In order to become a licensed auctioneer, you typically have to obtain a passing score on an exam. The auctioneer test is a closed-book exam taken by appointment at a designated testing site via computer. This is the only thing that is true for all states. The exam varies in content, length, time and cost, depending on which state you take the exam. Most of the time, you are able to register for the exam online, as well as pay the fees upfront and choose a testing site. Because you have to pay for the exam ahead of time, you should be aware of the rules regarding cancellations. Some states require that you cancel well in advance. Some will refund your money, while others will not and, instead, will require that you choose another exam date.
In Texas, for example, the exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions, with test takers given two hours to complete the exam. A passing score requires that 75 percent of the questions be answered correctly. The exam costs $55. In Illinois, however, the test is an hour long and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The Florida test is similar, and it covers seven key subject areas: advertising, law, finances, sales, appraisal, merchandising and soliciting. The auctioneer board or licensing board for each state has information about the auctioneer exam and what you can expect. Most of the states post the information online on the licensing board website. Pennsylvania has one of the longest auctioneer exams. The three-hour test consists of 125 multiple-choice questions. Most of the questions focus on auctioneer law, while the other sections include other types of laws, business operations, public relations, finances, ethics and merchandising.
In Texas, the majority of the questions (40) focus on deceptive trade practices, state health laws, park and wildlife codes and laws regarding manufactured homes. Twenty of the questions involve occupation codes, license requirements, advertising, bid calling, claims and recovery funds. Ten questions are about commerce and trade. The remaining five questions test your knowledge of state law calculations.
When and how you receive your test results also varies by state. In Texas, test results are available immediately after you complete the test. The computer screen will display your score. If you pass, it will show you were successful. However, if you fail, the screen will show a diagnostic report outlining your strengths and weaknesses. You score will also be printed at the test site. For Pennsylvania auctioneer exams, however, test results are delivered by mail within two weeks. Therefore, you should check with your particular state as to when you can expect to receive your exam results.
The information you will find on the exam are topics you should have been taught in auctioneer school. Pay close attention to ethics, laws, advertising, marketing, sales, bid calling, appraisal and financial aspects. These are all topics that may be presented on the exam, depending on which state you live in.
The auctioneer exam can be difficult to pass. Therefore, it pays to learn as much as you can about what to expect on the exam so you can study smarter. You only get one retake before you have a one-year waiting period. If you fail more than once, some states may also require that you take additional training so that you are better prepared the next time around. You’re probably anxious to get moving into your auctioneering career as quickly as possible, so study effectively and work hard so you pass the first time.
Becoming an Auctioneer
Although most people become an auctioneer as part of their family’s business, there are ways to become licensed through schooling or an apprentice program. Attending the right school and working as an intern are good ways to get your foot into the door of the auctioneering field. Some schools have auctioneer programs that teach you the skills necessary to operate a successful business.
Although some auctioneer programs are available, it’s best to attend one in person so you can get a feel for what it will be like to call auctions out in the field. Auctioneering is much more than just calling auctions and talking fast. Other skills and knowledge are involved. One can expect to learn many things in auctioneer school, including bid calling, breathing, public speaking, appraisal, math, technology, advertising, ethics, professionalism, contracts and bankruptcy. Auctioneers must be familiar with rules and regulations regarding licensing and firearms. They must also know how to perform a variety of auctions, including livestock, automobiles, antiques, equipment, estate, real estate and consignment. The total time frame can vary. These programs can last one week or one semester. They generally involve 80-85 hours of study, which is the minimum state requirement.
Upon completion of an auctioneer program, one can generally apply for licensing, if your state requires a license. If so, licensing involves passing an exam. The requirements to do so vary by state, so research is required. Visiting the state’s auctioneer board website is a good place to receive information about licensing requirements. Most will require completion of an apprenticeship as well as a school program. It’s important to note that the apprenticeship must be done under the supervision of a licensed auctioneer. Because apprenticeships are often not thorough enough in covering all the basic auctioneer duties and skills, it’s best to choose the school program, if you are required to choose one over the other. Although not generally required, completion of a two-year or four-year degree from an accredited institution is a plus.
A license does not guarantee success in the auction industry. Although it shows others that you are skilled and thoroughly trained, there are many skills required in order to be successful. An auctioneer has many more duties besides just chanting and selling merchandise. A huge part of auctioneering is marketing. They must be able to use the media effectively in order to attract the right audience of buyers to buy the merchandise. They must also know about a variety of items, including their value, demand and target audience. An auctioneer must be very friendly and able to communicate well. They must work with both buyers and sellers to ensure a smooth sale. Running an auction house requires a lot of hard work and many long hours. Many auction houses are family businesses because it takes so many people to ensure one runs smoothly. Although some auctioneers are well-off financially, some don’t do as well. It all depends on your skills, education and the amount of time and effort you devote to the business.
Auctioneer Licensing Requirements
If you plan to work as an auctioneer, it’s a good idea to be aware of the rules and licensing requirements, as they vary from state to state. In fact, some states don’t even require a state license – just over half of the states (26) require one. An auctioneer license is required in the following states:
It’s important to note that although a state license may not be required for a particular state, there may be cities or counties within that state that still need to follow certain licensing requirements. Plus, some states have exceptions to the rule. For example, South Dakota requires a license only for those who are auctioning real estate. Another example is Kansas, where a license is needed only if one is auctioning new items. Other states may require a license in other situations, such as auctioning cars or houses or operating as a pawn shop. This is why it’s important to visit the Board of Auctioneers website for your state of residence to understand what rules apply to you and whether or not a license is required.
Depending on the state, there is sometimes more than one type of auctioneer license you can apply for. Alabama, for example, has four types of licenses: resident auctioneer, non-resident auctioneer, apprentice and reciprocal auctioneer. Each has a checklist of items that must be completed and return to the auctioneer board. These items include applications, questionnaires, statements, affidavits of endorsement, letters of recommendation, bonds, exam registrations, fees (there are two types, licensing and examination, which run a total of $200-300), access to criminal record and proof of apprenticeship (usually in the form of two years of education supervised by a licensed auctioneer, as well as a completed apprentice log). You may also need proof of completion of an auction education program (30 hours for auctioneers, 80 hours for apprentices).
After all of this information is reviewed and approved by the auctioneer board, you may proceed with taking your test. If you pass your test, you are licensed. If you fail, however, you are granted one retake, which costs $50. If you fail again, you have to wait one year and start the application process over. Licenses must be renewed and costs $50-100, depending on the state and how timely you are with renewing your license. Continuing education hours are required before you are allowed to renew, so check with your state’s auctioneer board for specific requirements. If there are no onsite classes in your area, some states allow you to take online courses, provided they are approved by the auctioneer board. This is very important, as you will not receive credit for the course if it is not on the list of approved courses. Be sure to check before attending and completing the class.
Auctioneer Exam Preparation
As with any exam, preparation is key. This is no different for auctioneer exams. They can be difficult to pass the first time. They cover many types of material within the auctioneering field, including codes, laws, taxes, accounting, finances, sales, marketing, advertising, appraisals, bid calling and different types of auctions. Because so much material is covered in the exams, it’s a good idea to get a feel for what types of things you should be studying for. That’s why exam preparation materials, such as classes, study guides, practice exams and flashcards, are a worthwhile investment.
There is only one exam preparation class offered in the United States – in Ohio. This is a one-day class that covers auction law as well as contracts, settlement and advertising. With more than 300 sample exam questions covered, it gives students a thorough preview of laws regarding auctions in Ohio. At $125, this is a good bargain for an aspiring licensed auctioneer who lives in the state of Ohio and is looking for a comprehensive overview of auctioneering.
For those who live outside of Ohio, there are other ways to prepare for your auctioneer exam. Study guides are a good way to get a feel for what to expect on the exam, as well as teach you how to apply the knowledge you know. Plus, they give tips on how to analyze the exam questions and eliminate answers so you have a better chance of selecting the correct one. However, there are many test preparation materials, including study guides, which claim to give you all the information you need to pass the exam. It’s best to do some research when choosing a study guide. You want to look for a study guide that is straightforward and easy to read and understand. It should also address the test and give you some idea of what to expect. Sample exam questions or practice tests are always good. In addition, a study guide should be created by someone who is familiar with the material. It’s difficult to pass the auctioneer exam if you are using a study guide created by someone who has no prior knowledge in auctioneering and is simply writing a study guide to bring in a few extra bucks.
Another good way to prepare for the auctioneer exam is to visit your local library and study books that contain codes, laws and statutes that pertain to your state. There will be questions regarding local or state laws that are applicable to auctions, so be sure to review these thoroughly. You may want to contact your state’s licensing board to see which reference materials they recommend. Some states’ auctioneer exam applications list printed materials that test takers should reference. Any textbooks related to math and marketing are also helpful to review before the exam.
Using Flashcards to Prepare for Auctioneer Exams
There are many ways to prepare for the auctioneer exam. One method you may not have thought of, however, is flashcards. Flashcards are not just for children. Even adults can benefit from regular use of flashcards. It is important to understand that flashcards do not promote mere memorization. They do not simply teach you the test. They teach you how to use repetition to your advantage and are designed to help you learn critical concepts that you can expect to see on the test.
There are many things to know within the field of auctioneering. If you were to memorize everything, it would be virtually impossible. That’s why there are flashcard study systems created to teach you the main concepts you need to know.
There are many advantages to using flashcards. First of all, they are easy to use. Their portability means that they can be taken anywhere. If you have some free time during the day, you can simply pull out your flashcards and study. They are also of professional quality. They are made of durable paper stock, meaning they can be used regularly without showing wear-and-tear. Flashcards also have explanations on the back. They are very thorough and don’t just include simple yes or no answers. Although the explanations are thorough, they don’t include any hard-to-understand technical jargon. The answers are clear and straightforward. Flashcards can also be a fun group activity. You can involve friends – have them quiz you or make it a game where you compete with others to see who can get the most questions correct.
Flashcards cover many items within the auctioneering industry. They take all the information you learned in auctioneer school or on the job and reduce it to a manageable number of concepts that are likely to be on the test. You can expect to learn about many topics, including types of bids and auctions, the bidding process, the auctioneer’s chant, appraisals, ethics, legal obligations, advertising, accounting, state codes, buyer registration, title searches, finances, taxes, safety and zoning. There are many other aspects of the auction process that you can expect to learn as well.
Flashcards are reasonably priced – around $40 – and usually are backed by a money-back guarantee. Assuming that you spent a reasonable amount of time studying and preparing for the exam, you should pass it. However, if you used the flashcards regularly and still did not achieve the results you expected, you can sometimes get your money back within a certain period of time.
It’s important to note a few things about flashcards. First, simply memorizing the information on the flashcards will not guarantee a passing score on the auctioneer exam. You have to know how to apply the information and relate it to the actual exam questions. Secondly, the flashcards are not intended to be a substitute for experience or education in the auctioneering field. The flashcards are not comprehensive; training at an auctioneer school and/or an apprenticeship with a licensed auctioneer is still required. However, if you use the flashcards for their intended purpose – to help you learn and apply key concepts – as well as put forth a reasonable amount of time and effort into your studies, you should achieve excellent results.