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Tie Bids At Auction Every Time??

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 06/21/2020   03:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add mootermutt987 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I bid at an auction on SAN recently at a smaller auction house. Nevermind who it is - I am implying shenanigans here, and I have no proof, so I will not name them. They claimed that there were no hidden reserves. They also said that there would be no floor bidding in the Age of Covid - they would only have bidding via SAN (live and left before the auction started) and via phone. I bid on 8 widely varied foreign collection lots (Australia, French area, Iceland, Somalia, etc - widely varied), live on SAN. I got the first lot I bid on - an Australia collection which I got after I broke a tied bid TWICE - "you made a bid tied with a previous bidder and must bid again to break the tie", or something to that effect. Of the 8 lots that I bid on, ALL 8 resulted in a tie bid. In my 40+ years of bidding at auctions, I have never seen tie bids on more than about 10%-20% of the lots. When I am bidding on SAN, sometimes I bid the next increment, sometimes I bid a few incrememnts above current bid. Sometimes the next bid is my top bid, sometimes not - sometimes I have a way to go before getting to my top bid. Now, I understand ties happen, but ON EVERY SINGLE LOT??? Out of the 8 lots, on 3 of them I bid up another increment (or two, or three) and AGAIN it says I am high bidder for a few seconds, then it says I have ANOTHER tie bid. I understand some phone bidders could be involved, so there may be a lag between the SAN data and the 'action' on the floor - remember, there are no floor bidders, so 'floor' means phone bidders, I suppose. When a lot sells on SAN, it 'identifies' the high bidder by number (like, "I252"). On the Australia lot that I got bid up again and again after tied bids, it id'ed me as the successful bidder, but ON THE OTHER 7 LOTS THAT I BID ON, IT ID'ED THE BUYER AS 'Sold to Book/Net' (which SHOULD be followed by the buyer's id #, but wasn't) or 'Sold to Floor Bidder' - 3 of one and 4 of the other. None of the bidders that 'outbid me' were identified. There was no lively bidding on any of the lots involved - each lot sat there until I bid, then it was a tie, then it would sit there unless I bid again.

I have bid with this company many times before, and have been successful to a certain degree. Once in the past, I experienced a similar thing and a couple of the lots appeared in a later auction. Or so it appeared, to me - country collection lots can look similar - a France collection in a June auction can look awfully similar to a France collection in a Novemeber auction - there is nothing really unique about the lots I bid on, so anything is possible.

So... what are the odds that I would bid a 'tie bid' with a previous bidder (rather than simply bidding above or below his high bid) and then bidding a few incrememnts above that to break the tie, and have ANOTHER TIE BID, 3 times out of 8???? I am re-bidding almost instantly, because I don't know how long the auctioneer will keep the lot open. I cannot imagine that happening more than about 5% of the time (personal experience supports that #). And the rest of the lots also have tie bids (only one tie, and I refuse to give in to their request to pay a little bit more) even when my one bid is multiple increments above current bidding level.

I call shenanigans and I will keep my eye on this auction house. I know the 7 lots that I didn't get, and will keep an eye out for similar lots in their next sale. They have certainly tested my trust, and I am leery about buying from them again.

Sorry for the book.
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Posted 06/21/2020   07:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Your being played as a sucker ------- I had this happen to me a number of times . Stop upping your bid and walk away ,they will get the message after one or two auctions .
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Posted 06/21/2020   09:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You didn't bid up to their "hidden reserve" price, and so they kept the lots. They will reappear in 6 months/year. Sounds like an auction house to avoid.
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Posted 06/21/2020   11:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"hidden reserve " Since most collection lots are own by the Auction House , if they don't sell then they will show up in a following auction . Anybody who says the lots aren't own by the firm ,ok your right sometimes ,they are own by the principles of the firm.

Firms have to have HIDDEN RESERVES ,because otherwise they would lose interested parties,people attend stamp auctions and viewing because they know most online bidders don't go much pass the opening bid . I viewed lots that sound good in the catalog but when viewing they had what the catalog said but nothing else .....I like to say those lots are manufactured just for internet bidders ......I got caught on a few like that at Greg Manning in the mid1990's and after that I started to attend the auctions .
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Posted 06/21/2020   12:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fantail to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When you read the auction rules and terms, if it doesn't say UNRESERVED AUCTION, then there is a reserve either by the vendor or the Auction House. Even Siegel's has reserves on items in there auctions. So if you read the terms properly, than you will know how to play the game, and not get upset. Most houses put opening bids ridiculously low to make you think you are getting a bargain, so you fall in love with the lot, and become attached to it.
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Posted 06/21/2020   12:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Even if Reserves are not stipulated in the auction T&C's the auctioneer always has the power of "discretion". It is not being sold if the auctioneer does not want it sold. Period.
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Posted 06/21/2020   1:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
"you made a bid tied with a previous bidder and must bid again to break the tie"

I received the same message from one of the major auction houses, but refused to break the tie bid. That evening, I received an invoice for the lot that I had supposedly lost to the "tie" bidder.
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Edited by jarnick - 06/21/2020 1:26 pm
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Posted 06/21/2020   6:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For those that commented about a reserve, the term "No Hidden Reserves" was in Sentence #1 of their intro. Having said that, I understand that is most likely Lie #1. I worked in a stamp auction house for a number of years and think I have a good understanding of how the business works. I am aware of the potential 'tricks'. Generally, a good auction house is able to make it look like the normal course of auctioning.

