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tline3open  antique dealers as 'auction houses' on the on line services

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Author Topic:   antique dealers as 'auction houses' on the on line services

Posts: 19
Registered: Jan 2013

iconnumber posted 05-07-2019 07:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bjaskols     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

I was wondering what others think of antique dealers (in particular silver dealers)becoming 'auction houses' and having 'auctions' on the main on line auction service sites (liveauctioneers & invaluable)? Some even charge 'buyers premiums' in the 20-30% range.

We all know that their items are not really up for auction and that each item has a reserve price of the actual retail price. The items almost never sell and the same items are listed again in the next 'auction'.

I feel that this obscurs real auctions and could give users expecting a real auction expeience a sour taste. At least on ebay the sellers are sellers.

What do others think.

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Registered: Mar 2003

iconnumber posted 05-08-2019 01:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The big online auction site is a minefield with fakes and sellers who try to disguise retail sales as so-called auctions. Some sellers even buy their own things or bid their own things up to the point of being well above retail (shill bidding) to 'establish values' for things then several months later they relist the item that now has an 'established value' that can be 'confirmed' by filtering to the 'items sold' things. Yes there are some real auctions of authentic silver with honest starting bids, but in my experience those are the exception rather than the rule in the listings. Caveat emptor. Study silver to the point that you will be able to know what is real, know what you are willing to pay, and stick to that bid. Ignore the rest.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 05-08-2019).]

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iconnumber posted 05-08-2019 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bjaskols     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Are you referring to ebay? Ebay has never really been a true auction site. Sellers are just that sellers. They might be owners of items. Pickers that found the items. or Retailers trying to sell their wares. It might take a little experience but regular ebay users pick this up very quick. The one thing sellers on ebay usually are not is actual auction houses.

I am talking about the online servicers that formerly were for actual auction houses to use for an e-presence as opposed to coding their own. (ie invaluable and liveauctioneers)

Ebay charges 10% to the seller. These services charge 2-3% to the seller and they charge the buyer the traditional buyers premium that is customary in the auction trade. The auction houses just pass the fees for the site, by adding it to the usual buyers premium.

The disturbing trend is the retailers on these sites are being listed as Auction Houses and not retail stores. In this guise, the retailers, are then expecting a retail price(where they are making a profit) and also charging a buyers premium. This seems duplicitous. It is also new. I have been on both of the two largest for 15 yrs at least and this trend of retailers, antique dealers etc setting up as 'auction houses' to offer their wares is new.

They set auction estimates that are their selected retail price. They are setting reserves at those retail prices. Then the site servicer's program keeps bidding against you to get to the reserve with no other actual bidder present. Then to top it all off they add the 'buyers premium' bonus for them. It is all a little shady.

[This message has been edited by bjaskols (edited 05-08-2019).]

[This message has been edited by bjaskols (edited 05-08-2019).]

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iconnumber posted 05-08-2019 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ahwt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the worst examples I saw recently was a very nice pair of feather edge tongs by Isaiah Wagster of Baltimore being sold as by John Wendover of New York City circa 1694. I send the seller a message showing images of the mark and an explanation of how that style was not made until the late 1700s well after Mr. Wendover was deceased. No answer except the tongs were relisted several times with the same attribution. To my knowledge no one brought these tongs.
The sad thing is that objects by Mr. Wagster are not that common and most likely would have brought a premium price for tongs of that era.

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