Feb 03, 2021
In February of 2021, Zack Burgess will celebrate his 25th year in the auction business. It has certainly been an exciting and rewarding journey.As president of his local Future Farmers of America chapter, he chose as his agri-business project to write on the topic of being an auctioneer. Though strongly encouraged by his advisor to seek another path, fate intervened, and Zack chose to attend Reppert’s School of Auctioneering in Decatur, Indiana in 1995. Even though he hadn’t yet received his licensing card via the mail, he was still an official auctioneer in the state, and so conducted his first auction on a freezing cold day in February of 1996-so cold in fact that his clerk’s ink pens kept freezing up.
With his father, Smoky Burgess-also a licensed auctioneer-he soon opened an auction center in Lapel, Indiana. Quickly outgrown, the cramped space was moved to a larger facility two blocks north. Along with weekly sales there, real estate auctions as well as business liquidations were conducted on site.Having worked with such legendary auctioneers as Bill McClain, Don Bailey, Charlie Chaudion, Tom Mascari, Herman Strakis, Charlie Breese, JB Driver, and many others, Burgess has sold hundreds of auctions throughout our fair state. Well known as an estate auctioneer, he also performs commercial and real estate auctions.Just about anything and everything imaginable has crossed his path-from a mummified opossum to a ton of elephant dung- he has sold: fine jewelry, Rolex watches, antique clocks, rare art works, Victorian furniture and accessories, toys, fruit jars, farm equipment, autographed items, coins, jewelry, Civil War memorabilia, glass, china, automobiles, advertising and Petroliana; as well as a complete Hallmark store, an electronics warehouse, a mattress factory, a fleet and several restaurants.An early proponent of on-line auctions, his first was conducted in 2009. Eleven years later, in March of 2020, live auctions were suspended due to COVID-19, and with the safety of his support staff and bidders in mind, Zack began conducting weekly on-line only auctions. This much safer format will continue for the foreseeable future even though he hopes to return to the thrill of live auctions when safe to do so.