The Lady is an Auctioneer:
Vikki Vines' Gallery Auctions is Famous for Volume and Variety
by Susana Kirchberg
An old friend of mine once remarked that being a successful Baptist minister is not much different from being a good auctioneer. "They both stand at the pulpit working to keep lively participation from the congregation," he reasoned. "Only difference is that one is spreading the word of God and the other the word about things." This man took his auctions seriously!
Lady auctioneer Vikki Vines takes them seriously too, her quick tongue and witty remarks keep the paddles in the air. Vines, owner of Houston, Texas based Gallery Auctions, Inc. is one of few women auctioneers in what is considered by many a "man's business." Her American style auctions are fast-paced biweekly events.
"We aim to move em out fast and cheap on a regular weekly schedule," comments Vines. "Everything has got to go that day, to make room for the next container load. There are great bargains at every auction." She specializes in English, French, Italian, East Coast American and Buenos Aires' sophisticated antique furniture and furnishings.
Unlike in Mexico, U.S. auctioneers must attend auction school and obtain a license before being aloud to pick up the gravel. In 1984 Vines left her one year old son in her mother's care and headed off to earn her tuition to Reisch Worldwide College of Auctioneering (in Mason City, Iowa) by selling second-hand goods in North Houston flea markets. The intensive two-week course included training with forty different auctioneers from all parts of the country and hours of "number drills" where one learned the signature auctioneers' chant. After finishing school, Vines returned to Houston, Texas to conduct her first auction, she hasn't looked back since.
Vikki notes that part of being a successful auctioneer includes knowing what sells and how to entice people to buy. Her recent annual Architectural Antiques auction in early March garnered nearly one million dollars in sales, clear proof that the lady knows what she is doing.
Viewing for her weekly Monday morning auctions starts at eight a.m. at the new 27,000 square foot gallery located at 10202 Sweetwater in Houston, Texas. The gravel falls at ten a.m. sharp and continues until everything is sold. Viewing for the Tuesday auctions is from eight a.m. until the auction starts at six-thirty in the evening.
Gallery Auctions, Inc. caters to the trade, items are priced right for dealers and decorators to be able to turn a good profit, but the general public is also welcome to pick up a bidder's paddle and join in the fun. As Vines puts it, "These are in-the-trenches auctions. There are rarely reserve prices, we sell hard and fast."
For a schedule of upcoming auctions, visit Gallery Auctions website at http://www.galleryauctions.com