News & Views

An auction that is both with AND without reserve?

20 March 2019

There are times that I think maybe overnight I was secretly transported to another planet. I wake up and on this new frontier and hear people saying that an auction can be both “with reserve” and “without reserve” at the same time.

A President and shill bidding

6 March 2019

We have discussed shill bidding many times. We’ve never, however, discussed the President of the United States and shill bidding at the same time — until now. Our background on this story comes from Vox.

Exquisite art coming up for sale

5 March 2019

The Edge Auction 2019 has on offer highly desirable and collectible artworks by top Malaysian artists as well as leading contemporary artists from Southeast Asia


The seventh edition of The Edge Auction will see 105 lots comprising modern and contemporary Southeast Asian artworks go under the hammer on March 17. The cover lot, Kambing Hitam (2009), is a painting by Malaysian contemporary artist Hamir Soib @ Mohamed and has an estimated price of between RM80,000 and RM150,000.

When is a seller’s bid a shill bid?

28 February 2019

Some auctions allow the seller to place bids directly or through another agent (by proxy.) Specifically, in a with reserve auction and any type of forced sale, the seller can bid. Our question today involves if any of this seller bidding would — or could — be considered shill bidding.

What is shill bidding? Shill bidding is generally any bidding which lacks the “genuine intent to purchase” and rather bidding in order to falsely advocate for the seller or otherwise entice others to believe such bidding is genuine and can be used to gauge value.

Live, online-only or simulcast?

26 February 2019

Many say that the live auction, online-only auction and simulcast auction are “tools in the toolbox” where auctioneers choose the right tool for the job. Here’s our opinion where each of these tools is suitable.

First, is an auction (live, simulcast and/or online-only) suitable at all? Generally, we have held that auctions are suitable [only] when the seller has sufficient equityurgency and reasonable expectations; otherwise, maybe some other method of sale may be more appropriate.

Is your absolute auction being advertised/conducted as such?

22 February 2019

I’m being told that countless auctioneers across the country contract with sellers to sell everything “without reserve” a.k.a. “absolute” and then don’t. In other words, an absolute auction is not advertised as absolute so the public believes it is “with reserve” or more importantly they don’t believe it’s “absolute.”

Online auction bidders don’t read?

20 February 2019

I know this is probably true, and I keep hearing it from other auctioneers that it’s true so we’ll start with this: online auction bidders don’t read. Basically an online auction bidder sees what he wants, and clicks to bid on it …

Auctioneers and confidence

18 February 2019

I’ve heard it many times in my career — confidence is an auctioneer’s stock-in-trade, confidence is an auctioneer’s most valuable asset, confidence makes an auctioneer … and many other variations.

The particular definition of confidence in which I’m referring is more so “self-confidence:”

"… a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities."

“As-is” and should have known

12 February 2019

Our topic here concerns the sale of a horse named Eloquent Diva at auction where the buyer found shortly thereafter his new purchase had a congenital heart condition. As might be expected, the horse was sold “as-is.” The particular disclaimer used: