Auctioneering is commonly referred to as an auctioneer’s bid call, chant, or cry. First implemented by the Greeks around 500 B.C., auctions have been and continue to be an effective means of selling goods and assets in a timely and transparent manner.
An auctioneer’s chant is very unique to each individual auctioneer. Similarities in sound and composition can be found among auctioneers and are typically based on the geographic region where the auctioneer is from and/or the training the auctioneer has received.
Traditionally, there are two main parts of an auctioneer’s chant. The first being the monetary amount that the auctioneer has bid and the second being the monetary amount the auctioneer is asking for. Once that is established, auctioneers use small words and short phrases in their chant to maintain rhythm and market the product or asset they are selling. The key to an auctioneer’s chant is communication between him/herself and the bidders. Clarity is essential and the speed of the chant varies, in large part, due to the product being sold and an auctioneer’s ability to communicate with those bidding on the product.
Auctioneering is like many other trades in that an auctioneer’s ability and knowledge is gained from experience.