But, they’re somewhat of a pain. You have to make sure the pads are up-to-date, batteries are checked, that you remain current in CPR, etc. Depending how far away EMS is. I would suggest calling starting CPR, having someone call 911, then let Advanced Life Support Handle. The normal rules for a defibrillator is; YOU don’t put it on anyone unless they’re unconscious and unresponsive. However, I think it’s be cost and possibly liability prohibitive. Just my .02 cents.
  • Dick Whittington On our auction trailer there is a pretty comprehensive first aid kit that I made up when I was on the Rescue Squad. If you want to talk about what to carry give me a call and I can give you suggestions
    12 hours ago via mobile · Like · 2
  • Jack A. Briggs Comprehensive first aid ….. a box of 4X4’s ….. or what they call abdominal pads. ….. Call 911 …. And hold pressure …. I wouldn’t get to in depth with the public. too many people are sue happy ….. even when I wasn’t working …. I only carried gloves and a mouth shield. I’d use a persons own shirt, towel, or whatever I could find to stop any bleeding. No since of anything sterile, they’re going to numb, clean and sew anyways …. just my .02 cents.
  • Paige Holt My family has a history of heart disease on 1 side and diabetes on the other which increases my risk by huge multiples. My mother Having a heart attack prior to age 60 quadruples that risk to me. Both she and my uncle had heart attacks and described very different feelings of what they experienced which can vary greatly between men and women but both had consistent and ongoing sound of a whishing noise in their ears which would increase when exerted. One year after her quadruple bypass my mothers ear swishing sound returned and resulted in carotid surgery that they caught just in time to prevent a stroke and the other side reoccurred a year later. Even the smallest symptom should not be ignored. And ladies studies show we are much more likely to talk ourselves out of seeking treatment than men. I really do not wish to experience what my family history reflects. Rob I greatly appreciate you posting your experience here someone just reading this may recognize something that has the potential to save a life. Blessings and prayer for recovery going up for you.
    12 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 3
  • Jack A. Briggs If I was still working ambulance and Paige told me the history in the family. A. Oxygen B. Monitor C. IV D. 12 lead (possibly 18 lead)EKG ….. if she heard swishing, had an impending sense of doom, fear, anxiety, etc…. 4 baby aspirin. ANYTHING out of normal …… I’d Place the helicopter in the Air. Done it many times as its a little over an hour by ground and about 20 min by air to the cath lab.
  • Rob Weiman So I am now hearing some very interesting things:
    Swishing in the ears
    Doom, fear, anxiety, none of these did I know before this event. 
    Let me elaborate on the anxiety, it was not a little bit of anxiety it was like Jack A. Briggs described an overwhelming sense of anxiety, my body knew something was way wrong and was trying to tell me. I could almost taste it. I could fell tension pouring from me, and as I said I was worn out and having trouble catching my breath. OK, time for this tired guy to hit the hay. Rock on Auction buddies, Rock on.
    12 hours ago · Like · 2
  • Jack A. Briggs Ohhh ….. If someone says something on the lines of “Impending sense of doom.” Take it seriously!!!!!!
    12 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Dick Whittington I had the swishing in the ears before they did my last angioplasty. Carotids are clean. Not normal symptom
    2 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1
  • Rob Weiman Dick Whittington, Can you tell us what Carotids are clean means? I am trying to understand. So far from what I am hearing swishing in the ears is a very dangerous sign.

One more note, when I spoke with my primary care doctor yesterday and told her this story (yes she listened to the whole thing) and mentioned my thought on auctioneers and heart attacks she said “you know that makes perfect sense, I would not have thought of that but it stands to reason and fits” she also said and I quote, “Rob you can get back to doing auctions, I know you love it, you just have to go slow at first. What I want you to do is when you call an auction I want you to have your baby aspirins in your hand and before you go out to do the auction just toss them in the air and catch them in your mouth and as you eat them say GOOD LUCK!” OK, what she really said was exactly that but here is the cool part she didn’t say Rob, she said your auctioneer friends should take the baby aspirins and toss them and toss them in the air and catch them in their mouths and say GOOD LUCK while they eat them. 
The previous advice should (of course) be run past your own doctor, but I loved this advice. Check with your own doctor, and run this theory past them about auctioneers, heart attacks, and baby aspirin before an auction.

