MIGHTY VOICE

Abi­gail Bezan­son is a nat­u­ral auc­tion­eer

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - Busi­ness Mar­garetsville

When Abi­gail Bezan­son is done call­ing bids at her fa­ther’s auction house, the crowd ap­plauds.

It’s the first auction of the year and the 21-year-old, perched on the edge of her fa­ther Rick’s stool wearing a black Stet­son, is the star of the show. Peo­ple have driven up the moun­tain just to see her. They’ve known Abi­gail since she was a lit­tle kid run­ning slips back to the main desk while her fa­ther called from that very stool.

She may be the youngest fe­male auc­tion­eer in the prov­ince, and while she won’t turn 22 un­til Oc­to­ber, she’s al­ready been in the auction busi­ness for about 15 years.

She and brother Colton have been there since the auction house opened.

“Even be­fore that when we were do­ing on­site auc­tions I was help­ing Mom and Dad, and work­ing and al­ways a part of it,” Abi­gail says.

It was early 2005 when Bezan­son Auc­tion­eer­ing Cen­ter opened in the old Mar­garetsville El­e­men­tary School with a fundrais­ing auction to help vic­tims of the Box­ing Day tsunami that killed al­most 250,000 peo­ple in 14 coun­tries along the coast of the In­dian Ocean.

“Ox­fam Canada. I was run­ning slips,” Abi­gail re­calls that auction. “I started at the bot­tom, work­ing up from all the jobs. Ev­ery job here I’ve done. So, I started run­ning slips, I went up and started work­ing in the can­teen. I left the can­teen and went to where the boys were work­ing in the hall­way lug­ging on stuff, and I went to the head desk. So now I’m do­ing the head desk and tak­ing Dad’s job over top of it all.”

She laughs. It was all her fa­ther’s idea.

Too Shy

“Ever since I was re­ally lit­tle Dad wanted me to be an auc­tion­eer. And I al­ways said, ‘no I can’t be an auc­tion­eer Dad … I’m too shy for that,’” she says. “Last year we started work­ing, we started prac­tic­ing.”

She knows the crowd, jokes with them, cre­ates an easy back and forth ban­ter – and sells them ev­ery­thing from beds to box lots.

“The peo­ple here, they’re re­ally spe­cial,” she says of those folks. More than 100 peo­ple pack the old school. “They’re some­thing else. They’re re­ally great.”

She’s been do­ing num­bers since she was five or six.

“Dad’s al­ways been push­ing hard to get me to do num­bers and count. I count to a hun­dred in less than a minute. I can run back down from a hun­dred,” she says. “I just started tak­ing it se­ri­ously a cou­ple of years ago and go­ing fur­ther and fur­ther into it and look­ing at auction schools, and try­ing to im­prove my­self. I’ll ask Dad what I need to work on. I have new fill words al­most ev­ery auction. I’ll switch some­thing up.” Her fa­ther’s job?

“I think he wants me to take it any­way,” she says. “Very, very, very big shoes. Yes, he’s got very big shoes. Dad will say ‘oh, you did a good job’ but af­ter­wards we’ll go to sup­per and Dad will be like ‘OK, so we’ve got to work on this,’ or ‘we’ve got to work on that.’”

Ner­vous

She does charity auc­tions as well and at her first one she was so ner­vous she couldn’t eat her sup­per. But she got up when it was her turn and sold eight items. Does she have any but­ter­flies now?

“I do. But I think it’s a rush, is what it is. You don’t know what peo­ple are go­ing to do,” she says. And ev­ery auction is dif­fer­ent be­cause the crowd’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent.

She takes the re­spon­si­bil­ity of her job se­ri­ously. Box lots from an es­tate are no­to­ri­ous for go­ing for just a few dol­lars – no mat­ter how hard an auc­tion­eer tries to get the bids up. “It’s a lot of weight, but at the end of the day you get what you get.”

Her fa­ther Rick Bezan­son is known as the Cow­boy Auc­tion­eer and Abi­gail has been don­ning the Stet­son too and thinks she may carry on that tra­di­tion.

“Peo­ple know Dad as the Cow­boy Auc­tion­eer,” she says. “They may not know his name, but they know he’s got that hat on. I think prob­a­bly I’ll keep it up. Dad’s hats are all the same size as mine, so we just switch.”

But it’s not like she’s at the auction house all the time. She works in health care.

“In the day­time I’m look­ing af­ter peo­ple, and on the week­ends this is what I’m do­ing.”

Lawrence Pow­ell

Abi­gail Bezan­son work­ing at her par­ent’s auction house Ben­zan­son Auc­tion­eer­ing Cen­ter with her brother Colton. She’s been help­ing out at the family busi­ness since she was five or six years old.

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