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.
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.
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.
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 equity, urgency and reasonable expectations; otherwise, maybe some other method of sale may be more appropriate.
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.”
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."
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: