New Holland – The auctioneer sat next to a chainsaw and raccoon painting, scanning the crowd for a familiar face. The buyer he knew couldn’t hand in old postcards or dusty books about long-forgotten places.
At 5 p.m. (sharp) he opened his mouth and began to sing. The sound shot out of my throat like a finger-plucking banjo player playing Fogy Mountain Breakdown. The blurring of words and numbers was too quick for beginners to understand, but the auctioneer’s song is a really subtle lullaby, and some say it’s hypnotic, but nods a little to these buyers. Raise your thumb and spend a few dollars on rolls of chicken wire or nail box details.
“This is an example of what I am saying-” $ 5, $ 10, can you give me $ 10 now? “- said Brian Oberholtz after the antique auction on Monday afternoon. It was. “It’s about repetition and rhythm. They call it your cadence or your singing. “
And no other auctioneer in Pennsylvania is as good as Oberholtz.
In May, the 36-year-old from Oberholtzer won the state-wide tender of the Pennsylvania Auction Association in Harrisburg after several top 10 placements. He is one of approximately 2,000 licensed auctioneers and trainees in the state, and the judging panel, PAA President Matthew Hostetter, has a wide range of skills, from quiet to speech intelligibility to mass communication. Said he was considering.
“You really have to be a complete package,” said the hostetter.
Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana are the most commonly auctioned states in the United States because of their deep agricultural traditions. Pennsylvania auctioneers sell everything from cars to pigs to entire farms. With a “handful” of women who are PAA members, Matt’s sister Kylie Hostetter took third place at this year’s tournament.
There’s an auctioneer school in Pennsylvania, but Oberholzer said he got into the cement business full-time in 2015 and learned himself after working in the cement business. Often paid by the hour or by fee, averaging about four auctions a week, he auctions hay on Monday before arriving at an old warehouse on several railroad tracks in this county town of Lancaster. I did.
When the auction starts, Oberholtz won’t stop for three hours, wiping out the antiques all over the room with a lottery. He didn’t take a toilet break, barely drank water, and only took a second or two to clear his throat.
Oberholtz, who lives in Reinholds, Lancaster County with his wife and two children, said he was allergic and could test his voice at a spring auction. He wears a troche and drinks lemon tea at home. Just as opera singers warm up their voices before the performance, Oberholtz says some auctioneers recite tongue twisters to move their mouths.
“She bought a better serving of butter to make the butter better because Betty bought a serving of butter and made it bitter,” Oberholtz said. “Some people can use it. They say many auctioneers can wrap up. You can’t wrap. “
The auction can be traced back to the Roman Empire, but the fast-paced style of singing is uniquely American.
According to Oberholtzer, this style is practical as it can sell a lot of items in a short period of time, but it also has a psychological element that arouses people’s innate competitiveness.
“Most of the excitement is that I want it, so I have to bid now or I’ll lose,” he said. “If you keep it moving, that excitement is there and stimulates the adrenaline.”
Oberholtzer said there was a huge misunderstanding about being an auctioneer.
“I can speak quickly, but I cannot read quickly,” he said.
Bob Diem, owner of H&R Auctions in New Holland, said one of Oberholtzer’s skills is “seeing” customers, knowing who is bidding, and most importantly, who is bidding a little more. I did. Like an experienced poker player, Oberholtzer is looking for a bearded man, a woman who shines when doll clothes are on the stage, and another woman who notices them.
“Bad auctioneers miss out on bids,” Diem said. “You leave money on the floor.”
H&R customers come to the store every Monday to organize many products. They often come in for resale at antique stores, whether it’s old fishing bait or jadeite dishes.
Oberholtzer knows that.
“He doesn’t tweet. It’s clear and precise. He’s a good guy, ”said buyer Don Rittenhaus.
Elberson’s Ed Kladak was shy about buying more military souvenirs. He has more than he needs. Nevertheless he was there, observed everything up close and praised Oberholtz’s skill as a high art.
“He’s got a beat like Shakespeare,” said Kladak.
Other customers have said that Oberholtz’s “melodic voice” is rare in the auction world.
“Only the best can do that,” said Charlie Hirschberger, who bought bee traps, wire netting and carpets.
There was almost no break in action, and when the storm clouds came up outside, the auction house “runners” carried all the last items in front of the hall. With every sale, Oberholtz suggested the ruler towards the podium and the runners advanced to the next lot. One was an anchor and a bilge pump.
“So that you can stay in one place while drowning,” joked Oberholtz before rolling into his singing.
Oberholtzer also planned another hay auction and another antiques auction later that week. But if someone has to sell something else, they can do it quickly.
“I’ve sold ponies, horses, hay, straw, and real estate. Most expensive property I’ve ever sold – a $ 2.5 million farm, tractors, farm equipment, and vehicles, ”he says. I did. “That’s really cool. Auctioneers can sell anything.”
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