News & Views

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?

Are we making it harder or easier to buy at auction?

12 December 2018

Let’s see … I can buy groceries on my iPhone and they are delivered and placed in my kitchen … I can buy insurance online and print the verification card or view it electronically via an app in seconds … I can buy a car from a vending machine … easier, easier, easier seems to be the trend.

Do auctioneers perceive themselves as ethical?

4 December 2018

We have taught classes on auctioneers and ethics for over 10 years. During those classes, we ask the question if the public perceives auctioneers as ethical.

The data we share in our classes suggests the general public probably thinks auctioneers are on the whole … less than ethical. Very similar occupations to auctioneers rank about 17% on the USA TodayGallup OrganizationCNN“Honesty and Ethical” annual poll.

Charity art sale on Instagram

30 November 2018

Present Day is the first charity sale hosted by Singaporean gallery, Chan + Hori Contemporary. The sale will feature postcard-sized artworks by all artists the gallery has worked with in 2018.

Bid calling and the mailbox rule

27 November 2018

In a series of recent simulcast auctions, I served as one of two auctioneers (bid callers) with over 600 online bidders and as many as 150 live bidders participating. It was indeed a pleasure working with Mark Younger and his staff helping our client sell over 3,300 lots.

Auctioneers and nose congestion

26 November 2018

Many auctioneers often need assistance with keeping their noses clear of mucus, pain, dryness, congestion … and there are solutions. Basically saline nose sprays and drops can be used to humidify the nose cavity and decongestant nasal sprays and drops can be used to shrink blood vessels inside the nose.

Crazy auction terms and conditions?

21 November 2018

I suppose I’m possibly a connoisseur of less-than-common (unusual, odd, possibly even crazy) auction terms and conditions. Of note, I saw the following words of art somewhere and grabbed it to talk about here.

"Auction/auctioneer has the right to terminate any contract between auction/auctioneer and consignor/seller for any reason, up to and including the actual sale and during the auction sale event as well for any reason. The auction/auctioneer can also refuse bids from any individual upon his sole discretion"

Cold weather bid calling

21 November 2018

For many auctioneers this time of year, there are opportunities to bid call in cold weather (cold air.) Are there precautions for improving bid calling — specifically vocal cord health and warmth?

Indeed there are such considerations. Here’s a summary:

Auctions and contract symmetry

12 November 2018

It was bound to happen I suppose. We receive a call from an attorney about once a week and a few weeks ago, this particular inquiry was no surprise — other than it took this long.

We have argued for years that auction contracts (listing contracts, consignment contracts, terms and conditions, bid calling contracts) need (or should) be equitable, fair, reasonable. Likewise, contracts that are highly unfair, unreasonable, inequitable are possibly unenforceable and worse yet bad for our industry.