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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:14 pm 
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I just got done bidding on a few items at a Friday night auction. A few lots went higher than I was willing to go, but I won two lots and there in made three or four more attempts on other lots, figuring I had already won a couple and who knows maybe they would give me a break with combined shipping, given all the won items items were smalls. So the auction ends, I go to the member area and click on won lots - to my surprise - nothing there. Thinking it maybe takes a little while for the system to update, I go the bidding history to see if the information on my won lots would be updated. Again to my surprise, all my bids are shown in the bid history, including the lots I lost out on, but curiously I have not won anything due to "absentee push". Alas, what is this Google? This inquiry of course is was led me to this forum, where I was able to find some auction definitions that described this "absentee push". Of course, now I can find the exact post, but it noted something like if a live bidder bids the exactly what the absentee bidder bid, the absentee bidder wins the item because their bid was in first. OK, here is the crux of the matter: during the auction as the bidding takes place it clearly appears that I have the high bid, but as noted I find out after that I have not won, which make no sense, because I have no option to bid higher. And to boot, the auction house is making more morning by the fact that I am bidding the absentee bidder up in price. Does this mean some auctions, you have to pre-bid to win, as it will be you only opportunity to be the higher bidder. I mean if that's the case, so be it, but I am at a loss as to the logic here. One would imagine that the live bidder would have the advantage over the pre-bid, much the same way auctioneers tend to take floor bidders or over internet bidders when the price is the same. I will post the bid history of one of the auctions, cause perhaps I just missing the point here, but any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Will

g-----e Live October 11, 2013, 9:36:54 PM EDT $30 Absentee Push
m----6 Absentee October 11, 2013, 9:36:54 PM EDT $30 Winner
m----6 Absentee October 11, 2013, 9:36:45 PM EDT $25 Accepted
b----2 Live October 11, 2013, 9:36:45 PM EDT $5 Absentee Push
m----6 Absentee October 11, 2013, 9:36:21 PM EDT $25 Submitted, not accepted

note: the g-----e is my bid


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:45 pm
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I too, as an auctioneer, recently ran into this "Absentee Push" using AuctionZip/ArtFact. It is a term that they invented and a bidding mechanism they also invented. If another absentee bid is on an item for 600 and holds the high bid at 450 and you bid 475, the first bid is "pushed" to 475. In this instance you were never the high bidder. In a normal auction you would be the high bidder at 475 and then the first absentee would respond with a bid at 500. The bidding record will show the first bidder bidding against themselves as bids are made against their bid.

I think very few auctioneers using the auction broadcast are aware of the "absentee push" or how it works. I've explained to those in charge at AZ/AF that it makes no sense and no auctioneer I can imagine would approve if they were aware of how it works as the net result is a lower price than would occur in a normal auction.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:54 am
Posts: 272
Location: New York state
Maybe they are afraid of using the term "proxy bidding" ? but it really is not that, because it doesn't raise the bid by the next increment, it only recognizes a "tie" and it's not really that, either.

Thank you for the explanation, Jack, I had no idea this was happening. It is certainly confusing.

If I was a consignor and found out this is the way my property was being sold, I would be having a fit. Not following traditional use of the increment system is costing both me and the auctioneer money! I wonder how much money is lost by bidders not realizing the system isn't recognizing their bids as being high?

When a new bidder's bid ties the amount placed by a prior bidder (who left a higher maximum) then of course the bidding should jump to the next increment as Jack explained. And if the absentee bidder's maximum was higher so the nod went to him, at least the new bidder should be informed he didn't bid enough and should be given the chance to bid again (and again).

As a bidder this system is infuriating -- I don't know that I am not high bidder because the "system" is recognizing someone else as high, while stating that the "high bid" is the same amount I bid (so I think the high bid is mine !!! and accordingly I don't know to bid again).

I have consignor friends and even auctioneers who ask me for recommendations about which live auction service to use..... I utilize the Forum comments such as this, to base my recommendations about which one to choose.

