National Auctioneers Day – April 20, 2023

National Auctioneers Day is celebrated on the third Thursday of April, in honor of auctioneers and the practice of auctioning. It takes place on April 20 this year. The holiday is the initiative of the National Auctioneers Association and has been celebrated since 1996. The word ‘auction’ is derived from the Latin word ‘auctum,’ which translates to ‘I increase.’ An auction is a process of conducting open market trading in which the buyers place bids over the auctioned commodity, and the highest bidder takes the prize home. Conducting an auction is a tough gig, which is made worse by the unserious bidders and occasional hecklers.

History of National Auctioneers Day

People have strange perceptions about auctions. To the larger public, it is much like a glamorous face-off between Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton in “The First Wives Club,” when in reality, it is a grueling process that sometimes stretches to days. National Auctioneers Day honors the men and women in the business who carry out the process and preserve the sanctity of this historic trading practice.

The earliest evidence of auctions dates back to 500 B.C. when the annual marriage auctions were organized by the town and bids were placed on women. Historically, livestock, artworks, and even the entire empire of Rome have been put up for auction. Throughout the Greek and Roman empires, the practice of auction gained massive prominence — although it declined in the 18th century.

The annual recognition is the initiative of the National Auctioneers Association (N.A.A). As per the N.A.A., professional auctioning sells more than $250 billion in goods and services every year. The auctioneers are responsible for the safe, successful, and efficient auctioneering process. Since 1949, N.A.A. has been the national representation of thousands of working professionals in the country. The association conducts educational programming and provides resources to its members. The third Thursday of April honors the dedicated professionals and learned experts of the craft. This extensive network of professionals abides by the N.A.A. Code of Ethics, which guides them to navigate the muddy waters of a rapidly changing market landscape.

National Auctioneers Day timeline

500 B.C.
The Babylonian Marriage Market

A 19th-century painting reveals the auctioneering practices of ancient times in Babylon.

193 A.D.
The Auction of the Empire

Roman Emperor Didius Julianus wins the auction of the Roman Empire, changing the course of its history.

1595
The English Adaptation

The word ‘auction’ is mentioned for the first time in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1949
The National Auctioneers Association

The world’s largest association of auction professionals is founded in Kansas, U.S.

1996
The Day is Established

The N.A.A. designates the third Thursday of April as National Auctioneers Day.

National Auctioneers Day FAQs

Is an auction legal?

An auction sale is legal and the act of bidding creates a binding legal contract between the auctioneer and the bidder.

What is the purpose of an auction?

An auction is the free and fair public sale of an item or a property, with the purpose of obtaining the best possible sum of money for the auctioned item.

What happens when an auction ends?

An auction is deemed complete when the final bid is accepted by the auctioneer. The seller sets a reserve price prior to every auction. If the highest bid does not meet the reserve price, the property remains unsold.

National Auctioneers Day Activities

  1. Play the auctioneer

    It’s a great excuse to put your pointy hat on, grab a hammer, and practice ‘the chant.’ On National Auctioneer Day, place yourself in the shoes of the auctioneers, and try to tame the crowd.

  2. Auction your belongings

    Hello, hoarders! It’s time to let go of those vintage jeans and unused chairs. Organize a mini-auction in your backyard and ring up your friends and family for a fun night of bidding.

  3. Bid on eBay

    To fully immerse yourself in the celebration, log in to your eBay account and scout for items to bid on. Could it be vintage earrings or a pair of sunglasses? The options are endless, and fit the cause for celebration.

5 Of The Quirkiest Types Of Auctions Throughout History

  1. A candle auction

    The auction continues until the expiration of the candle flame, which ensures a surprise element and no last-second bids.

  2. All-pay auction

    All bidders must pay their bids regardless of who wins the highest bid, but only the top bidder gets the item.

  3. The buyout auction

    A buyout price is exclaimed at any moment, which any bidder can accept and end the auction.

  4. The Japanese auction

    Each bidder must make a bid for every round or drop out.

  5. The blind auction

    All bidders simultaneously submit their sealed bids, unaware of other participants’ bids, and the highest bidder wins the item.

Why We Love National Auctioneers Day

  1. It champions hard work

    Auctioneering is hard work and requires years of training and practice. A proficient auctioneer is skilled in handling the crowd, rousing the bidders, and bringing much-needed momentum to the process. The National Auctioneers Association honors its members for their dedication, enthusiasm, and ethical work.

  2. It honors the tradition

    Auctioneering is an ancient tradition. Today, trading under auction is covered under several statutes of the law, but there was once a time when the sanctity of the process was essential to free markets and fair competition. National Auctioneers Day honors the legacy of the tradition.

  3. It is exciting and attractive

    The career of an auctioneer can be very lucrative and rewarding. Auctions are exciting and tantalizing for the bidders, as they go out of their way to pitch their offering for objects they desire. It is the display of wealth and consumerism.

National Auctioneers Day dates

YearDateDay
2022April 21Thursday
2023April 20Thursday
2024April 18Thursday
2025April 17Thursday
2026April 16Thursday

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