Melancthon based auctioneer shares his passion for the industry

January 21, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Going once, going twice…sold!

When you first hear Dennis Kidd speak it’s not hard to imagine how he became an auctioneer. With the natural way he speeds up in his speech you could almost hear the calling of the auctioneer’s chant.

For the last 25 years Kidd has worked locally as an auctioneer from freelancing to opening his own company, Kidd Family Auctions, in 2015. But, his connection to auctioning goes back even further.

Growing up in a farming family Kidd learned ‘like every good farmer’ the love of auctioning. At a young age he began attending auctions with his father and grandfather, and it was during this time he started practicing what would later become his craft.

“Before I can even recall, my parents tell me I would come home and try to imitate and talk like the auctioneer in front of the mirror,” explains Kidd.

As he got older, Kidd’s interest in auctioning continued to grow, and in November of 1995 he signed up to take part in auction school; a week long course in Woodstock, Ont. Between drills of counting forwards and backwards, the course also taught students how to fully operate an auction from set up, to management, and legal perspectives.

“One of the popular misconceptions about auctioneers, but also the thing most people think about, is you talk fast. That’s only a very small part of the business as a whole,” said Kidd.

While speedy talking is synonymous with what is known as the ‘auctioneers chant’, Kidd has worked years developing and honing his own style.

“It bothers me when people say to me ‘I can’t understand what an auctioneer is saying’. I’m very conscious of the need for clarity because to me what’s really important is the customer understanding, if they’re not comfortable they won’t bid,” he said.

Working in auctions for over two decades, Kidd has come across a variety of items and antiques ranging from the interesting to the downright strange.

When asked what the most interesting item he’s seen sell, Kidd can list off a couple, including a house and most recently, a gun dating back to the late 1700s, but one item holds the title of strangest – a coffin. 

“Seems a little odd, but there’s a buyer for most everything,” he tells the Free Press.

If there are any categories in auctioning he cautions against selling in at this time, it’s furniture, glassware, and china, all of which he says are “pretty dead” areas.

As like many industries, the world of auctioning has been slowly changing. Originally an event where friends, family and neighbours could gather to socialize, over the years auctions have largely moved to the online space.

“Online business as a whole has shot up, so it’s sort of a natural thing that auctions are moving online and for us it’s going really well. It’s likely to stay that way because people are comfortable buying from auctions online,” said Kidd.

Between live and online auctions, Kidd says the business part of auctioning hasn’t changed much with the focus still reaming on selling a product to the highest bidder.

One aspect he does note that they’ve seen change in with the shift to online is the broader auction audiences, specifically pointing to cases where items have been sold out of province and country.

“I’m mind boggled by how much broader the audience is, we’re discovering this huge bidder base beyond our local one hour radius,” said Kidd. “There is enormous potential beyond a live auction, and really if you’re going to be doing any business as an auctioneer you have to be online.”

Kidd will once again be entertaining crowds, albeit virtually, calling an upcoming live simulcast auction on March 11 to mark the seventh anniversary of Kidd Family Auctions. The event will feature various antiques from collectibles, coins, jewelry, art, tools, firearms and petroliana, a category focused on old service station memorabilia. 

“It’s making a point to acknowledge where we are at and the people that have got us there. I’m constantly amazed and thankful about how the business continues to grow,” said Kidd. “Seven years is not a terribly long time, but it also doesn’t feel like seven years have gone by.”

Kidd Family Auctions hosts an average of two auctions per month. For more information on upcoming auctions visit

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