_________________
Jane

"I'm not an auctioneer - I've just come to appreciate the good ones !"


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:49 am 
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I think the rationale here was to make sure the earliest bid takes precedence and that if two people end up bidding the same amount the "earliest" ALWAYS wins the item, but in real life we all know that doesn't always happen. Auctioneers take bids as they see them and stay on increment.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Location: New York state
Real auctioneers conducting auctions are sensible, professional people. Actual live in-person auctions do not have this problem. Thankfully !!

If it works the way you explained, this "absentee push" tactic is truly a bad idea in my opinion.

One would think that in running an online auction, where nobody can see bidders who are placing bids electronically from a distance, the sensible, professional thing to do for AUCTION ZIP would be to make some provision (via software in the bidding console?) for notifying a bidder when his bid is not high, so he would have a chance to bid again if he wanted to. Not just ignoring him if his last bid tied an earlier bidder's.

This is a disservice to all involved -- and probably the worst victim is the consignor whose property is not selling for the highest possible amount, because bidders will not realize they are not high on whatever it is and will stop bidding. They of course (as Will was) be disappointed but at least not lose actual money.

WILL - I hope you are following this thread -- I would suggest you CALL the auction house and very politely complain - !! Be kind and pleasant, you want them to sympathize with you. Ask them to return to the standard style of bidding, because certainly others have had the same bad experience as you, and you would have bid higher, if you could have!!

_________________
Jane

"I'm not an auctioneer - I've just come to appreciate the good ones !"


Last edited by Jane Silverman on Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 10:20 am
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Here's a thought, quit bidding on line.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:54 am
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Location: New York state
Fred, I truly wish I could quit bidding on line. I only use it as a last resort. Unfortunately, no matter how much I've prayed for my "one wish" (which would be to reappear anywhere I wanted by closing my eyes and wishing -- more vaulable than money) it hasn't been granted yet. Kinda like in "Little Big Man" where the old chief, deciding it's his time to die, lies down and closes his eyes..... nothing happens..... he finally opens his eyes, gets up and simply states, "Sometimes magic not work." So until the magic works I am stuck.

Thank you Will and Jack for exposing this mechanism.

Some further thoughts :

1. Avoid ArtFact/AuctionZip auctions where "Absentee push" is used; be sure to tell (1) the auction house and (2) AF/AZ that you have deliberately avoided bidding and why.

2. If you don't know whether "Absentee push" will be used in an auction, find out and be sure to tell (1) the auction house and (2) AF/AZ that you refuse to bid and why.

2. Respectfully complain to both the auction houses and AF/AZ that this system is costing them additional bids (translation money).

It sounds like many auctioneers may not know this is happening.

3. AF/AZ: Revise this online platform so that during the auction participants can clearly see "WHO" has the high bid (and "WHO" does not). "Absentee push" should not be hidden, with no way to know it is being used.

4. AF/AZ: If "Absentee push" is to be used, clearly and obviously state what it is and how it works right up front in the auction information. NOT buried in "Terms and Conditions."

5. AF/AZ: Better yet, stop using Absentee Push.

I have not run into this yet, Will, but I would be as frustrated and annoyed as you. Nothing kills any kind of program like frustrated, upset users. Unhappy customers are the absolute worst kind of advertising that can be had, in any kind of industry for any kind of product.

I only bid online when I have no other choice. My absolutely top preference is to attend the auction in person. However, some are simply too far away; or I cannot be in two places at the same time. My second choice is a telephone bid (preferably following along online, so I don't get too nervous waiting for the phone to ring; and as "insurance" so I can bid if the phone call doesn't come). I only online bid if neither of those options is available.

_________________
Jane

"I'm not an auctioneer - I've just come to appreciate the good ones !"


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:44 am 
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I've recently discovered that LiveAuctioneers uses the exact same mechanism. Why they have both decided to re-invent how an auction should work is a mystery to me.

My advise to bidders is simply to realize how the system is working and don't get frustrated. If you make the final top bid you will have a chance to get recognized and buy the item.


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