Are Heritage auctions real?
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57 posts in this topic

Heritage is a great place to but graded coins. I have done a lot of business in the range of 5 figures with Heritage.

 

I pay close attention into every Internet Sunday and Tuesday auctions and also other signature auctions.

 

I am seeing that:

1. At signature auctions - Many times, a coin of same grade / way it looks etc sells way more than what it sells in Internet only auctions. I bet the bidders are aware of the current market value of the coin and not sure why they would pay double of the market value. This is not a rare occasion, but happens often.

 

2. The internet coin auction is twice a week every week and I see they always sell all coins at good prices, on top of their high shipping and sales taxes. That makes me wonder is the coin market that strong, which is not the case.

 

3. Even the most random coin always has a bidder ready to pay a good premium.Say like 2016 silver eagle graded MS69 - sometimes it sells for good $65-$70 + ~$15 shipping! Who are those people buying them at that price, when they can get them at half the price anywhere else?

 

4. HA also has everything anonymous! We the bidders know nothing about who is bidding and who is winning. Their office people can see everything through, I talk to them about secret bids all the time and they are able to see all of them, including the live proxy bids.

 

5. This makes me believe that Heritage might use straw bidders just to raise the bids, to make more money - Whats your opinion on that?

 

6. I am also starting to question why keep everything anonymous? They can at least provide some ambiguity like ebay does to show that those are real bidders, which will make the auctions fair?

 

7. I am thinking twice before bidding on HA anymore.

 

I also came to know a lawsuit charging HA.com with racketeering and fraud (RICO) with a pseudo buyer N.P Gresham

 

What do people here think?

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I tracked 23 items in Signature auction 1240 without placing a bid. I see that 12 of these that sold are now offered for sale by owner. This is a common occurrence for the kind of material I want. So it does make me wonder if I would be bidding against the house. Even if these were real winning bids I understand that I would be bidding against people that are auction junkie dealers that maybe don't ever even see these coins they won - they just re-sell their coins and the shippers address could be Dallas Texas.

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As a buyer, I am not thrilled that Heritage will bid on coins because that means no bargains for me. As a seller, I'd be thrilled that Heritage will bid on coins because that means no extreme losses for me. As a buyer, I am happy that sellers are thrilled because that means they will consign more and better coins to Heritage which gives me a chance to acquire them. Also as a buyer, more often that not I win coins for less than my maximum bid. I am very content with Heritage and think any such law suit as the OP suggested is basically a waste of time.

 

Mark

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As a buyer, I am not thrilled that Heritage will bid on coins because that means no bargains for me. As a seller, I'd be thrilled that Heritage will bid on coins because that means no extreme losses for me. As a buyer, I am happy that sellers are thrilled because that means they will consign more and better coins to Heritage which gives me a chance to acquire them. Also as a buyer, more often that not I win coins for less than my maximum bid. I am very content with Heritage and think any such law suit as the OP suggested is basically a waste of time.

 

Mark

 

Your reply looks like heritage pays you to write them. Be honest, we do not want auctions where its rigged.

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I tracked 23 items in Signature auction 1240 without placing a bid. I see that 12 of these that sold are now offered for sale by owner. This is a common occurrence for the kind of material I want. So it does make me wonder if I would be bidding against the house. Even if these were real winning bids I understand that I would be bidding against people that are auction junkie dealers that maybe don't ever even see these coins they won - they just re-sell their coins and the shippers address could be Dallas Texas.

 

I don't know if it has changed, but at one time, the default setting in client's accounts was to have their purchases automatically show up as for sale by owner. It has nothing to do with whom you were bidding against or the winning bidders being dealers, as opposed to collectors.

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Why is heritage keeping everything anonymous? This shows that something is fishy...

 

Because I really don't want you to know what coins I bought. It's none of your business. Ebay keeps everything anonymous as well. Are they rigged too?

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So, Heritage is rigged essentially. Typically we sign up to go against a rigged system that is disclosed somewhereaverage joe does not read into much.

 

It is disclosed and in the open. Bidders decide whether to participate or not. This is one of the reasons why placing nuclear bids is dangerous - you may very well be bidding against a computer. You must always do your homework; some coins can be purchased for a lower price from dealers. You should also always read legally binding contracts before you agree to them.

 

For the record, this is not unique to Heritage. Legend Auctions does this, and I think Stacks-Bowers does as well. If you are looking for rare coins that don't trade often, these are usually the best places if not the only places to look in many instances.

 

 

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Ebay shows who (ambiguous) bid and what % of their bids are on the sellers etc. Ebay makes it more fairer and also does not let the house (seller) bid on up on their item as far as I know.

 

Which is more fairer than heritage.

