Auctioneers throughout the U.S. say the shows have provided the public with an awareness of the auction method of buying and selling a wide range of goods. As a result, many auction houses report higher attendance and increased earnings.
If you happen to be one of those who participates in the televised auctions, the benefits can be even more pronounced.
“There’s a renewed interest in the auction industry,” says Dan Dotson of American Auctioneers in Riverside, Calif., and an Auctioneer for A&E’s “Storage Wars.”
“Storage Wars” follows a group of four buyers who travel from site to site in search of treasures in abandoned storage units. But other shows, such as “Auction Kings” on the Discovery Channel, “Real Deal” on History (formerly the History Channel) and “Auction Hunters” on Spike, as well as a handful of spinoff series, feature a variety of auction formats.
The shows typically top networks’ ratings.
“Storage Wars,” for example, is A&E’s No. 1 series of all time among adults 25-54, according to the channel’s website. During its first season, the series averaged nearly 3 million viewers per episode.
Dotson was “discovered” by the show’s executive producer, Thom Beers of Original Productions, who saw American Auctioneers videos on YouTube.
The company employs 12 Auctioneers who travel throughout California and conduct about 50 auctions per week. He and his wife, Laura, also founded StorageTreasurers.com, which he bills as “the greatest auction portal on the planet.”
Although Dotson has sold everything from construction equipment to printing equipment in the past, he now concentrates on storage units.
The company’s business increased 300 percent after “Storage Wars” began, Dotson says. Per-unit take is now $350, up from $250 before the show debuted.
Next, he and his wife, Laura, are set to appear in an estate-based spinoff series, he says.
Bryan Knox, CAI, GPPA, of BCK Enterprises Inc., Gardendale, Ala., had distinguished himself by winning the Alabama Grand Champion Auctioneer contest in 2001 and the International Auctioneer Championship in 2007. A video of him on the National Auctioneers Association website attracted the attention of Zodiak USA, the company that produces “Real Deal.”
Although Knox became an Auctioneer more than a dozen years ago, he says appearing on the program has given validity to his year-old company and has portrayed him as an industry leader.
“That alone has been incredible for my business,” Knox says.
Knox was impressed with the professionalism of the “Real Deal” producers, who he says sought his input for the show.
“It was refreshing to know that they really cared,” he says.
Knox serves on the NAA Board of Directors, and he is Secretary/Treasurer for the Alabama State Board of Auctioneers and Vice President of the Alabama Auctioneers Association.
Paul Brown from Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings” became an NAA member in late January.