When does bidding really close at a live auction?
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407 posts

Floor bidders have the advantage at Sedwick's Treasure Auction 14

 

I had an unfortunate experience on Wednesday night during Daniel Frank Sedwick's live auction of world coins. My maximum absentee bid was the starting price for a scarce 8 reales overdate, and I watched it go live through my internet connection from home (I had turned off the live audio/video feed). Although I was prepared to counter-bid, no additional bids came in and the item closed at my high bid. Great! Another slot filled in my Charles III pillar dollar set. I saw the next item come up, and since it was not of interest to me, I went back to doing something else on my computer.

 

About 15 minutes later, I checked my list of items won and was shocked to see that the coin, that I saw close at my high bid, was sold to another bidder at the next higher increment. I fired off an indignant comment via the "ask auctioneer a question" form and was surprised to get a fairly prompt response. In the ensuing email exchange I received an apology for the confusion and the explanation. Apparently, the auctioneer missed a bid from the floor and so the item reopened again, later in the order, for bidding. I don't know what was announced on the live feed but I can't imagine that anyone but the floor bidder was prepared for a rebid -- I certainly wasn't.

 

According to the posted terms, bids can be reopened at the discretion of the auction house, so all I can do is complain. Oh well, lesson learned. From now on, I will remember to keep an eye on the next several bids, just in case any I think I have won come up for rebid.

 

There was a bright side to my night, however. I won a rare 1733 Mo F 8 reales, NGC XF details, at the starting bid of $1000. In problem-free condition, they list at $9K -- well outside my collecting budget. For a probable, sea-salvage coin, it has little to no visible corrosion. The main drawback is dark staining from encrustation that otherwise protected the surfaces.

 

~jack

14583.jpg

 

See more journals by jgenn

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101 posts

I had the exact same experience with Heritage with an 1899 Pr-64 Cameo 50c Coin. To say frustrating would be a gross understatement. I watched until the "Lot Closed" appeared and the "You Won Lot 3297" followed on the screen. then I shut it down happy and satisfied and then the nest day wham a late cut bid took the coin. It is all about the money. With the house in the game now at 17.5% they may reopen a coin an hour later. I now watch for about five minutes after and then move on and have not yet been burned with that practice.

 

JTO

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4,860 posts

That is pure BS!! Once they move on----that should be it!! They should NOT be aloud to reopen 5, 10 or 30 minutes later!!

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this is underhanded, plain and simple. For the sake of profiting it makes the entire auction process invalid.

 

A floor bidder can simply "shop." Just wait and see what an item's high bid is--wait until the lot closes and ask for a re-open once the online competition is gone; then bid one increment higher without any competition and the person wins the lot.

 

They just avoided a bidding war with one or more internet bidders and possibly bought the item for several bids less than they may have had to bid.

 

The auction house by allowing this practice may be costing themselves money in the long run. By getting a few extra bucks for a one bid increment, they may lose much greater profit from the potential bidding war---I hate hearing this kind of thing.

 

PS: it does not surprise me that heritage does this kind of thing--another instance that makes me glad I disavowed any business with them years ago ( after I learned that their policy allows for them to schill bid on items in their own auction)

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2,281 posts

I agree, once an auction item "hammers" it's over. There is no valid reason to re-open unless the winning bidder errored (wrong lot #, multiple times the money, etc) and wants to re-sell the lot to someone else.

 

Auction houses will favor in house bids over internet or phone/mail bids because selling to a bidder who's present doesn't require shipping. That's understandable but re-opening to make a few bucks more..........you should fire them on the spot!!

 

 

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