Auctions Produce Reality

Auctions produce reality not a big rock candy mountain.
Big Rock Candy Mountain

Auctions Produce Reality

by Rob Weiman

Many sellers live in a dream world, it reminds me of the song they opened the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou? with, a little tune called The Big Rock Candy Mountain.

One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fires were burning,
Down the track came a hobo hiking,
And he said, “Boys, I’m not turning
I’m headed for a land that’s far away
Besides the crystal fountains
So come with me, we’ll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There’s a land that’s fair and bright,
Where the handouts grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night.
Where the boxcars all are empty
And the sun shines every day
And the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers’ trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay
Oh I’m bound to go
Where there ain’t no snow
Where the rain don’t fall
The winds don’t blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats
And the railway bulls are blind
There’s a lake of stew
And of whiskey too
You can paddle all around it
In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.
There ain’t no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws nor picks,
I’m bound to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
I’ll see you all this coming fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

When I hear a seller tell me what they paid for something I can’t stop myself from humming the tune to this song in my mind. Often the thing they paid a lot for is in a big collection of things, things they bought as an investment, a very very bad investment. Often these things were bought by lots of people as investments, things like Norman Rockwell Plates, or Thomas Kinkaid paints, or  Hummels, collections of Precious Moments, Holiday Barbies, and Madame Alexander dolls. These “investments” have a common theme, the company that and designed a product to be a “collectible” and marketed the the product as such, then produced mass quantities of the product and sold them to “investors” all over the World. In the Big Rock Candy Mountain song a hobo is trying to entice the younger folks to go with him to the Big Rock Candy Mountain, where everything is just fine. The only problem is that there is no Big Rock Candy Mountain, and the young person is in for a rude awakening when they go with the hobo.

If you were enticed by the hobo and went shopping at the big rock candy mountain and are now faced with selling your collection of mass produced collectibles, you might want to take a look at this article by Jason Notte of The Street “9 Completely Worthless Collectibles” as a little reality check. Your collectible might not be there, but you should ask yourself “Is this the same type of thing as the stuff Dad or Mom collected?”

As an auctioneer we deal with reality, and most often that means your stuff is worth what someone else will pay for it right now, not 15 or 20 years ago, right here in St. Louis, MO. (unless we also have Internet bidding), and reality can be tough.

Real collectibles are volatile enough, but they too share some similar traits.

  1. They were never made to be collected, in fact most of them were thrown out our used up (think old comic books, not the new ones designed and produced to be collected but the old comic books printed on cheep paper, designed to be read by kids, torn up and throw away).
  2. They are rare, it’s not the book that was printed when the author was a household name that is valuable, it’s the one they put out first that they just sold enough of to barely survive and keep writing (but just barely and often while they worked a second job). It is that album cover that was recalled after releasing only 2000 copies, that baseball card that was printed before the player was famous back when they destroyed the cards that did not sell. If you want to talk about the best card out there it is the card they released  promoting tobacco for a guy that hated tobacco. The same guy who made them recall the card, so the odds are not good that you will ever find one, and that my friend is why it is valuable.
  3. Even then the prices raise and fall like the tide so you still are playing gamblers game.

But if you still want to gamble a bit, don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and keep some money invested in something else just in case your long shot on Barbie dolls doesn’t pan out. Investing in collectives isn’t really all that different from investing in anything, if gold was common and easy to find it would be worthless.

If you don’t want to be a Man of Constant Sorrow (another reference to Oh Brother Where Art Thou?) then you will listen to my advice when buying those “collectible” items.

In the interest of reality and full disclosure I thought you might want to know that this version of Man of Constant Sorrow is by Alison Kruss and Union Station (the people that really sing the song) and not the Soggy Bottom Boys (the people that pretend to sing it). Isn’t reality refreshing? Now, if you like that song you can go find more music by them because now you are dwelling in reality and not living in the Big Rock Candy Mountain.


