News & Views

Auctioneers and the standard of care

14 January 2019

Sellers routinely hire auctioneers and in doing so — generally — hire one they feel can adequately handle the subject property’s sale in order to maximize net proceeds in the shortest amount of time.

Today, we explore what standard of care any auctioneer has regardless of how they hold themselves out to the public. We answer a question we received in court the other day asking, “Is there a minimum standard?”

Are auctioneers the next travel agents?

11 January 2019

Kenny Lindsay has been trying to tell us but I’m not sure everyone is listening — or maybe not understanding? Our question today is, “Are auctioneers the next travel agents?”

In case our question seems confusing — when was the last time you used a travel agent to book a flight, hotel or rental car? For most, it’s been a while. We could have as well asked about blacksmiths, telephone answering services, video stores, cab drivers … maybe even some fast food cashiers?

Why are we looking for “tie bids?”

9 January 2019

A tie? The three horses above finishing in a dead heat. Two teams with the identical score at the end of regulation. Politicians with the same number of votes after all are counted. Is this ever the desired result? What’s the theme here?

Are auctioneers “hired guns?”

27 December 2018

Auctioneers work as auctioneers for their own auctions, and often hire other auctioneers (commonly referred to as “contract auctioneers”) to assist them. Similarly, an auction barn, facility or the like may secure consignments, and need to hire one or more auctioneers.

We wrote about traits to look for when hiring a contract auctioneer here:

Online auctions and shipping times

24 December 2018

Consumers these days value two things when shopping online — free (or low cost) shipping and quick (or reasonable) shipping. If you’re an auctioneer who is selling anything online these are important considerations.

Given this premise, we discuss here what are reasonable shipping times for auctioneers. In this regard, we reference this the 30-Day Rule which states:

"If you don’t make a statement regarding shipping time, you must ship within 30 days–thus, the 30-Day Rule. The 30-day window begins when the business receives a completed order and payment.

Bid from the comfort of your home or office

17 December 2018

Yes, you can “Bid from the comfort of your home or office” or can you? What if the Internet goes down? What if there’s no electric? What if …

Apparently an attorney told an auctioneer that this phrase should immediately be removed from his auction advertising — as it implied a warranty of service availability. Such could cause an actionable claim against an auctioneer if this “bidding from the comfort of your home or office” was not available for some reason.

This seems to me to be prudent advice.

Buy this at auction and …

13 December 2018

Auctioneers are regularly engaged by sellers to market and sell their personal or real property. Such marketing involves describing the property adequately so that potential bidders become engaged/interested.

However, what if an auction advertisement said, “Buy this at auction and ski down the hill from your back door,” or “Buy this at auction with a short walk to camp at a state park,” or the like? Other than possible fair housing violations for using “ski” and “walk” (disability,) can a seller or auctioneer essentially guarantee the future?