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tlineopen  Professional Silver Appraising
tline3open  Internet auctions and market level

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Author Topic:   Internet auctions and market level
Gayle M. Skluzacek

Posts: 20
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 07-26-1999 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gayle M. Skluzacek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As the media and the public becomes more Internet savvy, Internet auctions may take on a new importance for appraisers. How does an appraiser interpret Internet auction sales results? Can they be considered comparable sales when establishing retail replacement values? Or fair market values? Or marketable cash values? Do they meet the IRS criteria of fair market value as defined in IRS Section 1.170 and 20.2031 (b)? ( "The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts." 20.2031 (b) continues "The fair market value of an item of property includible in the decedent's gross estate is not to be determined by a forced sale price. Nor is the fair market value of an item of property to be determined by the sale price of that item in a market other than that in which such item is commonly sold to the public, taking into account the location of the item wherever appropriate. Thus, in the case of an item of property includible in the decedent's gross estate, which is generally obtained by the public in the retail market, the fair market value of such an item of property is the price at which the item or a comparable item would be sold at retail.")
Will the IRS accept Internet auction results as comparable sales data? Any thoughts?

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Silver Sails

Posts: 8
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 07-27-1999 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Sails     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about all those small independent auctions that are in the local newspaper, MAD, The Bee, etc.? Does the IRS allow auction results from these small auctions to be used for comparative analysis? If yes, then why not Internet auctions? Does the IRS have a definitions (or rules) of what constitutes qualified comparative market data and how well does an Internet auction like eBay measure up?

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Bob Schulhof

Posts: 194
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 08-04-1999 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Schulhof     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would seem to me that an ebay auction price would be the definition of market price, although sales of the same item can easily vary by 20% or more depending upon the parties involved that day. The best of course would be an average and ebay does allow you to review results for the past 30 days.

Whether the IRS would accept anything is always a good question. In my experience they are reluctant to provide reliable rules. The rule is try it and then argue with them.

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