J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: The poetry of auctioneering

BEHIND THE BLOCK: The poetry of auctioneering

Besides being an extraordinary auctioneer with a handsome beard, I’m also a poet. I primarily compose senryu, micropoems structurally identical to haiku, but while haiku concern themselves with nature, senryu tend to be about the idiosyncrasies of human existence. Naturally, some of my senryu are centered around aspects of auctioneering. Here are a few examples… […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Quirky qualification questions for potential consignors

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Quirky qualification questions for potential consignors

I entered the home, flashlight in hand. It was dark and dank and half fallen. The ceiling sagged like a hammock. The adjoining room was sunken by at least a foot, not by design, but because the house was ready to finish imploding at any moment. What contents were visible were buried in shattered plaster […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Charred chattel – when an item is beyond salvageable

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Charred chattel – when an item is beyond salvageable

The golden rule of estate liquidation is know before you throw. Those who have little or no experience in the auction industry are usually unaware of the strange and absurd items – some of which look like garbage – that can realize high prices on the block, and therefore sometimes make the tragic mistake of […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Alternative auction methods

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Alternative auction methods

The traditional auction involves gathering both merchandise and bidders at a specific place and time, allowing said bidders to compete for ownership as each item is presented by an auctioneer, who governs the process and asks for bids via a melodic chant. There are some alternative methods typically used for charitable events, such as the […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Auctions are not…

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Auctions are not…

As an auctioneer, I often encounter individuals who are either misinformed or who have come to erroneous conclusions as to what live auctions actually are. Before I explain their true purpose, let me elaborate on what auctions are not… Auctions are not yard sales. Auctions are not for used baby clothes or under-inflated basketballs. They […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Reading the forgotten letters of ordinary people

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Reading the forgotten letters of ordinary people

The personal correspondence of America’s legendary figures has been exhibited in museums, published in books, and sold at auction to eager collectors. Such letters not only give us intimate insights into those who shaped our nation and culture, they also prove that even the legendary were ordinary people. As an auctioneer, I often find the […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Collectible vs. marketable

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Collectible vs. marketable

As an auctioneer, I take issue with the term collectible, especially when I reject an item for auction and the object’s owner retorts, “But it’s a collectible!” As imparted on Dictionary.com, collectible has two definitions: The first definition of collectible is the most accurate. So long as one has the desire and the means to […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: The Top 10 auction restroom faux pas

BEHIND THE BLOCK: The Top 10 auction restroom faux pas

When attending an auction, it’s important to treat the facility’s lavatory with respect and not use it in any absurd or weird manner. The following are 10 things that you should avoid doing in an auction gallery’s restroom:

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Why condensed books are worthless, both monetarily and in principle

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Why condensed books are worthless, both monetarily and in principle

Imagine that you’re a wedding planner and that a lovely young couple with a very large check book appointed you their event coordinator over a year ago. Month upon month, you spent artistically designing every moment of what you’re sure will be the season’s most splendid nuptial. You’ve exhausted every ounce of your creativity and […]

 J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Canned goods at auction

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Canned goods at auction

Had I been standing in a grocery store talking with its owner, and had that owner called me in because he was closing shop and was inquiring as to whether or not I could liquidate his stock, I wouldn’t have been taken aback by the question: “Do you sell canned goods?” As it was, I […]