Moncton man celebrating half a century of auctioneering
Published Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:12PM ADT
An award winning Moncton man is celebrating 50 years as a professional auctioneer, but he says he’s never worked a day in his life.
Steve Liptay was five years old when he found his calling. It was during a livestock auction in a small town in Ontario.
“I watched the auctioneer, and the auctioneer says, ‘Give me a dollar,' and people gave him a dollar. He says, ‘Give me two dollars,’ people gave him two dollars. And I said, 'That's what I’m going to do someday,'” says Liptay.
Steve Liptay grew up auctioning milk to imaginary bidders in his family's barn before he got his first real job at 17 years old. In 1976, he became the first Canadian to win the world livestock auctioneer championship.
“An auction isn't just to go to a store to buy something. It's a challenge. It's the hunt that makes it really worthwhile,” says Liptay.
Liptay’s family has been keeping track of everything he has auctioned off over the years.
“He sold 10 million head of cattle. He sold over a million cars; umpteen millions at estates, so how many items is that? He's probably sold somewhere of the area of a good 20 million items in his life,” says Stuart Liptay, Steve’s son.
Each of Liptays five kids have worked in the auction industry with some capacity.
“I've been in auctions probably my whole life. Probably the first job I ever had was to hold up stuff at estate auction,” says Stuart.
“I sit and watch them sell. They've picked up a lot of things from the way I sell, and yet they are their own auctioneer. They have their own style, which is wonderful,” says Steve.
Steve is still working the crowd several times a week. A father, grandfather, realtor, car salesman, and antique dealer rolled into one.
While he may be passing on his talent, he says he isn’t ready to pass the torch just yet. For the time being, other auctioneers will just have to try to keep up.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Cami Kepke