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Strange Coincidence In Stamp Auction Network Bidding?

 
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Posted 02/19/2020   2:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add wyostamp to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Not sure if this is a topic appropriate to the forum, but ... can anyone tell me if it is not rather strange that, once I have entered higher-than-minimum bids on four different lots with a seller via Stamp Auction Network, within a few hours (not immediately) all four "Selling at..." values rise to exactly the level of my maximum bid? And this in an area of the auction where NO OTHER "Selling at..." values have been increasing at all as we approach the date of the sale. Please tell me there's no chance that I'm being shilled on SAN.
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Posted 02/19/2020   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From the SAN Help page:

Dynamic Bidding: Most of the Auction Firms here at StampAuctionNetwork receive bids by telephone, mail or at Public Auction. Those bids are entered into their office Auction Management Systems. Here at StampAuctionNetwork, you are bidding interactively against other Internet Bidders. When you bid against another Internet bidder, or if they bid against you, the change in the opening bid will be immediate. You are also bidding against the bids entered in the office Auction Management System, however, those bids are not reflected until they are transferred to StampAuctionNetwork. There can be some delay, if for instance, you send bids to the auction firm by mail, before they appear at StampAuctionNetwork. Similarly, if you enter bids via StampAuctionNetwork, and then call the auction firm, your bids may not have reached the auction firm by the time you call them. This transfer of bidding information between StampAuctionNetwork and the auction firms' Auction Management System happens very regularly and when close to auction closing time, almost real-time.

In other words if there have been book bids for a lot that you bid on you are competing against that bidder.

What ultimately happens is a matter of trust and integrity on the House's part.
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Posted 02/19/2020   3:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If it said "Min bid" prior to your bid, implying no other bids had been processed yet via SAN, then maybe they don't process book bids until they get at least one other bid. Are you currently still the high bidder on all, or did it show as selling to someone else for any of your lots?

I agree that this does require trust with the auction company you are bidding with. That is one reason why I prefer live auctions. You can sometimes, there, get a sense of how many people are actively bidding against you. That can help validate spending more on some items, or help you understand where the market is thin.

For the non-live auction model, where you just leave bids, I always tend to bid very low in those types of sales. It reduces risk to me. If I don't win the item, there will always be other stuff to buy.
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Posted 02/19/2020   3:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add uboatnut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And that's why I only bid in live-auctions where I can see the immediate results and get a sense for the competition. Siegel and Kelleher auctions are like that.

I avoid auctions (like Dutch Country Auctions) where the internet bidding stops one hour prior to the end of the auction. Internet bidders are at a distinct disadvantage that way ..... IMHO.
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Posted 02/19/2020   4:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wyostamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In none of my four cases did the "Selling at ..." price go up at once to the amount of my maximum bid. Rather, it changed either moderately or not at all at first, then later (from several hours to a day or so) it increased to where the "Selling at ..." price had become exactly the amount of my bid, whether that represented a 33%, 50% or 100% increase. This could be coincidence, but given the info in my original post I am suspicious. I'm tempted to experiment further, but not with the stakes being north of $800.
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Posted 02/19/2020   5:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rismoney to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dutch Country Auctions is super problematic for internet bidders.

That aside there is no protection from data leaks. Every auction a pool of auction shills could run up internet bidders 50-95% with no oversight given the data and no recourse, transparency, or clue to it happening.




