Spotlight Auctioneer: Tony Wisely

Written by
Madelaine White
March 23, 2023
5 mins

You're reading an Auctioneer Spotlight - these spotlights highlight influential auctioneers in the event space!

4 champagne glasses lined up
Tony Wisley headshot

Who is Tony Wisely?

Tony Wisely is a beloved partner and benefit auctioneer we have worked with since August of 2020. This month Tony was chosen to be our spotlight auctioneer!

Tony started his career as an auctioneer in 2005. He decided to vacation from his job as Vice President of his local community bank to attend auction school. Without sharing his plans, Tony returned home and began working with a local auctioneer selling properties and auctioneering for Ducks Unlimited. Three years later, he left his job at the local bank and opened a Real Estate and Auction company of his own. Soon after, he joined the state and national auctioneers associations and never looked back. 

Tony’s passion for auctioneering and dedication to the non-profit sector makes him a perfect addition to your next fundraising event!

1. What is it that you love about your job? 

Every day is different. While the lessons learned and experience gained serving each individual client are generally helpful from event to event, all of my clients face some unique challenges.

Every day is different, and no two clients have the exact same needs. It keeps things interesting and hardly ever dull!

 2. What is the hardest part about being an auctioneer?  

The same thing that keeps this service career interesting keeps us on our toes. The same thing I love about what I do makes it the most challenging. We must constantly learn, evolve, and adapt our approach to changing situations and the various challenges that fundraising presents.

 3. What is the most unique item you have ever sold? The highest price item?  

The highest price item I’ve had the chance to sell at auction was a parcel of land with permits ready to build a hotel that sold for just under 800,000. I hope to sell that one item someday for a million dollars.  One of my favorite quotes is from another auctioneer who was asked what their favorite filler word was (filler words are words auctioneers use between numbers), and they replied, “Million”.

It would be fun and exciting to say MILLION between the numbers while selling. As for the most unique item, it would have to be the time at a benefit auction when the group offered a Vasectomy. This item sold very well, with some energetic bidding from the ladies in the room. The item sold so well that we sold it twice for 5,000.00.

 4. What stands out to you about Event.Gives compared to other platforms? How does Event.Gives make your job easier? 

Ease of use. From a client standpoint, it is very user-friendly and quick to learn as they set up and prepare for their event. Probably equally, if not more important, is how easy it is for the donors to interface with the platform. Get a text, follow the link, and click go.

The easier a platform is to use, the more the donors will stay engaged, leading to more dollars raised.  Fewer headaches with an event platform always makes life easier.

5. What is your favorite Event.Gives feature? 

For me, the thing that I most appreciate about E.G is the flexibility.  After going through a challenging few years in the fundraising world, it is still a relevant product because it is flexible enough to expand and contract depending on the features a client needs or wants to use while still being able to meet their basic needs.

While we see less and less need for hybrid functionality, it is still there for those who require it. The non-profits can use what they need to make the event a success for their situation.

 6. What is the biggest lesson you have learned as an auctioneer?  

Many people get into the auction business thinking it’s all about stuff. However, it does not take long to realize that we provide solutions for people. Auctioneers are in the business of providing solutions to a variety of problems that people have. Being a fundraising consultant & auctioneer intensifies this realization for me because, at the end of the day, we are in the business of improving people's lives.

For the organizations, we help efficiently maximize fundraising for the donors by facilitating giving. But most importantly, for the populations served by the non-profits, quality of life is improved through the services that the non-profit organizations can make available. That is a pretty cool job when you think about it.

7. Final words or thoughts?  

Over and over, I find myself thinking how lucky I am to make a living doing something I love so much. It is incredible to help organizations succeed in their fundraising efforts, which ultimately allows them to fund their mission.

If you are interested in booking Tony for an upcoming event, click here!

Want to know more about Event.Gives? Join us for one, or all, of our weekly demos! 

Tuesday at 2 PM EST via Zoom: Deep dive into the Event.Gives manager portal with Q&A. 

The second Wednesday each month at 2 PM EST: Participate as an attendee in a virtual live streaming event, featuring Kandice Luisi and one of our auctioneer partners!

COMING SOON: Check out our “7 Minutes to Success” videos on YouTube!

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