Hello & Welcome to our community. Is this your first visit? Register
Follow us on
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Linked In Flickr Watch us on YouTube My Space Blogger
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,683

    Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    Hey everyone-
    There has been a lot of discussion about the different approaches auction houses take to forming their policies.

    I thought it would be valuable to be able to look at the approaches all in one place. Today I'm sending out to the major auction houses the following email:

    Hello-
    I had a few simple yes or no questions about your auction house policy. I'm actually sending this to all of the major houses because I'd like to see how the various companies approach their auction policies.

    Here goes:

    1) Does your auction house list items in which you have a financial interest? (Either you own it, or have a stake in?)

    If the answer is 'yes,' are these labeled in any way? (For Example "House Lot")

    2) Do you allow your authenticator (one who's services you pay for) to consign items to your auction?

    3) Are members of your auction house allowed to bid on the items in your auction?

    I look forward to your response.
    Sincerely
    Eric Stangel

    The emails are being sent to:
    American Memorabilia
    Grey Flannel
    Lelands
    Mastronet
    Robert Edward Auctions
    Vintage Authentics
    Memory Lane
    Heritage Auctions
    Historic Auctions
    SCP Auctions
    Hunt Auctions


    I will let you know what I hear and hopefully we can learn a lot from this.
    Eric
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  2. #2
    Senior Member kingjammy24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    3,116

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    eric,

    great idea & questions.

    it's unfortunate that the entire exercise is completely dependant on the responses being completely honest. this may be beyond the abilities of some of the individuals on your list.

    we've seen that the actions of certain auction houses can run opposite to their official policies. some say they aren't dealers offering their own items when in fact they are dealers offering their own items. funny stuff.

    rudy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    Our first response was from Robert Edward Auctions (I had predicted that in my head) Here's how it went
    Eric


    Answers to questions for Robert Edward Auctions are below.

    1) Does your auction house list items in which you have a financial interest? (Either you own it, or have a stake in?)

    The auction house does not own any lots in part or whole. Here is an except from our terms and conditions page (a link to which I am providing here: http://www.robertedwardauctions.com/site/terms.aspx)

    We provide the following relevant text in our auction guide, both in our catalog and online:

    "A WORD ABOUT CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:[FONT='Arial Unicode MS','sans-serif']Edward Auctions’ policies regarding Conflicts of Interest are summarized by Section #13 of REA’s Terms and Conditions:[/FONT][FONT='Arial Unicode MS','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    "13. There is no circumstance under which Robert Edward Auctions, LLC may execute bids on its own “house account,” thereby unfairly competing with bidders. In fact, to be clear, Robert Edward Auctions does not even have a “house account,” unlike many other auctions. Under no circumstance may any executive or employee of Robert Edward Auctions, LLC place bids in the auction for their personal accounts. Under no circumstance are consignors permitted to bid on their own lots. This is a consignment auction, conducted on behalf of consignors, by Robert Edward Auctions, LLC. Under no circumstance will any lot be offered in any Robert Edward Auctions, LLC auction which has been purchased or is otherwise owned outright by Robert Edward Auctions, LLC. Executives and employees of Robert Edward Auctions, LLC may consign their personal property to the auction. Any and all lots consigned from the personal collections of any executive or employee of Robert Edward Auctions (or any relative of any executive or employee) will be explicitly and formally identified as such in the lot description. All bidding records are archived, as always, indefinitely, and will forever be available for auditing purposes, if necessary."[FONT='Arial Unicode MS','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    We are not dealers. And we mean it. Robert Edward Auctions will never place a bid on material in our auction. Robert Edward Auctions will never purchase material outright to offer at auction. With Robert Edward Auctions, bidders are guaranteed that they never have to worry about the auction house bidding against them on any lot in the auction – EVER. With Robert Edward Auctions, bidders also never have to worry about secret hidden reserves – EVER. These firm policies translate into greater and well deserved bidder confidence, and in turn higher prices for consigners.[FONT='Arial Unicode MS','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    Many auction houses are also dealerships, offering material they own at auction, often intentionally misrepresenting this fact to the public. Many auction houses, as a standard practice, place bids in their own auctions against their bidders, with an emphasis on higher-priced items and on material they own. Some auction house rules actually clearly state that the auction house, as an entity, may bid in the auction, in addition to permitting all executives and employees of the auction house to bid. Some auction houses routinely alter or destroy bidding records after each sale. These and other common practices in the auction industry expose consignors and bidders to numerous irreconcilable conflicts - conflicts which can and do cost bidders and consignors money, and can ultimately make bidders uncomfortable even participating in the auction. [FONT='Arial Unicode MS','sans-serif'][/FONT]

    These are conflicts that DO NOT EXIST with Robert Edward Auctions.[FONT='Arial Unicode MS','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    Robert Edward Auctions believes that protecting the integrity of the auction process, by taking clear and unambiguous positions with reference to conflicts of interest, results in greater bidder confidence, greater participation, and higher prices. Everyone likes an honest auction. [FONT='Arial Unicode MS','sans-serif'][/FONT]

