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Auction Audio/Video Recording

C.Y.A.
There is really only one reason that we record an auction; it provides indisputable evidence of the auction proceedings. If you don’t dot your i’s and cross your t’s then this can obviously work against you. But if you are a by-the-book, list-making, agenda-following auctioneer who always follows protocol, then the auction recording is your best friend.

Compunction
A customer suffering from bidder’s remorse might allege that the terms and conditions weren’t disclosed and somehow we’ve lost their signed registration card accepting the terms and conditions. This isn’t a big deal on a 5 dollar boxed lot, but up the ante a bit, and this becomes an expensive headache. A little playback from the recording where the auctioneer actually read, out loud, the terms and conditions prior to the auction, and poof! The bidder’s lawyer magically goes away and the bidder pays up. It’s not always that simple of course, but the message here is clear; recordings serve to cover our posteriors.

Tapes O’Plenty
It wasn’t that long ago that we used audio cassettes to record the auction. Typically, the cassette recorder was placed near the auctioneer and every hour or two the tape would be flipped or swapped for a new one. During a long auction this was tedious (to say the least). Then came along the early camcorders. One wise auctioneer postured that if audio was good, video must be better and I, for one, agree. But, unfortunately, the tape swapping issues remained.

Digital Juice
We now have the option of recording audio or video digitally. These recording devices have several advantages over their aged brethren.  1) No tapes  2) Can record 20+ hours of continuous audio/video 3) Files can be transferred to your computer for archiving. The beauty here is that we have no tapes to swap. We press the record button at the beginning of the auction and hit the stop button when the auction is done. Even if we’re doing an all day, 12-hour, industrial liquidation marathon, it’s no problem.

Toys Toys Toys
The Olympus Digital Voice Recorder VN 6200PC can be purchased from Amazon for $46. It provides 400+ hours of uninterrupted audio in LP mode.

The Sony DCR-SR68 80GB hard disk drive camcorder that can be purchased from Amazon for $340. It’s a business expense and, rumor has it that it works just as well recording family outings.

Both of these devices enabled you to transfer the audio or video file to your computer. From there you can treat the file like any other file. You can burn it to CD, email it, etc.

What’s Your Angle?
There tends to be two schools of thought on recording video of an auction. 1) Record the auctioneer or 2) Record the audience. There is, of course, a third option; do both with 2 video cameras. If the auction is large enough, and there is enough money at stake, this may be worth the extra effort.

Consonance
There are few things that offer as big a bang for the buck for your business as recording your auctions. The mere fact that disputed bid prices can be recalled and reviewed serves to eliminate the disputes to begin with. Scheisters know when the house is in the winning position and that’s what recording your auction does; it stacks the scales of justice in your favor.

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