Auctions on Twitter were bound to happen


A bid being placed for a Twitterauction

We frequently write about Twitter and its many benefits. We frequently visit our sister site at AuctioneerTweet to see what auctioneers are saying on Twitter. Today, however, we noticed something new. Actual items are now being sold on Twitter using the auction method of marketing.

Walt Kolenda, better known as AuctionWally, has conducted several Twitterauctions, as he calls them. “So far they’ve been pretty successful, small items so far. Sold about 75%!” Said Kolenda, “Items that didn’t sell didn’t get bids. I won’t do reserves at these auctions.”

The mechanics are simple. Terms, pictures of the items, as well as very good descriptions, are posted on his site at In order to place bids on the items, all that is required is a message sent to his Twitter account before the bidding closes.

Kolenda says he doesn’t see downsides, but just as there is much more to a traditional auction event than simply calling bids, the same is true for Twitter. “…there are definitely certain details you have to take care of,” he says. “You can’t just throw one out there and expect bids.” He’s published an eBook, entitled “How to do Auctions on Twitter“. From the order page:

By the end of this eBook you’ll know exactly how to set up a Twitter auction, how to promote it, the other tools you’ll need to make it profitable, the types of items that will sell, how to invoice and how to accept payment.

You can follow AuctionWally on Twitter at @auctionwally or @twitauctioneer.

We have mixed feelings about the process. While it seems like a new and intriguing method of accepting bids, it seems limited in the amount of items that can be sold per period of time as well as the direct labor involved. What are your thoughts? Does this method sound like something you’re going to try? Let us know in the comments.

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2009 NAA Hall of Fame Inductees

Overland Park, Kan.July 18, 2009 – The National Auctioneers Association (NAA) inducted three new members into its Hall of Fame: Marvin E. Alexander, CAI, of Martin, Tenn.; Larry Latham, CAI, of Las Vegas, Nev.; and Stephen D. Lewis of Morehead, Ky. The three inductees were honored at the 60th annual International Auctioneers Conference and Show in Overland Park, Kan. during the President’s Gala.

Marvin E. Alexander, CAI – Martin, Tennessee
Marvin E. Alexander became a professional auctioneer in 1963 when he founded his business, Alexander Auctions & Real Estate Sales in Martin, Tenn. In those days, Martin said he carried around a set of speakers, a calculator, and pads of clerking sheets when he bid-called. Now, the daily operations in the profession have changed drastically, as they rely more heavily on technological agents, but Marvin learned the work necessary to excel at the craft. Today, Marvin commands a mobile office, equipped with office machinery, sound equipment, and wireless clerking and cashiering systems for auction day.

Marvin specializes is in real estate, including industrial and commercial property, farm and development land, acreage tracts, and residential properties. In additional to being an NAA member and past board of director, Marvin is a member of the Tennessee Auctioneers Association, which he served a term as president, and Tennessee and National Realtors Associations. In 1989, Marvin won the International Auctioneer Championship (IAC) competition, and the All-Around World Champion Auctioneer competition in 1997.

Marvin is heavily involved in several community organizations, including the Goodwill Shrine Club, the University of Tennessee Rodeo Booster Club, and various high school, 4-H, and booster clubs.

Larry Latham, CAI – Las Vegas, Nevada
Larry Latham has dedicated his life to the sale of real estate, either by auction or private treaty. Larry began his career as a real estate auctioneer in the early 1980s. In 1984, he graduated from the Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI) at Indiana University in order to expand his auctioneering prowess. Soon after, he was elected the first treasurer of CAI. In addition to being a leader within the association, Larry was a leader and a voice for the profession in Washington lobbying on behalf of the profession in Congress.

Prior to Larry entering the industry, real estate auctions were generally conducted on-site, which only allowed for one unit to be sold at a time. Realizing that selling real estate piecemeal was inefficient, Larry began gathering large amounts of auction-goers into hotel ballrooms and conducting large scale auctions. He marketed the properties and displayed photographs of the real estate and was able to successfully sell hundreds of properties at a single auction. During the Savings and Loan crises in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Larry was instrumental in selling large amounts of real estate for the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

By the mid-1990s, Larry sold his real estate auction business to Chase Bank and began work as a full-time real estate developer. Larry recently re-entered the auctioneering world in 2008 and created AmeriBid, a real estate auction company whose success includes the disposition of over 150,000 properties.

Larry has four daughters and one grandson.

Stephen Lewis – Morehead, Kentucky
Stephen Lewis was raised in the fast-paced world of auctioneering. His late father, NAA Hall of Famer C. Roger Lewis, established the successful auction company C. Roger Lewis Agency in 1958 in Morehead, Kentucky. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana in 1972, Stephen returned to Morehead to join the family business. The firm specializes in real estate auctions, as well as commercial and estate liquidations.

