Commission bids

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Commission bids

Post by ppcollectables on Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:08 pm

I left a commission bid of £65 on a lot at Bourne End auctions, have been out today so checked when I got home and saw that the lot in question sold for £65. I rang them to check I'd won ( never assume anything ) and was told it wasn't my lot. When I queried this I was told that the porter who bid on my behalf must have bid at £60 so that someone else in the room then bid £65. When I asked why the porter didn't start bidding at an increments of 35, 45 or 55 I was told that they had been doing things that way for 25yrs. I've only ever know auctioneers control commission bids. I'm sitting here stunned at their incompetence and apparent lack of any kind of understanding that they failed to bid for a customer as requested. I have no problem with losing a lot in a fair bidding situation but not when its down to chance of when a porter decides to enter the bidding. They did 'mess up' ( that's me being polite ) a bid a couple of yrs back but now I am never going to bid with them again.
I don't know the rules on adverse comments on auction houses and generally have always had good service from those I have used but this is something I have never come across before. Just had to vent my annoyance and frustration.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by dantheman on Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:13 pm

I keep a list of bad auction houses,it's a long list

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Re: Commission bids

Post by tigerchips on Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:38 pm

I've never seen a decent auction house yet.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by NaomiM on Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:31 pm

I put in an absentee bid of £55 on a lot which was the last of the auction and the auctioneer knew I was originally going to leave £40 but talked me into leaving £55 while at the same time asking me to spread the word about the relatively new auction house as they were hoping to expand their business. And, guess what, it sold for exactly £55, plus 25% commission. That was an expensive mistake on my part and one I'm not going to make again. I could spread the word about that auction house, but not in polite company!

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Re: Commission bids

Post by ppcollectables on Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:57 pm

Commission bids always have priority when bidding and if a commission bid is 'out of synch' with its maximum amount then an auctioneer will normally state that it has precedence over a similar bid from the floor ( because the commission bid came first ). Hence I still can't believe being told that the porter who bid for me cannot be guaranteed to bid at the right moment if there are lots of bids being made. What nonsense.
However, good auction houses have reputations to maintain and I still am happy to use them. There are good and not so good, just as with ebay etc.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by dantheman on Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:34 pm

tigerchips wrote:I've never seen a decent auction house yet.

I have found two that will wrap and box my pots then transport them to my local area for free Clap

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Re: Commission bids

Post by tigerchips on Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:49 am

Oh i meant from a selling perspective, i've never bought anything from an auction house.

I get the impression though that they don't know anything about what they're selling. I think these people should sit down and actually read a book or something.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by Mordeep on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:45 am

Auction houses exist to make money for themselves. They do that by looking after people who regularly sell through them or regularly buy from them. They are not you friends. I buy a lot from auctions because it is still the best way to get good items at stupidly low prices. But I no longer make the mistake of telling auction house how much I want something by leaving a commission bid or indicate they have made a listing mistake by asking for a condition report on a low priced item. Avoid excessive discussions when viewing or waiting for your lots to come up. People are braggards and love to inflate themselves at auctions, to talk loudly about items or about themselves. Show me one of those people and I will show you a person spending far to much. Auctioneers will get friends to run you up if you have already spent time telling people what an expert you are and how much you want something. I have even heard people say what they intend to spend on items, its like giving a blank cheque to the auction house. They will take your money if you make it easy for them. It is how they exist.

If you can be at the auction be there. They will take a room bid over an online bid. When looking around for god sake shut up. People at the auction do not think more of you because you are talking at length about something, they think your an idiot. The auctioneer will indicate when the commission bids are running out. Each has there own style but often it is along the lines of "I think one more bid should grab it" there is a reason why items sell for one bid above commissions.

If you can't be there leave a bid on an online auction program. They will bid for you but not in advance. The auctioneer does not know how much you are willing to go to. Or even better bid yourself on your phone to bid with the internet. As for phone bids, unless its a big ticket item it is pretty much a bargain free call. Rarely do those items go cheap, its very old school and normally indicate a high price even if the auction estimate is low.

Well that is what I find anyway.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by dantheman on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:59 am

wow! I just left an absentee bid 5 minutes before I read your post, next time I'll use an online program.
Thanks for the tips Excellent

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Re: Commission bids

Post by denbydump on Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:01 pm

It's pretty rare to actually win an item for less than the commission bid you left.
It's not a bid, it's a maximum limit to bid up to, but many auctions seem to think it's the former.

Haven't been to auctions for ages now, but never ever left comission bids.
Too many opportunities for running up.

Some over inflated ego dealers, have said things like "I only ever leave comission bids, because if others
see me bidding on something in the room, they know it must be something good" etc etc.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by r-and-f on Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:14 pm

I occasionally leave commission bids with one or other of my local auction houses, and, like Denbydump, I almost always end up paying my maximum amount. Strange, that.