What grinds my gears is that no matter how much I bid, I would get the 'tie bid' message, encouraging me to bid one more time to break the tie, and when I bid that one more time I get the same message, whether my 'tie-breaker' was 1, 2, or 3 increments higher. Not once was I on the winning side of the tie bid, where the 'other guy' was forced to go one higher to beat me. If I am bidding $75 on a lot with a hidden reserve of $100, then I SHOULD be outbid, not tied. My message to the auctioneer would be, "Don't treat me like a fool." Please don't tinkle on my leg and tell me it's raining. My lesson that I learned from this auctioneer was that, most likely, the tie bid is probably NOT a tie bid. Since one more bid didn't break the tie, as I got later in the auction, and got the same message, I simply wouldn't try to break the 'tie'. I also learned to question whether or not to patronize them in the future. If I am not tied with the reserve price, then simply tell me I've been outbid - I am much more likely to remain an active bidder if I think I am in a bidding war than if I think they are pulling shenanigans by stating that every bid I make is a tie.
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Edited by mootermutt987 - 06/21/2020 6:32 pm
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Posted 06/22/2020   11:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I thought the rule in mail bids was the first bid wins in case of a tie.
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Al
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Posted 06/22/2020   3:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Update: I just got an e-mail invoice for this auction. I was charged for 5 lots. I REALLY call shenanigans, now! The auctioneer bids me up and up, and when I ultimately refuse to give in to the prompting, can he really 're-consider' at a later time and decide to then sell to me? I bid live so I can manage my stamp budget in real time. I e-mailed him back and told him this - I have a certain budget and when I reach it I stop bidding. I also told him that since I didn't meet my budget at his auction that I went on to eBay and spent it there. In my e-mail back to him, I implied shenanigans, and told him to remove the last 4 lots from my invoice and re-invoice me for the 1 lot that I was credited with during the auction.

Mootermutt knows who he won't bid with anymore!

Shenanigans!!!
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Posted 06/22/2020   3:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I thought the rule in mail bids was the first bid wins in case of a tie.

Yes, that the rule stated in practically all auctioneer's terms of sale. But, it is not always followed. When I worked for a nationally known auction house, it was common to recognize who paid fastest or a major buyer and award the tie bid to him, regardless of when it was received. With entering bids into a computer data base, it may or may not be possible to track whose bid was first.
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Posted 06/22/2020   4:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Please Identify the firm .....should not be a problem ,because your only telling about your experience with the firm .


Nobody here views a firm negativly from just one customer , we all look for a pattern before deciding a firm is not worth dealing with .
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Posted 06/22/2020   4:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I tried to send you a message to identify the firm in case you were not comfortable with stating that publicly but your profile is set to not receive emails.

Given your last post about being awarded 5 lots for which (other than one) your tied bid was not the winner at the time of the auction, I would definitely consider that something suspicious is going on.

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Edited by Oracle of Delphi - 06/22/2020 4:30 pm
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Posted 06/22/2020   5:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The auction firm is likely breaking their state auction laws and would be subject to investigation (or worse) if their state attorney general knew about it.
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Posted 06/22/2020   7:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Every time you engage in bidding with an auction house you are placing your trust in them and that is really all that they have. And as with many things philatelic there is a serious lack of transparency. That lack of transparency benefits only the House and no one else. I stopped buying at auction months ago now and have no regrets. I was on the short end of the stick way too many times but let my love of the hobby override common sense. No more. There was only one firm that I implicitly trusted and that firm was Siegel. That being said it can be even uglier at times on the consignment side. I have retired from the hobby except for fun material with little dollar value.

Bidding shenanigans of all types, "missing" certs, lot description wordsmithing/creative writing, payment issues when selling and some truly disturbing conversations overheard in Auction House offices helped me make up my mind. As did my having to return quite a few stamps last year that were purchased from names like Spink, Schuyler Rumsey, Kelleher etc. that were either not what they were supposed to be or had undisclosed issues. To be fair all of the firms made good, some more readily than others but it was a royal pain in the butt. It makes me wonder how many collectors have items that they do not know are faulty or just plain are not what they think. As an aside If I had so many issues with the "name" firms it makes me shudder to think about collectors that acquire solely off of eBay, Hipstamp et al..

My advice is that if you have any qualms at all about a transaction never deal with that firm again. Unless you really, really, really need that great stamp that you have not seen in twenty years and gee, I will just bid this one more time, I promise, no really...…….
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Posted 06/22/2020   7:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add StateRevs to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Please provide the name of the firm so we know what we are possibly dealing with.
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