KevinVal

What's your opinion of car auctions?

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I saw an advertisement for an auction recently in a classic car magazine that was directed at potential consigners.  The gist of the advertisement was that the auction house specialized in creating an environment where bidders would get caught up in the moment and would irrationally overbid for cars.  I gather that the auction house didn't expect potential bidders to read the advertisement directed at potential consigners. 

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3 hours ago, 1935Packard said:

The gist of the advertisement was that the auction house specialized in creating an environment where bidders would get caught up in the moment and would irrationally overbid for cars.

 

Actually, I would give that auction house props for being honest!

What they're claiming to do is so obviously the central purpose of the auction format, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, KevinVal said:

Has anyone been to the Mecum auction in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? Are they one of the better auctions?

 

I have not been to the Mecum auction in Harrisburg,

 but I have looked into it a bit.

 

They have plenty of cars for sale.  In my opinion, they

 are one of the typical high-cost auctions. There is a

 substantial charge ($30 at the door or $20 in advance)

 just to gain admission to sit in the audience. There is a

 $100+ fee just to register as a bidder, even if you don't

 buy anything. Their commissions are high as well.

 

As far as their ethics, I have no idea.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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On ‎7‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 12:50 AM, John_S_in_Penna said:

The auctioneer more or less determines the minimum bid.

If there's a $15,000 car on the platform, he'll often say,

"Who'll give me $25,000?"  (I hate that.)  When no one bids that,

he will start the bids reasonably--maybe at $10,000--and 

work up from there. 

I've never fully understood this tactic... I see it at every auction I go to, whatever they are selling. Are they trying to catch somebody who's excited and can't wait to get their hand up who's never been to an auction before? I've never seen anybody take the bait and at the end of the day it just seems like a time waster that adds to a long day at an auction...

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Posted (edited)

I think you're right, Mr. Lahti.  That's another unethical

practice in my opinion.

 

At the auction company I attend (Central Pa. Auto Auction),

it seems as if the fake opening bid is always TWICE what

the car is worth.  Maybe it's also a signal to experienced bidders

of what the auctioneer thinks of a car's actual value:  Take the

introductory amount and divide by 2.  I don't think this auction

prints estimated values.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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