Usually when filling in the commission bid form I leave an instruction "plus one bid" so the auctioneer knows that if another bidder gets to my maximum first, I'm prepared to leapfrog them by one bidding step.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by ppcollectables on Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:12 pm

I agree with Mordeep that it is always best to bid in person and not to advertise what you may be interested in. For Bourne End auctions I was going to an auction in the opposite direction on the same day and I didn't think it wasn't worth paying extra to 'the-saleroom' or similar.
I have left commission bids and paid less than my max bid ( Woolley & Wallis I trust) if you are outbid by 1 increment it may be just one other bidder in the room. But there can be those who may see it as a way to push up prices.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by NaomiM on Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:28 pm

I was happy with Ewbanks. Left three commission bids through their online system and won one for less than my max. I think having the Auction visible online helps keep them honest, because you can see if they've started low or simply jumped in at the top end.

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Re: Commission bids

Post by dantheman on Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:05 pm

good point Naomi....I can't believe I didn't work all this out years ago Doh!

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Re: Commission bids

Post by 22 Crawford St. on Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:15 pm

We lived in Wareham for many years. My mum always said that the local auctioneer had tea with the main dealers after the auction, he had to keep them happy = No.1 priority.... we are not important to him.

The only other place I know that had more scams is probably a pub Reciprocity
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Re: Commission bids

Post by philpot on Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:43 pm

The auctioneer is NOT the buyer's friend. He is selling on behalf of the vendor, and his one and only selling duty is towards the vendor. If you read the long 'terms and conditions' of virtually any auctioneer, it gives them entire carte blanche. Hence the leaving of auction bids is a mug's game mostly. I have been bidding at auctions for studio pottery for near25 years, and in all that time have never succeeded with a commission bid that has been left.
If you can't be there, pay for the Online service.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by denbydump on Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:32 pm

philpot wrote:The auctioneer is NOT the buyer's friend. He is selling on behalf of the vendor, and his one and only selling duty is towards the vendor. If you read  the long  'terms and conditions' of virtually any auctioneer, it gives them entire carte blanche. Hence the leaving of auction bids is a mug's game mostly. I have been bidding at auctions for studio pottery  for near25 years, and in all that time have never succeeded with a commission  bid that has been left.
If you can't be there, pay for the Online service.

Have to disagree PP. His one and only duty is to make profits for his auction house.
They care not, what the vendor gets, or the buyer pays.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by dantheman on Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:13 pm

yes I have seen many sellers shafted


Last edited by dantheman on Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total

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"Modern Art" is produced by incompetents, sold by charlatans and bought by ignoramuses?

It is enlightening to juxtapose "Fine Art" to "Modern Art"
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Re: Commission bids

Post by Mordeep on Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:26 am

Sellers and buyers often get shafted as dan put it if they don't understand how auction houses work. Auction house rates are not set in stone they are negotiable. Take one south London auction house I could mention here are the advertised selling terms (I have removed the company name)

"A charge of £20 is made to each lot sold in addition to vendor’s commission. This charge covers our specialist research, catalogue description, website illustration, marketing on our website and other third party sites as well as live or timed bidding on various internet platforms. Vendors Commission: Is charged on each lot at 15%. There is no minimum charge"

No house clearance, no regular auction trader is going to accept those terms. You would go bankrupt. Those terms are Mr and Mrs average who walk in off the street. If your regularly selling or buying from the same auction you negotiate. When I was selling some items a couple of years back I managed to get no fee and a flat rate of 15% on anything I bought or sold. It served me well as some items only sold after being put up a couple of times. I even know of one person who managed to get no entry fee and no commission on a big ticket item because the auction house wanted it for the catalogue front cover. It pays to discuss with your local auction house rates before selling anything through them or buying. They certainly won't raise it with you unless you ask.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by philpot on Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:50 am

When you are down the bread & butter (or maybe magarine?} end of auctioneering its often all pretty ropey. When whole categories of items that used to sell well, get junk prices with changing whims of fashion and the Internet, then sure the bottom feeding auctioneers can be pretty trickey-dickey.
On t'other hand, to make greater profits, you have to attract the sellers with items of greater worth. Quality ( ie MONEY!) is ever more important. So you cannot really afford to shaft the wealthy seller too much. They won't come back, and the word will spread.
Equally, if you are selling, you should make it important to do research on individual auctioneers. More over, Ask Questions!

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Re: Commission bids

Post by Mordeep on Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:00 pm

Very true philpot

I find at the bargain end of the market Auctioneers that are also estate agents are the ones to target. They get the bulk of house clearance lots and often have large mixed groups sold at no reserve. The luxury end of things do get the better stock, but they are normally correctly listed, well viewed and rarely turn up massively under priced bargains.
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Re: Commission bids

Post by 22 Crawford St. on Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:15 pm

I think those are some wise words, especially about bargaining. I wanted some items from an Etsy seller. When buying x3 pieces I expect a discount. 'I don't normally bargain - price is fixed' came the reply... oh no it's not was my return - everyone will bargain. You want 300 for the three - would you turn down the sale if I only offer 299. or even 295. Ahh so you do bargain then. He eventually took off the 10% I wanted.

I would always add the element of doubt into the conversation, 'Hi could you please explain the costs if I sell through you - I'm trying to decide between you and a another auction house for my Sèvres tea set'
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