If someone had told Linda (Haynes) Baggaley, owner of Bud Haynes Auction of Red Deer, when she was a young girl that one day a beeping box would broadcast her auctions throughout the world, she likely would have laughed at them and called them crazy.
However, in the 21st century ‘online’ world we live in, the world of auctioning has evolved with the times.
“The auction business has changed. Back then a tape recorder and a TV was a big deal; there were no computers or cell phones,” said Baggaley.
“You couldn’t have foreseen the Internet back then, so it’s unbelievable to see where the industry has gone.”
Baggaley is embracing the technological era, via a merger with Ward Auctioneers Ltd. out of Edmonton.
The merger between the two major players, second generation auctioneers and longtime family friends, will mean that the Haynes Auction Mart will be packing up a lifetime worth of memories in their double bay and relocating to the Ward’s facility in Edmonton.
“We thought about it for a couple of years and it is a lot of work to run a business and with our kids getting older we thought it was time to slow down a bit,” said Baggaley. “Coming together with Brad and the rest of the Wards will give us the manpower to be able to adjust to the market.”
They will also have access to technology that allows their clients and bidders to watch the auctions live on a webcast where they will be able to bid online.
“Everything – all of the items for auction – will be up on big TV screens for people to see better. Our online viewers will be able to see them as well as watch the auctioneers selling,” she said.
“It’s kind of neat when people online can see the auctioneer because it makes them feel more involved in the auction, and it also makes them feel like they are actually there. We’ve had buyers bid and watch from their hospital beds as well as we have a buyer who is placed in Iraq so now he will be able to go online and view the auctions live.”
While many of their clients drive from Calgary or Edmonton or even as far as Nova Scotia to come to their auctions, it is now their Red Deer clients’ turn to ‘relocate’ for their highly-esteemed auctions.
Baggaley and the Bud Haynes Auction have received global recognition as one of the best antique and arms auctioneers in the world.
“We have people come from all over – Nova Scotia, Vancouver, South Dakota and other states so the buyers in Edmonton are happy about the relocation and everyone else just gets to drive a bit further now,” said Baggely.
“But we have moved the auctions to 10 a.m. to allow for more time for them to get there and we will continue to do our previews the night before just like we did here in Red Deer.”
Specializing in antique and modern firearms, swords and related Items, they are the oldest established gun auction in Canada. And in a field that few others have managed to make a go of for anything more than five years, Baggaley and her father, Bud Haynes, established a business that was respected by many in the City.
Baggaley is also well-known throughout the auctioneer community as being the youngest person elected President of the Auctioneers Association.
She also holds the record for the highest price ever received for a single war medal, having sold a Victoria Cross for $95,000. She became the first female auctioneer to sell one.
“We have sold a lot of guns over the years and have seen a lot of amazing things. It’s a very specialized field and we are really the only ones who have been doing it in this part of the country.”
Baggaley will continue to do appraisals from an office in Red Deer that she hopes to secure in the near future, but all future auctions will be held in their new hall located in Edmonton.