Stephen has served a term as a president for the Kentucky Auctioneers Association. Since 1985, he has served on the Kentucky Board of Auctioneers Licensing Board. A member of the NAA since 1973, Stephen has served the association as a treasurer and director. Currently, Stephen is a member of five professional organizations and sits on the Board of Trustees for three philanthropic organizations.

Stephen and his wife, Jan, have two daughters and three grandchildren.

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2009 IAC results in winner Kevin Borger

Kevin Borger

2009 IAC Men's Champion Kevin Borger, image from

Overland Park, Kan.July 18, 2009 – From the pulpit to the auction podium, Kansas Auctioneer Kevin Borger commands attention when in front of an audience. On Friday evening at the 60th International Auctioneers Conference and Show in Overland Park, Kan., Kevin gained the attention and respect of auctioneers across the country and earned the coveted title of International Auctioneer Champion. Eighty-eight auctioneers graced the stage in the 21st annual International Auctioneers Championship. Joseph Mast of Millersburg, Ohio was awarded 1st runner-up, followed by Trev Moravec of Lincoln, Nebraska who was awarded 2nd runner-up honors.

An associate pastor and contract auctioneer, Kevin began his career as an auctioneer at an early age. After mowing lawns throughout the summer at the age of 13, Kevin had to choose between buying a dirt bike or attending auction school. He chose wisely and attended Reisch World Wide College of Auctioneering. He would attend a second time at the age of 15. When he isn’t preaching to his congregation at 1st Church of the Nazarene, Kevin can be found auctioning as a contract auctioneer for a range of Kansas auction firms. Kevin is an a Realtor and Auctioneer with Omli and Associates, Inc. of Salina, Kan. Kevin is a board of director with the Kansas Auctioneers Association (KAA) and has been a member of the NAA for over 10 years. A 2000 KAA bid calling champion, this year’s IAC competition was his second run at the title. His first attempt was in 2001 where he was a finalist.

Kevin resides in Hutchinson, Kan. with his wife, Beth, and their three children.

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Terri Walker wins 2009 IAC Women’s Division Championship

Terri Walker

2009 IAC Women's Division Champion Terri Walker, image from

Overland Park, Kan., July 18, 2009 – The walls of Walker Auctions in Memphis, Tennessee are adorned with three 2nd runner-up and three 1st runner-up IAC Women’s Division trophies. Terri Walker, CAI, BAS, CES earned the centerpiece to her collection by winning the 2009 IAC Women’s Division Championship trophy this evening in Overland Park, Kan. For Terri, this year’s competition was her ninth attempt at the prestigious title and the win was not only humbling, but also rewarding. Camille Booker of Richland, WA and Regina Andrijeski of Curtis, NE joined Terri in the winner’s circle. Camille earned the title of 1st runner-up, followed by Regina who earned 2nd runner-up honors.

“It is rewarding to spend your life doing something you love and its even more rewarding to be awarded for it.” said Terri.

A graduate of MissouriAuctionSchool, Terri is a second generation Auctioneer. Her father, Bob Turnage, started the family business in Hayti, Missouri. Terri and her husband, Lance Walker, own and operate Walker Auctions in Memphis, TN. Their firm specializes in real estate, benefit and estate auctions. An Auctioneer and Realtor, Terri holds the CAI, BAS and CES designation. Terri is currently the 1st Year Advisor for CAI and a BAS instructor. Prior to becoming an Auctioneer, Terri taught for 12 years and holds a bachelors and masters degree in education.

Terri resides in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband of 32 years, Lance, and their three children.

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2009 IJAC results in winner Justin Schultis


2009 IJAC champion Justin Schultiz, image from

Overland Park, Kan., July 18, 2009 – Looking back, it wasn’t that long ago that Justin Schultis, 18, of Fairbury, Nebraska sold his first item at auction, a wash tub. At the age of 13, Justin knew his future profession early on. The roots of auctioneering run deep in the Schultis family tree. Justin’s family of auctioneers started with his great-grandfather Irvin, followed by his grandfather Wayne and his father Aaron.

“I guess you could say I was born an auctioneer,” said Justin. “My mother used to clerk for our family auctions when she was pregnant with me and I loved auctions before I knew auctions.”

The future is bright for Justin. Graduating FairburyHigh School in May 2009, Justin has already begun taking courses for his real estate license and will begin business classes at SoutheastCommunity College in Lincoln, Nebraska in the fall. Justin plans to manage a busy schedule between the classroom and the auction ring, helping the family’s general auction business.

Justin is the son of Aaron Schultis and Connie Schouboe.

Issac Schultz, 18, of Upsala, MN was awarded 1st runner-up, followed by Paige Sullivan, 18, of Prague, OK in this year’s IJAC competition.

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