Reality TV, Isn’t – St. Louis Auctioneer and the Salvage City Auction

Reality TV, Isn’t – St. Louis Auctioneer and the Salvage City Auction.

I don’t want to upset some of you but it has to be said, Reality TV isn’t real, neither is WWF wrestling  but that is a post for another day.

OK, it isn’t just reality TV, it is TV in general. Let me start at the top and work my way down.

Relax they were never stranded on a tiny desert isle.

There is no need to call the Coast Guard, there is nobody stranded on Gilligan’s Isle, there never was. They are actors, they got paid to pretend the “Professor” could make a washing machine but not a boat.

I know, I know, it is a hard thing to accept. You spent years hoping they would get off of that island, so you could hit Gilligan with your own hat.
I know you are feeling bad right now so let me help make you better, the Professor wasn’t a real professor but he was a pilot in WWII acording to his real name is Russell David Johnson  and “Johnson joined the United States Army Air Force as an aviation cadet and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He flew 44 combat missions as a bombardier in B-25 bombers. ”

But I digress, reality TV is just TV, and unless you are watching Mythbusters, it isn’t real. Auctioneers and Auctions produce reality, Reality TV Producers produce TV.

Due to my strange occupation (auctioneer) I recently had to opportunity to appear on my second reality TV show. They were fun, and entertaining but not real. Let me explain what happened in reality. I received a call to be on a show that was being produced for the Discovery Channel that aired yesterday for the first time called Salvage City. Now Salvage City was great, it was edgy it was fun, it was well filmed, they made great stuff, and I sold it in the first episode, but it wasn’t real.

Was there real danger, you bet. Did they go into very very hazardous locations, check. Let’s count the ways, bad bad bad neighborhoods (places that make make Mogadishu look like a pleasant site for a picnic). I would not have gone into some of the neighborhoods they went into let alone into the abandoned properties potentially bad enough to win crack house of the year with0ut carrying a loaded gun or two (don’t worry I have a concealed carry permit).  The buildings themselves were dangerous. That was real black mold on the walls and I know a guy who died just this year from breathing last year. They also work in areas covered in pigeon poop, and you can get lots of very bad diseases from that. Then there is the unstable roofs, and floors but there is not any real danger of arrest, because they had permission to enter the buildings. How do I know? First of all I asked. I was asked to sell the items, items they “took” and refurbished. So I asked if they had the right to sell the items and if they had permission to take the items, and they said yes.

Not that everyone who says something tells the truth, but they also went on our local National Public Radio show and publicly said they had the right to take the items and permission had been granted to them to do so by the owners.

Then there is the show itself. Now lets have a close look. They went into the Sun Theatre which has been abandoned since 1976 (the year I graduated from high school, aka a long long time ago) but did you notice that the sign was on and working. Now I don’t live down by the Sun so you folks down there will have to help me out but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the probability is that the electricity has most likely been off in that building for decades, yet when they go in and when they come out the sign is working. Odd, no?

When they use the sledgehammer on the door pause the show. Have a close look at the door, notice anything? Look again, there is no door knob, and the two hasps have no locks on them and are not bent. I know hitting a door with a sledgehammer will not cause the knob to fall out. The knob and the part that locks the door are two different assemblies. You might cause the bolt to knock out of the receiver but you are not going to knock the door knob out. If the hasps had been locked they would have been bent, and you would see a lock on the ground, where is it? It isn’t there because they went in and unlocked the door for them to let them in with their sledgehammer blow.

When they go to the sand mine and are crossing the bridge, take a close look at the mine side of the bridge. See the open gate? Wonder why the gate is open when they were just arriving? The owners left it open for them.

It is still a good show, lots of interplay, funny people, drama, and in the case where we were on the Salvage City an auction, but they had permission to go get the goods.