 

So, heritage will claim that for every auction, all coins are getting sold at the premium, as though the coin market is so strong!

 

This sounds like deceiving business practice!

 

Many dealers and sellers in ebay are struggling to sell certain coins whereas always in heritage there are several buyers for them, at higher prices! I can't believe this on auction wekk after week!

 

 

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I thought it was odd that Heritage would not even make a sight seen bid on my coins when I needed cash. They cited low bids at 1/3 of fair market value as a starting point. All this is not news to me and is one reason I purchase coins I want from dealers who specialize in these items. Keep in mind that most of the worth while trouble free coins have been encapsulated by one of three major grading services and specialized dealers have seen many if not all finer known coins in those groups. Some of the coins I own also include letters of recommendation with images - a nice touch I think.

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Ebay shows who (ambiguous) bid and what % of their bids are on the sellers etc. Ebay makes it more fairer and also does not let the house (seller) bid on up on their item as far as I know.

 

Which is more fairer than heritage.

 

So, heritage will claim that for every auction, all coins are getting sold at the premium, as though the coin market is so strong!

 

This sounds like deceiving business practice!

 

Many dealers and sellers in ebay are struggling to sell certain coins whereas always in heritage there are several buyers for them, at higher prices! I can't believe this on auction wekk after week!

 

 

How is it a deceptive practice when it is specifically included in the Heritage Terms of Bidding and site Terms of Use?

 

You obviously don't like it. I do not like it either; however, this does not make it illegal, deceptive, or even unethical.

 

As for eBay, there is far more fraud there. You don't think notorious shill operations (like a certain online coin dealership we all love to hate, hint, hint) don't have multiple shill accounts?

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Interesting accusations. Can the OP provide more specific support for them? What about other major coin auction companies?

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Interesting accusations. Can the OP provide more specific support for them? What about other major coin auction companies?

 

Don't mean to accuse Heritage. But I am feeling that they are not real auctions, where if there is no real demand, you can swoop the the item for a better price. It's a rigged system, where if those coins are not having enough bidders, the house competes with me knowing what my secret / proxy bid is. So, secret bids are not a secret!

 

I am just saying, its unfair practice, though they have it somewhere when you sign up.

 

Now, this makes free market theory invalid if we want to track values of the coins, in addition to crack-out re-grade to get a better grace from TPG's!

 

If they claim to be gold standard in selling coins, I would assume they should not have this unfair advantage.

 

I do not buy from other coin auctioneers, so, I do not know. But, if everyone does that, the whole coin auction market is rigged! (BTW, I am not the end of the world guy)

 

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You have not answered the question.

 

Others might want to better understand your "complaints," and to do that you have to supply specific incidents or other material to support your claims. Otherwise, they are no better than any other baseless claim, and of no value to anyone.

 

 

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

 

1. As far as I understand (and I've never done it, maybe MarkFeld can confirm), but a consignor may bid on his own coins. If he wins, he pays the buyers premium to compensate the auction house for their troubles.

 

2. I don't know that Heritage has any set "cut-off". If they win a coin, their goal is to sell it for a profit by direct sale or in a further auction - so of course they are not going to place strong bids. I've never seen an actual percentage of retail limit, and I doubt one exists.

 

3. Nearly every major auction house bids on their own lots, or reserves the right to. Its in the fine print, and if you have bid in many auctions then I can guarantee that they have been your competitors, up to a point. There is a thread about this every few months where everyone expresses shock and outrage, but this has been standard practice for years, and continues to be so.

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Keep in mind that if Heritage bids on a coin in their auction and wins it, they have to then sell for a profit or there is no point in doing so. Granted they don't pay BP on it, so they have an edge. If you look at their auction results, there are always post-auction buys. Those are coins that the consignors put too high a reserve on, even for Heritage to bid on. So it is not like they are bidding on every coin in their auctions, but only the ones they are interested in reselling and only at a profit. So HA is no different than any other dealer bidding in their auctions in this regard, should dealers not be allowed to bid as well, only open it to collectors? Would you then say it is fair?

 

Best, HT

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

 

1. As far as I understand (and I've never done it, maybe MarkFeld can confirm), but a consignor may bid on his own coins. If he wins, he pays the buyers premium to compensate the auction house for their troubles.....

 

While in some, though not in all cases, Heritage allows consignors to place reserves, consignors are prohibited from actually bidding on their own

coins. And the reserves are disclosed.

 

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Okay, thanks Jason for the clarification. Admittedly, I never took the time to fully read their terms of bidding that includes this practice- but good to know. I did bid on a Heritage offering of a 1973-D Kennedy DDO last month, and didn't win. I noticed that there was a Buy It Now after the auction for that same coin for about a $100 more than my top bid. I'm wondering now if that was Heritage relisting the coin for what they thought it should bring, and if I bid against them? IDK- would just like fair and balanced bidding with actual bidders but I suppose their right to set the terms. Thanks again.

