Lititz auctioneer first runner-up in bid calling contest

By on January 20, 2016
Lititz auctioneer John Stauffer shows off his chant during the 2016 Pennsylvania Auctioneer Association bid calling contest during the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Lititz native John Stauffer was born to be in the auction business. He grew up in it, and is now a key component of Stauffer Auctioneers, LLC.

Is he any good at what he does?

His fellow auctioneers and a panel of eight judges are confident of his abilities, and on Wednesday night, Jan. 13, they showed that confidence by naming him first runner-up in the 2016 Pennsylvania Auctioneer Association bid calling contest, scheduled every year to coincide with the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Stauffer was one of 20 auctioneers from around the state competing for a golden gavel and a silver traveling cup engraved with the names of past winners. The competition consists of three rounds: a practice, a preliminary, and a final round with the top 10 auctioneers.

In the practice and preliminary rounds, contestants provide their own items to sell. After those first two rounds, the judges named the top 10 auctioneers, who then sold items in a third round to determine the champion.

He made the top 10 and into the final round and got a golden gavel, but J. Merl Stoltzfus from Millerstown in Perry County got to keep the traveling trophy until next year’s event.

Stauffer apprenticed to his father, also John Stauffer, for two years before attending the Reppert School of Auctioneering in Indiana. He graduated from Terre Hill Mennonite High School, began his auctioneer career in 2002, and has been at it ever since.

He sells real estate, antiques, personal property and lots of cars. He travels a bit for car auctions, selling for ABC Lancaster Auto Auction and Central Pennsylvania Auto Auction in Lock Haven. He also sells cars at auctions in Pittsburgh, Manheim and New Jersey. Every week is a little different, he said.

“I love auctioneering,” he said. “It’s fast paced, I meet a lot of people, and it’s fun. Any day I get to go to an auction is a good day. Days I’m off, when I’m not working, sometimes I go to an auction.”

He credits his father with giving him a start, teaching him and instilling a love of the auction business and practice. Stauffer and his wife Ashley live in Lititz and have three children, ages two through eight.

Dick Wanner is a feature writer and photographer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments and questions at


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