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 Post subject: Hand Signals
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 12:51 pm 

Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 12:45 pm
Posts: 1
Hi all,

I'm a newbie to the board here but hoping you'll consider helping out an old auction fan. I attend auctions on a regular basis and enjoy doing so. However a recent event took its toll on my hearing and that has put me at a real disadvantage. I see the auctioneer's assistants signing to the crowd on a regular basis giving the current bid using their fingers, but the signs aren't regular sign language for the hearing impared. Just when I think I've got it figured out, I realize I'm wrong. 9

Could anyone here please help an old guy and explain what all the numbers are that are being signed back and forth to the audience and then relayed to the auctioneer?

 Post subject: Re: Hand Signals
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:52 am
Posts: 2437
Location: Houston TX
Any signals use may differ between auctions, auctioneers, ringmen, etc.
There are no specific standards. An example may be that the bid is at two, twenty or even two hundred, and a ringman may be holding two fingers to indicate the bid and then three to the bidder, as to ask if they want to go three or thirty or three hundred.

Another ringman might signal 4 and then 5, as to indicate 45 or 450... yet you might think he's indicating the bid is at 4 and asking for 5.

Unfortunately, it comes down to learning how that particular auction runs and even the particular individuals nuances.

Do you read lips? If so, you could talk to the ringman that is working near you and let him/her know your problem. They probably would make sure to look your way and form the words with their mouth, so that you might better understand what bid they are looking to get.

Jim Ford
Professional Auctioneer & Auction Marketing for the 21st Century

Texas-National Auctioneers
Professional Auction Services for Houston & the Great State of Texas
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