Allen Olson can’t even guess how many tractors and combines he’s sold over a career spanning more than half a century.
“What I can tell you is that farm equipment has gotten a lot more expensive,” says the Rimbey auctioneer. “Some of these tractors go for more than $100,000. Last year, we sold a combine for $315,000.”
At one time, his chant would go up in increments of $100 — “$1,200 bid, now 13, now 13, will you give me 13?”
But no one has time for that anymore, says Olson, who was awarded his 50-year pin by the Auctioneers’ Association of Alberta this past winter.
“Now you go up by 1,000 or even 5,000 at a crack.”
Olson has actually logged 52 years in the auction business.
“I was 16 when I took my course, but I didn’t join the association for two years.”
His advice for auction attendees is simple: “I always tell people to get out front where I can see them.”
This also allows you to see who you’re bidding against — which can prevent that most embarrassing of auction faux pas.
“The odd time you have family members bidding against each other,” says Olson. “If we recognize it, we’ll let them know. But you need to get it straight on who is supposed to be doing the bidding.”