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Tie Bids At Auction Every Time??

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Valued Member
United States
288 Posts
Posted 06/27/2020   7:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I just want to say these stamp auctions are run a lot cleaner than the old methods used 50 years ago


100% agree.


Quote:
agent bidders had a in bed relations with the auction houses


Yes, so I have heard.


Quote:
Even bidders who sat in the room made agreements not to bid against each other


Yes. I worked for a few auction houses back in the day, and this absolutely happened. If we knew this was happening, we banned those bidders from the auction. Sometimes, 'for life'.

Back before the internet, and in the era of mail-in-bids, phone-in bids, in-the-room-bids, etc, at the end of the day before the sale, we would create a printout (dot-matrix printer!!) with one entry for each lot in the sale. Each entry had info on the lot, consignor/owner info, a list of the top 3-5 bidders including who, how much, 'rating' (something like the company's own 'credit rating' of that client) and whether they were doing 'OR' bids or 'LIMIT' bids, plus probably 20 other bits of info per auction lot. The boss would take the printout home and decide who was the high bidder and at what level (accounting for tie bids, rejecting 'ridiculous' bids, and rejecting bids from bidders that were not welcome to bid but did anyway, etc), so there was a relatively 'clean' picture for the next day. In the end, all this activity was (like it or not, rightfully) attributed to 'auctioneer discretion'. You know - that phrase that is in every auction house's Terms. So, honestly, if you were a problem bidder (slow payer, non-payer, or something as simple as being argumentative) it was at this point that the cards were stacked against you --- a good customer ALWAYS won a tie with a problem customer --- and it was attributed to 'auctioneer discretion'. Like it or not, all legal. If a problem bidder was the high bidder, all alone, he got the bid, assuming he wasn't such a problem as to be a 'banned' bidder. As to outright illegal activity on the part of the auctioneer, I never saw that where I worked. As an insider in the industry, I heard about the illegal stuff at other auction houses. Probably the equivalent of 'rumor', so nothing to swear to. In the least, it opened my eyes and showed me what to watch for. When I left the industry (and 'reverted' back to being a collector) I avoided those rumored companies like the plague. In the decades since, these rumors 'got out' and these companies are now widely known for their shenanigans. Look on other threads if you want to know. I will not pass along rumors, which is all they are from my POV. Never have I seen any of this behavior first-hand, so they are rumors AFAIK.

One big (HUGE) difference between now and then is the speed with which things happen at auction. The printouts that I witnessed probably don't even exist anymore. There is no 'overnight' in the auction industry - bids happen at all hours of the day and from bidders all over the world - and most bids (I suspect) are now received in realtime, so the idea of 'picking and choosing' by the auctioneer could really only happen in realtime - problematic at best with all the other things happening during the auction.

The 'signs' for some of this behavior have been discussed at length in this thread. One of my mistakes (at the start of this thread) was trying to make hay out of what APPEARED to be this shady behavior. Looks can be deceiving. My apology to Modern Stamps was prompted by my misinterpretation of the APPEARANCE of the auction action. Again, I cannot stress it enough, looks can be deceiving.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
688 Posts
Posted 06/30/2020   1:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dutchman1948 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is what I got as a reply from Sparks:

I am not sure what happened during the live sale and why you were not able to bid more. However, the lot opened at tie bids of $250, yours being the earlier of the 2 bids therefore you were the successful bidder at $250.

Invoices will be going out late today.


Sound familiar? The tie was correct that 1st bid wins, but then they should not have accepted the 2nd bid as a tie bid.

Another scenario that pre bids tend to sell at the max bid, irregardless of estimate.
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Valued Member
United States
288 Posts
Posted 06/30/2020   10:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Tie bids can happen, but when they happen very often it stretches the imagination.

If the previous high bid is $100, and you bid $200, the 'level' should be at $110, assuming $10 increments. Someone else comes along and bids, they see $110. No reason why they cannot bid $200, but they SHOULD get a message saying that they have tied the high bid, and they SHOULD be notified that they can break the tie (not the original $200 bidder). They can get it for $225, assuming $25 increments at that point, or the original bidder could get it at $200 - the new bidder decides who gets it and for how much.
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389 Posts
Posted 06/30/2020   11:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add uboatnut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's better for the auction house to send the "tie bid; you must rebid or pass" message to BOTH bidders in the hopes that #1 may unwittingly bid against himself. There's no way to tell since a bidder only sees their own side of any notice.

Yes, I'm paranoid.
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Valued Member
United States
288 Posts
Posted 07/01/2020   2:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
uboatnut - just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they are NOT after you!! I am convinced that paranoia is very often caused by true environmental factors rather than psychological 'issues'. I am 100% convinced that is the case in my case.
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Edited by mootermutt987 - 07/01/2020 4:31 pm
Pillar Of The Community
Canada
688 Posts
Posted 07/01/2020   7:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dutchman1948 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All I will say is no more prebidding if there is a live auction.

Too many things that may or may not be as stated and no way to prove or not prove.

That way they don't know how high I am prepared to go ahead of time.

If that is paranoia, then I am paranoid.
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Posted 07/01/2020   9:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In my experience that is the best approach. No pre bidding if at all possible.
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United States
4774 Posts
Posted 07/01/2020   10:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
At Floortrader Stamp Auctions ,if you put in a bid for $200.00 and you are top bidder at $110 ,we will call you up and tell you to raise your bid because my wife just put in a matching bid at $200 and you can raise your bid to break the tie .
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Posted 07/01/2020   10:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add uboatnut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Memo to self:
AVOID FLOORTRADER AUCTIONS

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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
517 Posts
Posted 07/01/2020   10:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If using SAN, just put a watch on the lot beforehand, no bid required, but then it's in your upcoming bids list to review at any point prior to the auction. And yes, prebidding is something I also avoid.
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United States
4774 Posts
Posted 07/01/2020   10:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
as you know Floortrader Stamp Auctions run a fraud proof operation . If you bid $5.00 or $10.00 item you will honestly get the lot with only a dollar higher than the next bidder . But if you bid $1,000 for a $700.00 lot then you get it for $1,000 .......hey 9 out of 10 of our bidders get the item for $1.00 over the next bidder ........but the clown who bids $250.00 over ,will pay the juice . 9 out 10 is a good track record for honesty but if your play with $300.00 ,just a unusal turn of events with bidding .
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