    Also relevant is the following additional text:

    "A Word About Auction House Consignment Disclosure:[FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']With reference to recent attention in the industry regarding questions about auctioneers identifying owned lots, the following text is from an REA email that was sent in August 2006 in which REA amended our Terms and Conditions regarding material owned by employees. The relevant text of the email reads as follows:

    “Effective immediately, we are amending Section 13 of our Terms and Conditions to provide a formal identification in the lot description of any and all lots consigned from the personal collections of any executive or employee of Robert Edward Auctions (or any relative of any executive or employee). Because REA does not buy material for auction, in many ways this policy amendment is a non-event. In the April 2006 auction, for example, a total of sixteen lots out of 1,411 would have been identified as property consigned from the personal collections of executives, employees, or their relatives (and we should add that every single one of these lots was purchased many years ago). [In the April 2007 auction a total of only 5 lots out of 1594 represent property consigned from the personal collections of executives, employees, or their relatives.] So why are we even bothering doing this? Because Robert Edward Auctions believes that the many conflicts of interest that are so common and so accepted in the sports card and memorabilia auction world today play a great role in promoting many of the most serious problems that are epidemic in the auction industry. Robert Edward Auctions strives to stand out as an example to the auction world, demonstrating how auctions ideally should be run. So while this policy amendment has no impact on REA, it is intended to be a call to action for all auction houses, and a wake up call to all collectors who participate in auctions. Bidders should never intentionally be misled about who owns the lots they are bidding on. Some auctions have claimed they are not dealers, when in fact that is exactly what they are. Some auctions present collections of very well known collectors or ballplayers, and intentionally give the impression that these collections have been consigned, rather than the truth: that the collection has been purchased and is actually owned and is being sold by the auction house. If bidders are being intentionally misled about something as basic as who is really offering a collection, and a false impression is given that material has been consigned when this is not true, it is misleading both to bidders and to potential consignors, and it raises the question, “What else is not as it seems?”

    We believe that collectors approach auctions very differently when they understand that material presented is often owned by the auction company, as opposed to being consigned as represented, and are much less enthusiastic about bidding on all lots (including those lots which are actually consigned) in any auction in which they feel they have been intentionally misled. When collectors finally learn the truth about this issue, let alone when they come to understand that at many auctions the auction company consigns hundreds of lots, and its employees also consign hundreds of additional lots, and both the auction house and the employees bid in their own auctions, they become less enthusiastic bidders in those auctions. This should be very important to all bidders and consignors. We are seeing a greater awareness of these issues that affect all lots in auctions which combine secretly owned auction-house lots and consignments. As collectors grow more sophisticated, they are gaining a greater understanding of the conflicts and misinformation that are regularly presented to them. It's time that all lots owned by auction houses, auction house executives, auction house employees, and their relatives be identified, as opposed to being camouflaged among consignments in a manner that could be interpreted as a deliberate charade of deception.”

    End of quote.

    We think our policies are very clear. They are always evolving. We are pleased to see serious attention to topics that we consider to be among the most important and overlooked in the field. REA cannot solve these issues, but by calling attention to them by formally adopting and communicating our policies, we have always felt that we were playing an important role in encouraging and heightening awareness. It is our hope that these discussions will result in greater awareness and play a role in promoting significant change where it is needed.

    Sincerely,

    Robert Lifson
    President
    Robert Edward Auctions LLC
    www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com"
    [/FONT]



    2) Do you allow your authenticator (one who's services you pay for) to consign items to your auction?

    Yes, we do allow authenticators to consign items to the auction; however, it is our policy that this is done with full disclosure right in the lot description. The text from our terms and condition pages reads as follows:

    "Robert Edward Auctions does not prohibit authenticators from consigning lots. Robert Edward Auctions’ formal policy regarding consignments by authenticators is the requirement that ownership or financial interest of all such lots be clearly communicated in the lot description in all cases where such authentication is cited in the lot description."

    David Bushing, for example, has several lots in the current auction which have been authenticated by MEARS. Since David Bushing is one of the MEARS authenticators, the fact that he is the consignor is communicated clearly right in the auction description. If anyone was not comfortable with the fact that these items are owned by David Bushing, with this full disclosure bidders have the ability to either: choose to have confidence in the MEARS authentication process and guarantees, choose not to bid, or choose to arrange to have another authenticator look at these items (a process that we would always be very happy to cooperate with).

    3) Are members of your auction house allowed to bid on the items in your auction?

    Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT. Not only are employees and executives prohibited from bidding, so are their family members. Section 13 of our terms and conditions is very clear regarding this issue:

    "13. There is no circumstance under which Robert Edward Auctions, LLC may execute bids on its own “house account,” thereby unfairly competing with bidders. In fact, to be clear, Robert Edward Auctions does not even have a “house account,” unlike many other auctions. Under no circumstance may any executive or employee of Robert Edward Auctions, LLC place bids in the auction for their personal accounts. Under no circumstance are consignors permitted to bid on their own lots. This is a consignment auction, conducted on behalf of consignors, by Robert Edward Auctions, LLC. Under no circumstance will any lot be offered in any Robert Edward Auctions, LLC auction which has been purchased or is otherwise owned outright by Robert Edward Auctions, LLC. Executives and employees of Robert Edward Auctions, LLC may consign their personal property to the auction. Any and all lots consigned from the personal collections of any executive or employee of Robert Edward Auctions (or any relative of any executive or employee) will be explicitly and formally identified as such in the lot description. All bidding records are archived, as always, indefinitely, and will forever be available for auditing purposes, if necessary."

    We always welcome inquiries about our policies and procedures which are always evolving. This has always been a priority with us and we thank you for your interest.



    Sincerely,




    Robert Lifson
    President
    Robert Edward Auctions, LLC
    P.O. Box 7256
    Watchung, N.J. 07069
    908-226-9900
    908-226-9920 fax
    www.RobertEdwardAuctions.com
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  4. #4

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    Eric,

    Since I saw the post before the email I will give my responses directly.

    Our auctions contain mainly consignments in which we get a percentage of the selling price and the consignor gets the rest. We also offer consignments where the consignor receives a cash advance on an item; then after the sale, the cash advance is returned to us from the proceeds of the sale along with a percentage of the sale price. We also own items in our auctions and retain the entire sale price. These are not marked in any fashion but if anyone is interested in bidding on an item in our auction and would like to know which of the above scenarios applies to that item, please feel free to call me and I will disclose that information.

    We do not use authenticators and rely primarily on the expertise that exists within our own auction house or a consensus of opinions. If we are proven to be wrong on an item that we have sold we offer a full refund for a period of three years from the date of the sale.

    Members of our auction house are not allowed to bid in our auctions.

    Mike Heffner
    President-Lelands.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    Robert and Mike,
    Thanks for the quick responses. This is all good info.
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    Thank you to Grey Flannel who responded this morning. Here's how they answered.


    1) Does your auction house list items in which you have a financial interest? (Either you own it, or have a stake in?)

    If the answer is 'yes,' are these labeled in any way? (For Example "House Lot")

    No

    2) Do you allow your authenticator (one who's services you pay for) to consign items to your auction?

    No

    3) Are members of your auction house allowed to bid on the items in your auction?

    Yes
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    Here's where we are at so far....

    Name:  Slide1.jpg
Views: 326
Size:  42.9 KB
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    Thanks to Vintage Authentics who has chimed in to our question.

    1) Does your auction house list items in which you have a financial interest? (Either you own it, or have a stake in?)

    If the answer is 'yes,' are these labeled in any way? (For Example "House Lot")

    1.We list items that were not paid for in the previous auctions. We don’t make a point of disclosing them because we didn’t buy them to sell for profit, we pay the consignors whether their items are paid for or not (as long as the item sells for reasonable market value) and just re-run the items that don’t get paid for. I would like to label the item as “not paid for by customer name” but our attorneys advised us against that. We just blacklist the customer for life and move on.

    2) Do you allow your authenticator (one who's services you pay for) to consign items to your auction?

    2.We allow anyone to consign items to our auction. Any authenticator or company who says they or their employees don’t do so is probably not being 100% truthful.

    3) Are members of your auction house allowed to bid on the items in your auction?

    3.We don’t allow employees to bid in our auction.
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    2,683

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    I would also extend the above questions to Chris Cavalier and GUU Auctions. I will add them to the grid.

    Eric
    Always looking for game used San Diego Chargers items...

  10. #10
    Senior Member kingjammy24's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    3,116

    Re: Auction House Policy: A Comparison

    can someone explain this to me:

    "We don’t make a point of disclosing them because we didn’t buy them to sell for profit, we pay the consignors whether their items are paid for or not (as long as the item sells for reasonable market value) and just re-run the items that don’t get paid for"

    as i understand this then; someone consigns an item to vintage, the item technically receives a bid above the reserve and eventually the auction closes. if the buyer does not actually end up sending payment to vintage, vintage will still pay the consigner?

    if an item is not paid for, vintage still pays the consigner and keeps the item. the item is then re-run, but the original consigner has already received payment? is this is the case, then it seems the vintage has bought the item from the consigner and becomes the new owner. if they are the owner and they re-run the item, then they're offering items in their auction that they own.

    do most auction houses pay consigners if payment on their item is not received?

    do most keep the items and re-run them?

    thanks,

    rudy.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:03 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.5
Copyright © 2020 vBulletin Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.
vBulletin Skin By: PurevB.com