Rutland, IA 50582









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September 15, 1998
Published by: "Collectors Journal"
Meet The Auctioneer "Tom Hundertmark"
RUTLAND, Iowa - Tom Hundertmark joined brother David in the auction business after attending Missouri Auction School in December of 1995. Cletis Hundertmark, Tom's uncle, retired around that same time. Today Tom and David are business partners in Hundertmark Auction Service located in Rutland, Iowa, serving Humboldt County and surrounding communities. They conduct everything from antiques to household to farm to real estate and anything else that comes their way. They utilize a building at then Humboldt County Fairgrounds to conduct many of their auctions. Hundertmark chose this career because of its ever changing characteristics. As he says, "There are never any two auctions alike! It's amazing how the values rise and fall and at the prices some antiques will bring at auction." Also, Hundertmark wanted to carry on the family traditions, brother David had worked with Cletis Hundertmark, he has been an auctioneer for 23 years. Hundertmark had the opportunity to work with several other auctioneers in the area: Dale Smith, Rick Winegarden and Paul McCartan. If you were to ask him who was the most influential person in his career, he would tell you it is big brother David. As soon as Hundertmark finished auction school, David put him to work. In fact, he called his first auction the same month he finished auction school. "It was a household auction. Hundertmark recalls, "And even though I don't remember the very first thing I sold, I do remember this anniversary clock, the kind with the the dome on it. About the only thing I can remember about that day was that I was slow...But, every week I would come back and call and every week it got a little easier. The fact that I clerked for a 1-1/2 years before auction school was a benefit when it came to working with people and getting up and auctioning." The auction business continues to grow and change. Hundertmark advises. "You need to always be open to new suggestions. Learn to make mental notes of ideas and change you may want to make. It is important to be serious but you also have to be outgoing and be able to get along with different types of people, you will deal with a multitude of personalities." In addition to the auction business, Hundertmark is a full-time farmer. Between farming and the auction business, he is very busy. Sometimes he is not sure which job is the full-time one! But one thing is for certain, he enjoys both career choices and has no intention of giving up either one. He feels the two work hand in hand. The auction service deals in farm and real estate auctions. As Hundertmark noted, "Both jobs give you the opportunity to be your own boss. You can adjust schedules to fulfill obligations in both lines of work. My goal is to run a successful business. I have no desire to zero in on one particular area of the auction market. Rather, my goal is to provide a good and diversified auction service to the community." The auction business has been very good to the Hundertmarks averaging about 60 sales a year - some years more and some less. This past week, Hundertmark had several auctions in nine days. Enjoying what you do is very important to Hundertmark. He feels auctions provide an opportunity to see familiar faces in the crowd week after week. Eventually, these people will become your friends, Hundertmark is sure that auctions will continue to become more popular and become the biggest and best method of selling. Charity auctions are important to Hundertmark Auction Service. They conduct annual events for: the Christian Woman's Group; the Boy Scout Cake auction; the annual County Fair Livestock Auction; local church auctions and benefits whenever the need arises. Hundertmark graduated from Iowa State in May of 1994 in AST (Agriculture Systems Technology). He is a member of the Iowa Auctioneers Association. When time permits Hundertmark enjoys adding to his collection of John Deere memorabilia and farm toys. He also enjoys riding motorcycles.