Need more proof? Let’s talk about that sign on the Sun Theater a bit more. My company does a lot of benefit auctions in the St. Louis, MO. area. One auction we do every year is the Art Attack Auction for KDHX radio. This year part of the auction was to raise money for a new sign KDHX had been given for their station, the Sun sign from the show. No they cast of the show did not take the sign. So you have to wonder how did KDHX come by the sign? The were given the sign. They put a post up on Kickstarter about this. Here is part of what they said there: “The Sun Theater sign had to come down from its home in Grand Center this week, because it is not an original part of the historic building. However, KDHX will save the sign and repurpose it for The Stage at KDHX. ” The seats in the Sun were not up to code for modern theater seats, they had to go. The firedoor also did not meet modern codes, it had to go. They had no need for ancient bowling pin setters, they had to go. If they had not let the folks from Salvage City take them they would have had to pay someone to throw them away. The folks from Salvage City were filming in the Winter before Feb. 2013, I know this for a fact because we did the auction for them in Feb. and our segment (the auction) was the last thing they filmed for the show. The Kickstarter for the sign removal was started on Jul 22, 2013. The St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote about it on June 7, 2013.

So, here is the reality of this story. The Sun Theater was getting rehabbed, it had some things in it the owners they needed to get rid of and someone found out. The folks making this show made a deal, and were let in, and were carrying a sledgehammer when they went in and acted like they were breaking in and stealing the items. Take a deep breath, it’s TV. They aren’t really shooting and killing people on those other shows and the guy who played Michael Weston never used to be a spy.


Auctions are greener than Kermit The Frog

By Rob Weiman

Auctions are greener than Kermit The Frog, and everybody knows, it isn’t easy being green.

Trash cans are just so doggone convenient. Got some old books? Toss them. Have scrap metal? Throw it out. Old furniture? Bring on the dumpster. Meanwhile our dumps get full, or planet runs out of resources, people who really need furniture go without because they can’t afford the new stuff. Let me introduce you to some of the greenest people on the planet, not Green Peace, not PETA, they don’t all drive Volvos (in fact a lot of them drive great big pickup trucks), they are Auctioneers, and they are greener than Kermit the frog. They recycle entire households, entire offices, entire businesses, entire factories, one auction friend of my sold a Nuclear Power Plant, after it was online just 12 minutes, took it right out of service and sold it off, piece by large peace.  Let’s see if anyone over at Green Peace can top that.

Sooner or later most of us will find ourselves in this dilemma one or both of our parents will have passed away, or gone to assisted living or a nursing facility and well will be left with the decision on what to do with their stuff.

Sure you want to honor their wishes, of course you and you siblings divvy up as much as you can, but then what? What are you going to do with the rest? You can’t take it all. You don’t need another couch in you house, in fact you picked out the one you have after shopping all over town to find the right match for your room, your style, your comfort. You are now looking at the couch, and the piles of things you have no need of, nor room for and scratching your head. Do I try to price this and sell it myself? As an auctioneer let me tell you how that normally works, you will spend hours on each box, “I remember when dad bought this, we were in such and such place, he was wearing that ugly green sweater I always hated”…… and so it goes box after day long box. While the hours and days tick away you are paying the bills now, the gas bill, the electric bill, the sewer bill, the insurance bill, the list goes on and on. Then you will be trying to keep up with the grass, or the snow, all they while you are asking yourself, “I wonder what this is worth?” In the store this costs $500, maybe I should ask for $450.

The weeks drag by and you finish one room, maybe. You are always trading something. You give up the dinner your friends invite you to so you can look in boxes, and boxes, and boxes. Why did they keep all this stuff? Maybe I should throw this out? Who keeps a fishing catalog from 1942? What where they thinking when they bought these ugly pink chairs in the 60’s I always hated these hideous chairs! How long does a grown man need to keep his comic boos from when he was a child? Get them out of there I have to make room for these Norman Rockwell collector plates! So what did you do? You threw out the Headdon Lure catalog worth over $250, and the 6 EAMES pink fiberglass arm chairs on vintage black Eiffel  tower bases made by Herman Miller were only worth about $7,000 each, and to make matters worse you threw out a mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (the very first appearance of Spiderman), and Journey into Mystery #83, the first appearance of Thor. But don’t worry those 2 old comic books were only worth $250,000, you still have the collector plate worth $5 a pile.

