Below are some frequently asked questions about Dave, his experience, and his style. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
What differentiates Dave Goldstein from other auctioneers?
Well, some well-timed stubbornness and serious laughs are a good start.
At the risk of sounding immodest, what differentiates me from other auctioneers is my sincerity and skill. I find that a lot of people have the former but not enough of the latter. Almost every client I’ve worked for has used a well-meaning volunteer at some point in previous years (news anchors, a board member who’s a lawyer, etc.). Auctions require nuance, warmth, a feel for people, a knowledge of when to talk and, maybe more importantly, when to stay silent until the bid comes in.
This is crucial at the beginning of an auction. Sometimes you have to be comfortable with a little silence instead of rushing. I’ve had several auctions where I’ve switched into doing a little standup comedy for a few minutes to loosen things up until the first big bid came in—especially on a high-priced item.
Which leads me to my next point. While I’m auctioneering, the people who can’t necessarily afford to bid also get a great show. Now, that’s not important if I’m not bringing in the money also, but fortunately I provide both: the auction earnings and the show.
How does Dave Goldstein prepare for an auction?
I prepare for my auctions with a ton of detail. It’s the little things that really help me paint the word picture of the auction items for our guests. I don’t do the fast talking, gavel-banging thing.
The write-ups my clients provide on auction items are usually very informative but I try to do my homework to find the extra bit of information that will emotionally hook potential bidders. For example, learning to say (with terrible pronunciation, I’m sure) a few simple phrases in Portuguese for an auction with a lot of Brazilian-Americans in attendance was a big help. I also know that many people at the auction I performed for the Nelson Mandela Legacy Fund in DC appreciated that I’d taken some time to research the African National Congress and South African history.
Similarly, I’ve auctioned a trip to Belize at several events. I’ve learned to remind our attendees that Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. It’s also one of the great tarpon and bonefish locations in the world. Depending on the crowd, this information can tip potential bidders over to people who go all in for the trip. A well stocked bar at their vacation villa seems to help too.
What are your fees?
I've really enjoyed my auctioneering. It's nice to be even a little part of helping people do good work. I have a lot of clients whom I work for year after year and I understand the pressures that many non-profits feel while trying to accomplish their mission.
Typically, I work for a fixed fee plus agreed upon travel expenses, although I do have clients who prefer to offer a small guarantee and then a percentage of the proceeds from the live auction.
Generally when I have a client who’s interested in me as an auctioneer, we find a way to work everything out.
Get in touch
If you’re interested in hiring Dave Goldstein as an auctioneer for your event, or if you have any questions, please contact us.