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Posted 02/19/2020   5:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
wyostamp, does this seller's terms specify that that the winning bid shall be at one increment over the next highest bid or simply that "the highest bidder shall prevail."
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Posted 02/19/2020   6:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To reiterate, the integrity of the auction house is all that a bidder has. A "mail bid" is not available for inspection and if you are bid-up prior to the hammer dropping you only run on faith that the other bidder exists. One of the advantages of live bidding is that carrying a phantom book bid carries tremendous downside for the house because if you drop out after being raised they could be stuck. I am a pessimist by nature and am not prone to giving my fellow man too much benefit of the doubt but I am comfortable bidding with the major firms on SAN. There are some small firms as well that I learned through taking a chance are above board. I have also been burned once or twice.
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Posted 02/19/2020   8:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wyostamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
By George, dudley, I think you've hit on it -- and I've just lost a little more of my jealously guarded naivete. Unlike some auctions with whom I regularly do business (notably Schuyler Rumsey), this particular house does not refer to "one increment above second bid" but simply says "The highest bid acknowledged by the auctioneer shall prevail." Waaal, shoot dang. I just kinda sorta handed them my wallet. Yes, I entered the bids that I was willing if necessary to pay -- but it would be nice not to have that "necessary" always in view.

Oh well. Just hope I get the lots
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Edited by wyostamp - 02/19/2020 8:06 pm
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Posted 02/19/2020   8:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
With all due respect "The highest bid acknowledged by the auctioneer shall prevail." has nothing to do with what you are experiencing on SAN. Siegel also states that "The highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer shall be the buyer. The term "final bid" means the last bid acknowledged by the auctioneer, which is normally the highest bid offered." Kelleher also states that The highest bid acknowledged by the auctioneer shall prevail. It is common boilerplate terminology. It is does not mean that your maximum entered bid is what the lot will open at, unless a book bid has forced it to that point, nor does it mean that you will absolutely pay your maximum bid.

As I explained above you are bidding against the book and if you enter $1000 on SAN and you are shown as the high bidder at $500 if the Auction Management System has a book bid of $900 your bid will increase to $1000 assuming $100 increments.

If you bid $1000 on SAN and the AMS has a book bid of $1500 your bid will go red and you will be out of the running unless you increase your bid. Of course you would be chasing your tail since you do not know what the high book bid is.
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Edited by rogdcam - 02/19/2020 8:30 pm
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Posted 02/19/2020   9:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kbt to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I believe I have been bit by this a couple of times with non-live auctions: place my max bid at auction close and surprise I win at my max bid.

Once was suspicious, the second time I did some investigation, presented my case and got a partial refund. I will no longer bid on non-live auctions beyond one increment over the bid/open price at the time of auction close. Turns out my winning percentage hasn't changed, giving more credence that something fishy was going on.

No hard proof, but it's what I believe.
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Posted 02/19/2020   10:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Again, the entire enterprise runs on trust and not much more whether it be auction house bids via the Stamp Auction Network platform, mailing in your bids or sitting on the floor live bidding. Every time that you bid it is a leap of faith. The only way that I am aware of to gain a level of comfort that everything is as above board as possible is through experience. Do I know with absolute certainty when I bid that the bids on the book were genuine and executed properly? No, I do not, and I never will. It is a crime to engage in the type of activities that prompted this topic and people have been prosecuted and convicted for said crimes in the past. It is the nature of the beast. I need to feel comfortable that the price I paid is commensurate with the real value to me of the material.

I would love to see full transparency after an auction is over with all bids placed, whether paper or electronic, available online for all to see with identifying information that is personal in nature redacted but that dog will never hunt. It would still be open to question because inevitably someone would say that some of the information was fabricated.


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Posted 02/19/2020   10:41 pm  Show Profile Check paperhistory's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paperhistory to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If one is worried about book bids (via SAN or direct to the house), the use of an auction agent is a small price to pay.

My own preference is to bid live when possible, but it isn't always possible.
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Posted 02/22/2020   1:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add widglo46 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've been quite happy with SAN Agent bidding, and I've used it several times to bid on stamps when I was unable to follow the live auction. More often than not, I've been able to win the lot at a bid below my maximum. SAN charges just 1% to act as your agent. The auction house still knows who the underlying bidder is, however, and I think some auction houses will use this information to their advantage in deciding whether or not to enter their own competing bids. I think the only way to bid anonymously is to use a floor agent.
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