You could call an estate sale company. They know the value of things, right? Yes, and no. They might have a grasp on the values of a lot of things but nobody knows the value of everything. Musical instruments, glass, paintings, comics, collectibles are all over the map. In an estate sale if the estate sale company gets it wrong you could loose thousands and thousands of dollars on just one item. In an auction as long as 2 people in the crowd know the value and bid you are still set. Then the end of the estate sale comes, the gold is gone the rocks are left. What in the World are you going to do with all those left overs? Hello Goodwill, can you swing by 123 Oak street next week and pick up a desk, 2 couches, 23 boxes of readers digests (they went back all the way to 1943 I can’t believe someone didn’t snatch them up in the estate sale) and a …” CLICK, “hello, hello?? No they w0n’t come pick them up. Most Goodwills do not sell couches or used mattresses, or Readers Digest Magazines, or National Geographics, let alone pick them up. They will not even let you drop them off, or throw them in their trash cans. You can try calling them if you want to but you will soon learn the I am right. So what is left, “Hello Two Men and a Truck?” No you don’t go to the dump? “Hello 1800 Got Junk?” You think it is going to take 3 trucks? Are you KIDDING ME?” What’s that, AT LEAST 3 Trucks, maybe 4, how much a tuck!” OH MY!

Then you pay, and it goes to the dump.

I’m not saying an auctioneer can sell anything, I’m saying I am always left scratching my head after an auction. Watching the bidders haul off box after box of absolute junk (er, I mean, Fine Miscellaneous Household Items). What in the World are they going to do with that box of broken lamps? I do not care, it is gone, it didn’t go to the dump, they paid good money to take it, and my client didn’t have to lift a finger or pay anyone else to lift their finger. I have sold millions of pounds of items that have not gone to a land fill. Items that are with someone who wanted them enough to shell out green pieces of paper, and pay for them. Items that did not go into the waste stream. I have seen treadle sewing machines purchased so they can be sent in a container ship to African village where they have no electricity but do need to wear clothing, and someone has to make them, someone who needs money and a job, and food. That sewing machine that would sit in someone hall in America and collect change in a tray saves several lives in Africa. I have seen people buy stuffed toys only to tell me they give them to EMTs to hand out to kids at accidents to keep them from going into shock. Clean used stuffed toys saving lives, not going to the dump = good thing.  Piles of wood going to build a playhouse for a kid instead of being tossed out makes me smile, do I care if it is oak, no I do not.

So next Earth Day (April 22), raise a glass raise a glass and toast some of the greenest people on the planet, Auctioneers.

Salvage City, St. Louis, and Mound City Auctions

by Rob Weiman


Salvage City, St. Louis, and Mound City Auctions

I wrote previously about Emergency Auctions, and Surprise Auctions and how Mound City Auctions had to pull a rabbit out of our hat and conduct an auction in less than a week, only to have someone working on a show for the Discovery Channel call  after the auction asking if we could come downtown and do an auction right then for a TV show they were filming.

St. Louis Emergency Auction
My Daughter Ali helping at the Emergency Auction

They had been working on a show that they were calling “Rust Belt Raiders”  (the Discovery channel later changed the name to Salvage City) and had filmed 6 episodes previous and now were scheduled to film the final episode where an auctioneer sells the items they have re-purposed, only the auctioneer was a no-show.  They were in a real tight spot, they had the producer, several assistant producers, at least 4 cameramen, several sound guys, a whole crew, dozens of bidders, a rented facility and no auctioneer.

We live in the suburbs of St. Louis and I told them we could be there in 1/2 hour. I could not reach my daughter so we had to go without her. I did not know when we agreed to the auction if it was a benefit auction or some other type of auction. We learned the details after we arrived on the site to conduct the auction.  A local production company (Cool Fire Productions) had been filming a show for the Discovery channel.

The concept was that a small crew of people were “raiding” local long abandoned buildings, removing items (things that were often in pieces) and turning them into new re-purposed items. The items were there and they were stunning. I could not believe what these guys had done. You could see what the things used to be and they were nothing but garbage fit only for a trip to the scrap dealer. They used their imagination and made they something I could sell. It was cool, it was art. I was really glad I said yes. Watch the show and see for yourself. I am looking forward to seeing the whole story. Speaking of the whole story, you might be wondering how the auction went. You will have to keep wondering, I promised I would not tell. Remember we were tired, worn out and cold, but then we are auctioneers and we are used to working long hard jobs, and against long odds. Salvage City airs this Sunday Dec, 22, 2013 on Discovery. Check your local schedule for the time.

