Faces & Places is a weekly series that profiles the people and places of Murray. Every person and every place has a story. Let us tell it.
Over time, auctions have become a more uncommon way of selling and purchasing goods than they once were.
For Joe Bunch, it is more than just a job. For him, being an auctioneer means to one day take over his family’s business.
Bunch is a senior from Wingo, Ky., and earlier this year he received his auctioneer license from the Kentucky Auction Academy, which is located in Bowling Green, Ky.
“I just chose history as my major to get a degree in an area that I actually like,” Bunch said. “Since I went to auction school to get my auctioneer license, between that and working as an apprentice auctioneer, there was no real point in getting any type of business degree.”
The requirements from the Kentucky Auction Academy for receiving an auctioneer license are to take 80 hours of auction classes, then pass an apprenticeship test and be an apprentice auctioneer for two years, or possibly longer.
For Bunch, juggling school and work was not difficult because his father made him focus on school first and work second. But growing up it was hard to do because he was always playing football or running track, Bunch said.
Bunch decided to become an auctioneer about two and a half years ago when he realized he did not want to become a teacher, he said.
Murray State does not provide classes that can help with the auction business other than real estate classes. However, his parents thought it would be best if he got a degree so he would have more than just his auctioneer license.
“I plan to use my license to help the family business prosper,” Bunch said. “It will also allow me to help certain organizations if they ever choose to have fundraising auctions.”
There are two Bunch family businesses, one is called Bunch Brother Auction and Realty Co., which specializes in auctioning off personal property and real estate.
The other is Bunch Brothers Auctioneers in Louisville, Ky.
This branch specializes in auctioning off heavy machinery, construction and other large equipment.
Some of the items Bunch has helped auction are heavy equipment pieces like D10 dozers to auctioning real estate during his time as an apprentice auctioneer.
For Bunch, growing up in the family business gave him the chance to travel and meet new people.
Said Bunch: “At first I wasn’t going to be an auctioneer but after growing up a little and going to college I realized that continuing the family business is what I want to do.”
Story by Brandon Cash, Staff writer