Auctioneer portrait: Kasper Scott Reinbacher
He is responsible for the international sales at Kopenhagen Fur, which means many days of travelling in order to establish new markets in countries such as South Korea, Japan and Russia. He has worked in the fur auction house since 2006 and has swung the gavel during the auctions for eight years. Meet Kasper Scott Reinbacher who, prior to his debut as auctioneer, imagined the job to be an easy one. He was quickly proven wrong.
How did you become an auctioneer at Kopenhagen Fur?
I started as a spotter during the auctions and therefore the job as an auctioneer was a natural development for me. The farmers produce the world’s finest skins. After they have been graded, the auctions are the cherry on cake in completing the circle in a good way. I thought it was an intriguing podium to step onto - and I still do.
What attracted you to the job as auctioneer?
The importance of the job is interesting. At the auctions the price of mink is set which is vital to our farmers – our owners. I like the responsibility that comes with the job. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the job is incredibly intensive – everything is determined within a few days; this applies to both farmers and customers. I like the intensity of settling the sales as correctly and satisfactorily as possible for both parties.
What were your thoughts before stepping onto the podium for the first time?
Originally, I sat next to the auctioneers as a spotter watching them work, and I thought that it looked rather easy. However, when I stepped onto the podium I could tell that it definitely wasn’t. It looks easy because I have very skilled colleagues. When people are good at something, they make it look easy.
So you weren’t nervous before going onto the podium?
I was definitely excited – I was very nervous when I stood on the podium and realized that it wasn’t quite as easy as I had thought it would be. Before I began as auctioneer I wondered why the price was repeated so many times. I thought that if you said the price once, then the customers would have heard it and that would be enough. But if you only say the price once the room goes extremely quiet, because you are the only one speaking.
Auction days are long – what do you do to keep up your energy?
Generally, I get a lot of energy from being with people and you have plenty of people around you at the auctions. One of the bonuses of being an auctioneer is that everybody knows you at the auctions – so I have a conversation with almost everyone attending. This also means that I am exhausted when the auction is over, because I have talked too much for a long time.
What is the funniest thing you have experienced as auctioneer?
The funniest thing… I don’t know. When I go home and tell my wife a funny story from the auction room, she says “Is that funny?” (Laughing), I guess my funny stories are exclusively for insiders. Funny things occur daily but I cannot think of a specific event. In my experience, though the auctions are very serious, there is still room for humour when we sell, which I find very encouraging.
How do you experience this humour at the auctions?
Well, there have been small misunderstandings that happen when things go too fast, and there are also some funny remarks in the room. The setting is really intensive and I think I use humor to vent some of the pressure that customers and farmers are experiencing – but also, of course, the pressure that I feel as an auctioneer.
This may be a difficult question, but how long are you planning to continue as an auctioneer?
I will keep going for as long as I can contribute to making a difference on the auctioneering team.