Fundamentals of the Auction Industry

Although America was founded on and operates on the free market system, it is amazing to me that so many people have no concept or understanding of the auction industry. I am writing this column with the hope of sharing with you how and why the system has been so successful since the beginning of civilization.


The auction industry is the second-oldest profession known to man. The entire Roman Empire was sold at auction. Every distribution of goods and services that exists today is sold by the auction method, either by open outcry or on a bidding system of some kind.  The price of everything you buy, whether you eat it, wear it or drive it, is established by the auction method somewhere along the line. As an example, when you trade cars, the dealer is going to determine how much to allow you for your trade-in by what that exact make and model of your car sold for at auction last week.


Another example is the Stock Exchange; this is the largest auction in the world. The price posts on your cellular device as it happens. If you think it is a good price, you bid. If you want out, you sell. You might get more than you thought or less, but in every case, you know what your stock is worth at any given time. That is exactly what the auction process does.  


The auctioneer is only the scorekeeper or referee between the parties. It is his job to make sure the process is fair for both sides and that interested buyers are informed of the product or service. It is not his job to determine the value. The value is established by the buyers.


I will be explaining how our auction service can be of service to you, how we’ll make a lot of decisions you are facing so much easier, simpler, and successful. We sell Real Estate either as a general listing or auction. We are Realtors as well as auctioneers.

You determine how and when you want it sold. We’ll give you an honest valuation and sell it. Time is money.



Marty Higgenbotham, founder and president of Higgenbotham Auctioneers International, Ltd., has conducted approximately 12,000 auctions, selling everything from cemetery lots to shopping centers and everything in between. He graduated from Reisch Auction College in 1959. Since then, he has sold in 49 states and five foreign countries. Clients include Wal-Mart, Albertson, Sinclair, AutoZone, HUD, and the states of Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Florida, to name a few. He lives with his wife in Lakeland.

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