Auction on


St. Louis Auctions and Estate Sales

By Rob Weiman

World record sale of painting at auction
This painting sold at an auction recently for a record $142 million.

St. Louis Auctions and Estate Sales

It happened again, something sold at auction and sat a World record. This time it was a Francis Bacon painting from 1969 that sold for $142 million. Yes, you read that right, not 1699 but 1969, and that was one hundred forty two million. If you want to sell something for a World record you will most likely want to sell it at an auction, not an estate sale or a garage sale. It matters not what the item is that you need to sell it could be the original Bat mobile take it to auction (where the Los Angeles Times reported this car sold for $4.62 million ). Have what Reuters described as “a flawless pink diamond the size of a plum” and need to sell it? Try selling it at auction using an professional auctioneer (where this one sold for a World record $83 million). We recently sold Stan Musial’s game used glove for a World record $19,800, and a comic book for $106.050. What did all these sales have in common? Like most things that sell for a World record price they sold at auction.

We have sat over 600 World record prices selling items at our St. Louis auctions from comic books to a ball glove. Not at an estate sale at an auction. Why at an auction and not at an estate sale? At an estate sale you set the price and then the buyers try to negotiate your price down. If I had the comic book collection I sold at our auction for over a million dollars in an estate sale priced at say $10,000 someone would have come up and done one of two things; 1. said “I’ll take it” and forked over the $10,000 or 2. said “Is that your best price?” and offered say $9,000. Auctions don’t work that way. In an auction you get a price then you ask for a higher price, then an even higher price. The rubber meets the road and the potential buyers have to pay more, and more and more until only one person is left, the person who is willing to pay more than anyone else on that day for the item you are selling. That’s who wins at an auction.

If you want to haggle and have people pay less than an item is worth by all means use an estate sale, but if you want to know the true market value and perhaps set a World record in the process sell your item in an auction.

Winter Auctions in St. Louis

By Rob Weiman

Auctions in St. Louis in the Winter

We had an auction last Saturday when it was 22 degrees, and we were in a large garage. We had a heater, and we kept the overhead doors closed, we were fine. Auction people are a hardy lot, and we have had some of our very best auctions in the Winter. Many sellers hold on and wait for Spring or even Summer to sell and miss a great opportunity in the Winter. There are not as many things to do in the Winter. Very few people are at the park, or are out camping, or on vacation. Winter makes people look for things to do, Winter auctions can be great.

If it is icy that is bad, but as long as the bidders can get there you can have a great auction in the Winter, indoors or outdoors. We have used our tent many times in the Winter. With the sides on and a heater or two or three inside you can get downright cosy. Other auctioneers in the St. Louis area do not own their own auction tent so this gives us a huge competitive advantage in this area. We can put the tent up in a normal size yard and be all ready to go in matter of 1/2 hour. We set it up a few days in advance when we can as the tent works like a huge sign. We put a banner on it and everyone slows down when they drive by to have a look at the big fireworks size tent and you can see them thinking as they go past, “I wonder what that huge tent is doing in that yard? OH I see, they are having an auction!” It works great.

So when the weather gets cold, think auction. Don’t wait to spring when everyone and their brother will be out golfing.

Get a Moister Tastier Turkey Without Hurting Yourself or William Shatner

by Rob Weiman

Nobody wants to catch William Shatner on fire with hot oil (OK, maybe some of you do, but for the rest of you I have a solution), and it still produces a moister, tastier turkey without hot oil, or and chance of producing Starfleet Officer Flamby.