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

 

1. As far as I understand (and I've never done it, maybe MarkFeld can confirm), but a consignor may bid on his own coins. If he wins, he pays the buyers premium to compensate the auction house for their troubles.....

 

While in some, though not in all cases, Heritage allows consignors to place reserves, consignors are prohibited from actually bidding on their own

coins. And the reserves are disclosed.

 

Interesting, I thought consignors were allowed to bid on their own lots. I stand corrected with respect to Heritage.

 

As far as you know, do any other auction houses allow this?

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

 

1. As far as I understand (and I've never done it, maybe MarkFeld can confirm), but a consignor may bid on his own coins. If he wins, he pays the buyers premium to compensate the auction house for their troubles.....

 

While in some, though not in all cases, Heritage allows consignors to place reserves, consignors are prohibited from actually bidding on their own

coins. And the reserves are disclosed.

 

Okay, thanks Mark for information.

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Number200K:

 

I have no affiliation with Heritage so you can now remove that little thought from your mind. If you care to apologize, the apology will be accepted.

 

Sotheby's and Christie's do effectively the same when they give a price guarantee on a work. They will bid/buy the item as long as it is below the guaranteed price. Sometimes they even pay a specific bidder to bid on an item so they (Sotheby's and Christie's) do not need to take possession of the item. Maybe you want to add them to your lawsuit?

 

Mark

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Okay, thanks Jason for the clarification. Admittedly, I never took the time to fully read their terms of bidding that includes this practice- but good to know. I did bid on a Heritage offering of a 1973-D Kennedy DDO last month, and didn't win. I noticed that there was a Buy It Now after the auction for that same coin for about a $100 more than my top bid. I'm wondering now if that was Heritage relisting the coin for what they thought it should bring, and if I bid against them? IDK- would just like fair and balanced bidding with actual bidders but I suppose their right to set the terms. Thanks again.

 

If you saw a buy it now after the auction ended, it sounds as if there was an unmet reserve. And typically, the buy it now price corresponds to the reserve price, plus the applicable buyer's premium,

 

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I personally wouldn't have a problem if the consignor was aloud to bid on his, or, her coins so long as they paid buyers premium if they won, and would have to eat that cost.

 

The auction house actually bids on coins too? Is this correct? If so; what is Heritage's cutoff point- 30% to 40% of retail? Is this done with all coins? I'm just curious so as a buyer I can keep this in mind when bidding...sour taste if this is truly a policy with major auction houses.

 

1. As far as I understand (and I've never done it, maybe MarkFeld can confirm), but a consignor may bid on his own coins. If he wins, he pays the buyers premium to compensate the auction house for their troubles.....

 

While in some, though not in all cases, Heritage allows consignors to place reserves, consignors are prohibited from actually bidding on their own

coins. And the reserves are disclosed.

 

Interesting, I thought consignors were allowed to bid on their own lots. I stand corrected with respect to Heritage.

 

As far as you know, do any other auction houses allow this?

 

I do not know the policies of the other auction houses.

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Keep in mind that if Heritage bids on a coin in their auction and wins it, they have to then sell for a profit or there is no point in doing so. Granted they don't pay BP on it, so they have an edge. If you look at their auction results, there are always post-auction buys. Those are coins that the consignors put too high a reserve on, even for Heritage to bid on. So it is not like they are bidding on every coin in their auctions, but only the ones they are interested in reselling and only at a profit. So HA is no different than any other dealer bidding in their auctions in this regard, should dealers not be allowed to bid as well, only open it to collectors? Would you then say it is fair?

 

Best, HT

 

Thanks HT. I didn't regard HA as a dealer but I thought just a medium for consignors to bring their offerings to market. I admittedly viewed HA as strictly an auction house that took no interest in actually buying what those consignors had to offer. My bad- wasn't aware of this practice but know now.

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Okay, thanks Jason for the clarification. Admittedly, I never took the time to fully read their terms of bidding that includes this practice- but good to know. I did bid on a Heritage offering of a 1973-D Kennedy DDO last month, and didn't win. I noticed that there was a Buy It Now after the auction for that same coin for about a $100 more than my top bid. I'm wondering now if that was Heritage relisting the coin for what they thought it should bring, and if I bid against them? IDK- would just like fair and balanced bidding with actual bidders but I suppose their right to set the terms. Thanks again.

 

If you saw a buy it now after the auction ended, it sounds as if there was an unmet reserve. And typically, the buy it now price corresponds to the reserve price, plus the applicable buyer's premium,

 

Oh, okay. That answers my question- thanks again Mark.

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