The increasing popularity of auctions and online auctioneering especially, has led to an influx of newcomers to the industry whose inexperience can sometimes land them or their customers in hot water facing legal ramifications or costing unnecessary expenses.
Fortunately, the same rules and regulations apply to online auctions as the centuries-old traditional auctioneering industry and new businesses can apply for membership with the industry’s official industry professional body and regulatory organisation, the South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA).
SAIA is the guardian of the industry in South Africa. It represents the interests of all involved in the industry including auctioneers, buyers and sellers. Its members are held to strict criteria and in turn are afforded preferential status for asset disposals in Government departments, banks and most organised businesses. It also acts as a watchdog for buyers and sellers where it has the mandate to act against rogue auctioneers.
Although not mandatory, membership of SAIA is recommended. Buyers and sellers are also advised to make use of SAIA members as assurance of their adherence to legislation, quality service and ethical behaviour. It also provides the auction company, customers, buyers and sellers with recourse in the event of transgressions on behalf of either party.
SAIA national secretary, Sonja Styger, says becoming a member can also be lucrative for newcomers as it offers benefits and access to tenders that would otherwise be out of reach. Some of the main reasons newcomers should join includes:
SAIA ensure its members align with all relevant legislation, policies and procedures. This commitment acts as a regulatory shield, protecting auctioneers, sellers and buyers alike. Members benefit from comprehensive governance and legal guidance, ensuring ethical and legally sound practices.
Exclusive Access to Tenders
SAIA membership grants exclusive access to government tenders, a distinct advantage in a competitive industry. Government departments and parastatals often restrict tenders to SAIA members, presenting lucrative opportunities for those within the SAIA fold.
Focus on Education
Members benefit from its emphasis on continuous learning, with access to quality learnership programs and support of educational syllabuses designed to uphold professional designations. SAIA’s commitment extends to consumer education, offering tips, advice, best practices and case studies.
Innovative Auction Portal
SAIA’s website, www.auctioneering.co.za, serves as a central hub for members. It facilitates company registrations, allows for the advertisement of upcoming auctions and serves as a vigilant watchdog. The portal actively alerts members and the public to potential auction scams, ensuring a secure and trustworthy environment.
SAIA is dedicated to fostering positive transformation within the auction industry. Through internal systems and programs, it seeks to be a catalyst for empowerment and diversity, contributing to the industry’s evolution.
Active reputation management is a key facet of SAIA’s efforts. The institute ensures that the public is properly informed and understands that auctioneering is a reputable and trustworthy profession when dealing with professionally accredited SAIA members.
SAIA provides a range of affordable marketing and communication platforms exclusive to its members. These include the use of the SAIA website, access to the Buyer’s Database, promotion through social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Auction Blog), involvement in direct marketing efforts and the creation of promotional videos and member features.
Sonja concludes that joining SAIA is not merely about membership; it’s a commitment to excellence, ethical conduct and continuous improvement. By aligning with SAIA, auctioneers position themselves at the forefront of a distinguished community that values professionalism and integrity.