Instead of using hot oil, my method uses hot wine which does not burst into flames if you accidentally spill some on a flame or a hot piece of charcoal. What you will get is a moister tastier turkey, what you will not get is an oil fire. You will need a turkey, a roasting pan, a small sheet of aluminum foil, a half a cup of Land O Lakes Butter with Canola Oil, 2-3 bottles of wine, some charcoal, a meat thermometer and a medium to large BBQ pit. I use the Land O Lakes butter with canola oil because it contains 50% less fat than butter. I had a heart attack when I was 54 and I like to watch what I eat and this is the best butter I have found. I use a Walk-a-bout pit but I have used larger pits and they worked fine. The Walk-A-Bout grill is available at Home Depot for under $50. Here is how to make the best turkey you will ever eat, it is moist, and delicious.

I use a fresh bird  but a frozen bird will do if you thaw it according to the directions on the bag the bird comes in.

Put the bird in a clean sink and rinse it. Remove the neck, heart and gizzards they put in the turkey. I never cook stuffing in my BBQ birds because I like to play it safe and be sure the bird gets cooked thoroughly. Place the bird in pan and take your hand and insert it between the bird’s body and it’s skin above the breasts. Save two tablespoons and put one tablespoon above each leg.

I save 2 or 3 bottles of wine each year (almost any wine will do, in fact I often use bottles I have bought but did not like).  The turkey always comes out fine, I have used white the most but red wine works just as well. Pour the wine over the turkey and leave it in the pan. Remove the grill from the Walk-A-Bout.  Cover the turkey with the foil and put the lid on and place it in the bottom of the Walk-A-Bout.  Place hot coals around the roaster pan. Place the thermometer in the top of the grill sticking in the vent hole. You want to keep the bird between 300 and 350 degrees. Adjust the temperature, by adding charcoal.  How long you will have to cook the bird depends on the size of the bird.

Every half hour baste the turkey. When the indicator pops out showing the bird is done cooking remove the foil and lid and let the bird brown another 1/2 hour.  You fill find the turkey moist, delicious, and healthy.

All Work and No Playhouse Makes Rob a Dull Boy.

Auction playhouse
Auction playhouse, we were paid to remove before the auction.

by Rob Weiman
As auctioneers we can get too busy. Last week we had 5 auctions in 3 days. Right before and right after these auction I was busy dismantling a huge playhouse. The owners could not risk selling it at auction and screwing up their closing because the bidder did not get it down in time. This week I am sick. I worked like a dog, now I am paying for it, but I’d do it all over in a heartbeat.

I love helping great organizations like St. Patricks Church, KDHX, Great Circle, Basket of Hope, and The Kidney Foundation. I know when the auction is over and we doubled last years total that I make a difference in peoples lives when I went on stage. I love that. My son had to step up and cover my auctions for the Kidney Foundation, and Basket full of Hope (they were both on Saturday night).  But if you want to know what will thrill me the most it is when my Granddaughter looks at the completed playhouse and says “Papa, how’d you do that.”

I’m still taking bets from suckers who don’t know me very well and think I will never get it done, any takers?

I got to get the Bread and Milk!

by Rob Weiman
My son, daughter-in-law and I drove from St. Louis, MO. to Carthage, MO. (a 4 hour drive) to conduct a salvage auction for a McDonald’s restaurant that was scheduled to be demolished to make way for a new McDonald’s.

There was one tiny problem, a huge winter storm left us stranded at the local Best Western with no ability to conduct the auction, and no bread and milk.

I wrote about the weather and how it effects auctions in my post in Random Auctioneer Thoughts “Auctioneers can’t control the weathers.” It is obvious that the ice/snow/sleet storm that has swept through the area is completely out of my control. So, now I set. I went to the “heated” pool at the hotel. I would have to say that heat is a relative term. The pool was not covered in ice so I guess it was heated. I stepped in and then suddenly remembered just how fond I was of reading, and blogging, and watching silly videos on Youtube.

Which lead me to the wonderful video of the guy freaking out because it was going to snow and he didn’t have any bread and milk. I’m looking forward to a day “off” working on my website, not swimming, or doing an auction. I feel like a school kid who just got a snow day! I have a wonderful view of a snow covered field and am enjoying just looking out the window.

As an auctioneer I spend a lot of time running from here to there to pick up items, sell them, ship them, catalog them, etc. It is very very rare that I get to sit for a whole day. I am liking this, but I’ve got to go now and get some bread and milk….